"Hops, Props and Brats" Raises Money for Historic War Plane

By KBJR News 1

August 11, 2012 Updated Aug 11, 2012 at 10:43 PM CST

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- About two year from now, the aircraft that was influential in defeating the Japanese Navy during World War II is expected to fly again and land in the Twin Ports harbor.

Members of the Commemorative Airforce Lake Superior Squadron 101 are raising money to bring the PBY Catalina back to life.

Dozens danced to music by the Blue Water Big Band at the Hops, Props and Brats fundraiser in the Duluth airports hangar.

The squadron has raised about 60 percent of the funds to make the historic plane look and fly the way it did before the Battle of Midway in 1942.

They plan to have it fixed up and ready to go on the fourth of July in 2014.

We are into the big money things now," John Hosler of the Lake Superior Squadron 101 said. "We are into the motors that need to be rebuilt. We are into the control centers that need to be rebuilt. We need tires that cost $5 thousand a piece. It will need a paint job, but it will fly before it gets painted."

Once the historic plane is restored, the squadron hopes to fly it in airshows.

The next big fundraising event to restore the Catalina will be at the Duluth Air show this fall.