A Naval dive bomber, the Douglas SBD Dauntless entered service in 1940. By late 1943 the SBD had sunk more Japanese ships than any other aircraft. The SBD first saw action at Pearl Harbour, and were prominant in the Battle of the Coral Sea. The SBD proved to be a vital part of the U.S. fleet during the battle of Midway, where they sank or fatally damaged all four Japanese aircraft carriers.
Including the prototype, there were 5,937 produced, most were the 1,200 hp SBD-5. After the war the demand for metals meant that most were scrapped. Today they are a rare sight in the sky with only around 5 still airworthy.
|SBD-6 Dauntless of Marine Scout Bombing Squadron Two Hundred Thirty-One (VMSB-231) in flight over ships of Task Force 58 at anchor in the Pacific. Note the mission markings and Ace of Spades insignia on the aircraft. The pilot of the aircraft is Major Elmer P. Glidden, a Midway and Guadalacanal veteran, who commanded VMSB-231 twice during the period September 1942-September 1943 and 1 November 1943-September 1944. He logged 104 combat dives during World War II.||SBD-5s pictured on the assembly line at Douglas Aircraft Company's El Segundo Plant.||SBD-5s of Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 231 (VMSB-2321) taxi on the airstrip at Majouro in the Marshalls prior to launching on attack against Japanese installations on Mille Atoll.|
|SBD-2s of Bombing Squadron Six (VB-6) pictured on the forward section of the flight deck of USS Enterprise (CV-6). This photograph was taken after the 4 March 1942 raid on Marcus Island.||
A tractor pulls an SBD-3 off a makeshift dock and onto the beach at Espiritu Santo. Note the LCVPs (Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel) beached in the foreground.
|SBD-3s of Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6) pictured in right echelon formation. Tracing its origins to 1937, Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6) entered combat when some of its planes unwittingly flew into Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack. The squadron participated in USS Enterprise's early carrier raids against the Marshalls, Wake Island, and Marcus Island and also saw action during the Battle of Midway.|
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