POMONA (CBSLA.com) — A local man was surprised to learn that the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum located the Navy dive bomber flown by his father in WWII.

The museum, located in Washington, is set to display the plane for public viewing on Tuesday.

“(My father) missed the actual combat, and I asked him ‘did you ever shoot anyone down’, and he said the only thing he ever bombed was a whale,” Michael Converse said.

Lt. J.G. Knox-Converse’s “Helldiver” naval dive bomber was used primarily toward the end of the war.

The museum also tells Michael that they plan to restore the plane.

In return, Converse sent the museum his late father’s scrapbook, filled with pictures and documentation of his squadron, “The Battling Beasts.” Pictures include Lt. Knox-Converse in the cockpit of the plane on display.

“It’s an honor, you know,” Converse said. “It’s something that I never expected, and he’s been gone for almost four years, so this is something that has sort of brought him back into my life.”

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