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Dauntless Forever: The Dive Bomber That Changed the Course of World War IIName the most effective American bombers of World War II and you’ll certainly come up with the B-17, B-24 and B-29, maybe the twin-engine B-25, but how many will think to include the little Douglas SBD Dauntless on the list? The Dauntless dive bomber flew almost entirely over the Pacific, and there it did more to win the war than any other bomber type, even including the Superfort’s two atom bomb missions. Yet of the 35 U.S. types that flew major combat in WWII, none was as old-fashioned and… (www.historynet.com) More...
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A plane that could have been a footnote in history but refused to be ignored. Good tough little planes in the hands of brave men who flew directly at the enemy. Lucky for the allies the Japs didn’t have a plane like that.
Thanks Sparkie, I always loved the SBD. It was one of the first models I glued myself to as a kid. It even had a working bomb release with yoke. As mentioned in the article, in the right hands it wasn't a dogfighter but was a pretty good gunfighter. When doing the "Thatch weave' with a wingman, not only its forward guns but also the rear guns of the other ship put the attacker in a crossfire and it didn't take many hits to score a Zero.
Never could understand why the Dauntless was not used against coastal fortifications on D-Day.
Take a road trip to the WWII museum in New Orleans. The D-Day exhibition is profound and should answer all of your questions.