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Michigan museum to add large anti-aircraft gun to WWII ship

May 10, 2019
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In this Tuesday, April 30, 2019 photo, the LST 393 Veteran Museum's new anti-aircraft gun, which is in the process of restoration, sits in Muskegon, Mich. The gun, which was used in World War II, will be added to the LST 393 ship when it is fully restored. (Kayla Renie/Muskegon Chronicle via AP)
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In this Tuesday, April 30, 2019 photo, the LST 393 Veteran Museum's new anti-aircraft gun, which is in the process of restoration, sits in Muskegon, Mich. The gun, which was used in World War II, will be added to the LST 393 ship when it is fully restored. (Kayla Renie/Muskegon Chronicle via AP)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A museum housed on a World War II-era warship in western Michigan is bringing a massive anti-aircraft gun aboard.

The USS LST 393 Veterans Museum in Muskegon is adding an 18,000-pound (8,165-kilogram) anti-aircraft cannon to its landing ship tank this summer.

The Bofors twin-barreled cannon that was built to take down airplanes is currently being restored, the Muskegon Chronicle reported. The museum aims to have the gun lifted onto the ship ahead of its celebration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which will be held June 1-2.

Board member John Stephenson said the museum had been searching for a Bofors cannon since 2005. The museum received the gun as a donation from a park district in Oak Forest, Illinois, in 2018.

“We’re ecstatic,” he said.

The warship would have carried multiple Bofors into battle during World War II. It was part of the Allied Forces’ D-Day invasion in Normandy, France, which weakened the Nazi’s hold on Western Europe.

The historic artifact wound up in an Oak Forest park along with other U.S. Navy surplus items in 1976 as part of a celebration of the country’s bicentennial.

A Chicago-area military history preservation group, the Veterans Garage, worked with museum volunteers to get the gun to Muskegon.

The Bofors cannon will soon join exhibits that honor American veterans on all six decks of the warship.

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Information from: The Muskegon Chronicle, http://www.mlive.com/muskegon

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