WWII era plane washes up in Ponte Vedra, lands at St. Augustine museum

WWII era plane washes up in Ponte Vedra, lands at St. Augustine museum

Ponte Vedra, FL. — September’s Nor’easter churned up a piece of Jacksonville’s rich Navy history.

A resident in Ponte Vedra found the tail end of a WWII era plane washed ashore.

Now the piece of history sits at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum.

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Chris Meide is the museum’s archaeological director and said the fighter plane was likely training off Jacksonville’s coast.

After getting overwhelming feedback from WWII buffs and plane experts, they’ve determined it is a Grumman F4F Wildcat.

Meide said carriers off Jacksonville’s coast would have planes land up to 200 times per day.

He said they would crash up to once a week in the Atlantic, and ended up in several casualties during training exercises.

“It really gives us a rich image of what life might have been like 80 years ago when we were fighting for our lives,” Meide told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant.

Experts at the museum are now investigating where it could have been off the coast, for how long, and when it re-surfaced.

The plane still belongs to the Navy.

The museum is currently awaiting word from officials to give them the green light to preserve the historical artifact and keep it at the museum’s newly opened WWII exhibit.