INDEX OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT
|Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless|
The SBD Dauntless was derived directly from the Northrup BT-1. When Northrup was taken over by Douglas, the aircraft took on the Douglas designation. The first orders for the SBD-1 and SBD-2 were placed by the US Marine Corps and the US Navy respectively in April, 1938, and went into service at the very end of 1940. In March 1941, the SBD-3 (USAAC designation A-24) army version named A-24 Banshee appeared with a more powerful engine (Wright R1820-52), and by December 1941, was the standard dive bomber in the US Navy Fleet. Additional versions were constructed until production ceased in July 1944. In total, 5,936 SBD aircraft were manufactured.
With FAA, US Navy, US Army, USAAF, USAF, USMC, Mexico, RNFAA
SBD-1 : first
SBD-2 : increased fuel capacity
SBD-3 : self sealing tanks, increased fuel capacity, armor protection, bullet-proof windscreen,
SBD-4 : 24-volt electrical system
SBD-4P : reconnaissance version
SBD-5 : upgraded engines, increased ammunition capacity, illuminated gunsights
SBD-6 : upgraded engines, increased fuel capacity
SBD-1P : reconnaissance version of SBD-6
SBD-2 : reconnaissance version of SBD-6
SBD-3 : reconnaissance version of SBD-6
Dauntless DB.Mk1 : FAA version
A-24 : US Army's version
A total of nine Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless Mk 1 were received by the Fleet
Air Arm under contract No. a(S)269. The first Dauntless, JS997, was
delivered from Speke to the IAD Flight of the Royal Aircraft Establishment
(RAE) in November 1943, where it carried out handling and dive bomb sight
tests (JS997). The Dauntless was subsequently equipped at Wittering by
787 and 700 squadrons from July 1944 till Februar 1946.
First deld RN Speke to IAD Flt RAE 11
First sqdn: To 787 sqdn at Wittering in 7.1944 (JS999), 700 12.1944 (JT927)
Last in FAA: JT 927 at 700 sqdn 2,1946
Douglas Dauntless in US markings
Battle Honours and Operational History
The Dauntless only served with second line Fleet Air Arm squadrons in WWII and saw no action action.
The SBD Dauntless served with distinction in with the USMC and USN during WW2. It was in the great carrier battles of the Coral Sea and Midway that the SBD became a legend when it was credited with helping to sink the Japanese carrier Shoho, and severely damaging one carrier, and subsequently sinking the Japanese aircraft carriers Akagi, Kaga, and Hiryu during the battle of Midway on 4 June, 1942 in what many consider to be the turning point in the battle against the Japanese naval carrier force, but also represented the turning point of the Pacific campaign.
Operational feats by the SBDs throughout the war included the claims of shooting down 138 planes and sinking 300,000 tons of enemy shipping while losing less than 100 to enemy fire (one of the lowest loss rates of any aircraft of the entire war).
Less than ten Douglas Dantless dive bombers survive in the world, all but one being preserved in USA. The majority are found at the National Museum of Naval Aviation, Pensacola, USA, and a single wrecked example on display in New Zealand.
National Naval Aviation Museum (USA): Following WW II combat operations from Guadalcanal, the Museum's SBD-3 aircraft on display (BuNo 06583) was returned to the United States and subsequently lost in Lake Michigan while conducting carrier qualifications for new pilots. Located many years later, the aircraft was recently recovered and restored to its present condition. A second "Dauntless", an SBD-4 (BuNo 06833), was also recovered from Lake Michigan and is on display in the exact condition in which it was found. A third "Dauntless", an SBD-3 (BuNo 06508) is on display and a fourth "Dauntless" (BuNo 2106), an SBD-2 and veteran of the Battle of Midway, is undergoing restoration at the Museum.
Dauntless SBD-3 Serial 06583 preserved at the NNAM (USA)
The Lone Star Flying Museum (USA) acquired its Douglas Dauntless aircraft from the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredricksberg, Texas where it was displayed in non-flying condition. This aircraft was an in-house restoration project. It is now airworthy.
SBD Dauntless retrieved from Lake Michigan about to be restored to static condition - Kalamazoo Air Zoo Flight Restoration Center for the MAPS AIR MUSEUM NORTH CANTON, OH (USA).
NZ5062 (c/n 2883 Bu28536) SBD-5 survived the war and was returned to the US. Having spent time as a film prop, it was restored and is airworthy with the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, Ca.(USA).
Three former RNZAF SBD aircraft survive, at least in part (see Kiwi Aircraft Image for details): NZ5021 (c/n 2468 bu10508) SBD-3 components were recovered from the Pacific, formerly stored as a possible restoration with R.Jowett, Ardmore, NZ have now been exported to the United States.
NZ5037 (c/n 1858 bu06953) SBD-4 was lost with its crew on 11 February, 1944. Located in 1984, the aircraft remains were recovered by 3 SQN in 1988. The aircraft is displayed by the RNZAF Museum as found.
The remains of a Douglas Dauntless divebomber off the island of Munda, in the New Georgia group, Solomon Islands. US aircraft nightly attacked the destroyer convoys by which the Japanese tried to maintain their bridgehead on Guadalcanal. Ref: War wrecks of the Solomon Islands
Associations and reunions