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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9

Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52

   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell

   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation

Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander

   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto

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Douglas SBD Dauntless

(Variants / Other Names: A-24; Dauntless DB.Mk I)

Douglas SBD Dauntless
SBD-5 N93RW, owned and operated by the Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston, Texas, USA, and flown by Tom "Gumby" Gregory. Rear gunner: T.C Jones. Photo courtesy Dave Zavoina.

History: In the spring of 1938, a Northrop dive-bomber designated the BT-1 entered service with the US Navy. Its influence was felt over at the Douglas Company, where a new naval dive-bomber was designed and produced based on the Northrop design. Initially designated the XBT-2, the new design was later called the SBD when Northrop was bought out by the Douglas Company. Production began in 1940, and although the SBD had a general likeness to its Northrop predecessor, it was a completely different airplane. Testing of the prototype (with a 1,000-hp Wright Cyclone engine) revealed an exceptionally capable airplane.

In April 1939, the US Marine Corps and US Navy placed orders for the SBD-1 and SBD-2, respectively, the latter having increased fuel capacity and revised armament. The first SBD-1s entered service with the Marines' VMB-2 Squadron in late 1940, and the first SBD-2s joined the Navy in early 1941. The next variant to appear, the SBD-3, entered service in March 1941, and incorporated self-sealing and larger fuel tanks, armor protection, a bullet-proof windshield, and four machine guns. The SBD-4 followed with an upgraded 24-volt electrical system, and a few of these were converted to SBD-4P reconnaissance platforms.

The next, and most produced, variant was the SBD-5, which was built at Douglas's new Tulsa, Oklahoma plant. It had a 1,200-hp R-1820-60 engine and increased ammunition capacity. Over 2,400 SBD-5s were built, and a few were shipped to the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, under the designation Dauntless DB.Mk I, but these were never used operationally. Mexico also took delivery of a small number of SBD-5s. The SBD-6, the final variant, had an even more powerful engine and greater fuel capacity.

Meanwhile, the US Army, realizing that it did not have a dive bomber equal in capability to Germany's Ju 87 Stuka, ordered the SBD-3 in 1941, under the designation A-24. This aircraft was identical to the Navy airplanes except it did not have an arresting hook, and its tailwheel had an inflated tire instead of a solid rubber one. The A-24 was never found to be of great use during WWII, as its range and performance were inadequate for service in the South Pacific, and the dive-bombing mission was of little use elsewhere. Nevertheless, the A-24 (and later the A-24A, equivalent of the SBD-4; and A-24B, equivalent of the SBD-5) remained in service with the US Army Air Corps for several years after the war.

Nicknames:  Barge; Clunk; Speedy-D; Speedy-3; Slow But Deadly; Banshee (A-24).

Specifications (SBD-6):
        Engine: One 1,350-hp Wright R-1820-66 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial piston engine
        Weight: Empty 6,535 lbs., Max Takeoff 9,519 lbs.
        Wing Span: 41ft. 6in.
        Length: 33ft. 0in.
        Height: 12ft. 11in.
            Maximum Speed: 255 mph
            Cruising Speed: 185 mph
            Ceiling: 25,200 ft.
            Range: 773 miles
            Two forward firing 12.7-mm (0.5-inch) machine guns;
            Two 7.62-mm (0.3-inch) machine guns on flexible mounts;
            Under-fuselage mountings for up to 1,600 pounds of bombs;
            Wing hard-points for up to 650 pounds of bombs.

Number Built:  5,936

Number Still Airworthy:  3

[ SBD Pilot Report 1 by J.B. Stokely ]

[ SBD Pilot Report 2 by Dave Hirschman ]

AeroWeb SBD Reference Page
Aviation History On-Line Museum -- SBD Page
Combat Aircraft of the Pacific War: SBD Dauntless
Dixie Wing of the CAF: SBD-5 Dauntless Page
Joe Baugher's A-24 Dauntless History
Light and Medium Bombers of WWII -- Discussion groups, research information, etc.
Photovault Image Archive: SBD Photos



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All text and photos Copyright 2016 by The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
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