CLAY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) – An artifact from World War II will be unveiled at an Alabama state park.

Donated by Earlene and Curtis Collete, of Talladega County, the artifact will be displayed at Cheaha State Park’s Civilian Conservation Corps Museum.

The artifact is a machine gun recovered from a World War II P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft that crashed into Bald Rock in 1944.

“We are grateful to the Collette family for entrusting Cheaha State Park with this piece of World War II and Alabama history,” Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Chris Blankenship said. “Cheaha’s CCC museum is a fitting home for this unique artifact.”

Second Lt. Chester R. Gunkel, 24, of Wisconsin, was flying the plane from Texas to Atlanta when his flight malfunctioned Jan. 4, 1944. Second Lt. Gunkel died in the crash which was discovered by Collete’s family the next day.

Curtis, a 90-year-old veteran, and Earlene Collette are donating the artifact in his honor.

The event was initially planned for March 3. However, it was canceled due to severe weather on the morning of. ADCNR stated in a press release that the event will be rescheduled for a later date.