Talk:Douglas SBD Dauntless

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Content from Douglas SBD added by User: on May 14, 2004. There may be material worth merging.

Image:Midway dauntless.jpg[edit]

Can anyone provide a source for Image:Midway dauntless.jpg? It obviously is a Navy picture, but it doesn't have a source listed on Commons:Image:Midway dauntless.jpg, and the guy who originally uploaded it back in 2004 doesn't remember where he found it.
—wwoods 02:39, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

That image is: Noumea ID: usna-img-z--1200010 Source: US Navy Archives

It can also be seen at the USS Enterprise CV6 website. Jp421 (talk) 20:43, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

The Marine dive bombers of VMSB-241 flying from Midway were only partly SBDs. There were also 11 SV2U Vindicator ("Wind Indicator") aircraft which took part in the unsuccessful glide bombing attack (the Marines not having been trained in the "Helldiving" attack method used so successfuly by the USN SBD pilots).

Aussie A-24B Banshees?[edit]

I cannot find any evidence for Australian use of the A-24 Banshee. I did find that the US 91th Bombing Squadron used them in Australia Dirk P Broer 01:05, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

According to a USAF website the A-24 Banshee was used by the 91st Bombardment Squadron which was an American U.S. Army Air Corps unit that was saw limited combat in the early days of the Southwest Pacific in 1942. Another article mentions that the

Only 200 SB2C-1s were built, with all remaining stateside for training, and some sources suggest they were only accepted because the delays in the program had become so politically deadly, being targeted by government review committees, that heads were in danger of rolling. The 900 A-25A Shrikes ordered by the USAAF, which were much like the SB2C-1 except for lack of carrier gear, were completed but never actually saw any combat with the Army. Some were used as target tugs but the rest were given away -- with 410 passed on to the US Marines, 270 to the US Navy, and 10 to the Royal Australian Air Force. The Marines designated the A-25A the "SB2C-1A".

So the RAAF had at least ten SB2C-1's, whether or not these aircraft saw actual combat is undetermined. -TabooTikiGod 12:44, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
So give me the RAAF registration numbers of those 10 planes. I couldn't find them in either the Dauntless references or the Australian airforce references I own.Dirk P Broer 13:44, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
As both A-25 and SB2C point to the Curtiss SB2C "Helldiver"/Curtiss A-25 "Shrike", I still see no evidence of the Australian use of the Douglas SBD "Dauntless"/Douglas A-24 "Banshee"Dirk P Broer 23:10, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I quoted straight from the internet source that these were SB2C-1s, it is clear that the website does not list the aircraft serial numbers. If you want more specific information referencing the A-24, then you'll have to contact the RAAF or USAF to get a hold of this information from historical archives. I'll make it clear that there is no dispute that the Australians never used the A-24 Banshee's, let alone in combat. Listed on the A-24 article, the country of Australia is not listed as foreign users of the aircraft. -TabooTikiGod 05:03, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I want you to read your own piece closely SB2C, that is not "Slow but Deadly" (Dauntless/Banshee) but "Son of a Bitch 2nd Class", the Curtiss Helldiver/A-25 Shrike. Banshees are no Shrikes, just as Dauntlesses are no Helldivers and Douglas is not Curtiss. "Listed on the A-24 article, the country of Australia is not listed as foreign users of the aircraft" - Yes, but only after I took Australia out of that list.Dirk P Broer 20:19, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
FYI: The Australian serial numbers for the A-25 Shrike (De-navalised helldiver) are A69-1 till A69-10, A69 denoting the Curtiss A-25, the individual aircraft by the last suffix.Dirk P Broer 00:23, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I am quite aware of what I wrote, it even says in the article "The 900 A-25A Shrikes ordered...". I'm not arguing the fact that the Australians used A-25's, nor am I arguing the fact that the Austrlians did not use A-24s. I am quite aware that the A-24 and A-25 were different aircraft. I am also not aware that Australia had been listed as a foreign nation that used the Banshee/Dauntless. -TabooTikiGod 04:43, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
At least one was used as a "hack" by Group Captain Brian "Black Jack" Walker see p 12

Start of design and development[edit]

I would like to rewrite the first couple sentences here. In its current form the reference to 1940 in the first sentence is ambiguous:

"The Northrop BT-1 provided the basis for the SBD, which began manufacture in 1940. Ed Heinemann led a team of designers who considered a development with a 1,000 horsepower Wright Cyclone powerplant. "

Does 1940 reference the BT-1 or the SBD (I know the answer I'm just saying that its bad structure). Not to mention I don't think year built belongs in the same sentence as the basis of the model. I was thinking something like:

"In 19XX Ed Heinemann led a team of designers who goal was to create a dive bomber based on a 19XX request by _____(branch of service(s)). Their initial plan was to create a dive bomber based off of the Northrop BT-1 with a 1,000 horsepower Wright Cyclone powerplant."

Does this sound correct and are the correct years 1940 and 1939? Did they consider the Wright Cyclone and then not produce it, or did it make it into the plans?

Be Bold In Edits (talk) 05:04, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Arguably the best?[edit]

How do you justify this part of the article: "During the time of its combat service the SBD was an excellent naval scout plane and arguably the world's best dive bomber. It possessed long range, good handling characteristics, maneuverability, potent bomb load capacity, great diving characteristics, defensive armament and ruggedness. In most of these characteristics the SBD was superior to the German Junkers Ju 87, the Japanese Aichi D3A "Val", and any dive bomber possessed by the Royal Air Force, the Soviet Air Force, or the U.S. Army Air Forces."

From the article about Ju-87: "Eric "Winkle" Brown, a British test pilot from the Royal Navy, and General Officer Commanding "Captured Enemy Aircraft Flight" section, tested the Ju 87 at RAE Farnborough. He remarked:

I had a high opinion of the Stuka because I had flown a lot of dive-bombers and it’s the only one that you can dive truly vertically. Sometimes with the dive-bombers, pilots claim that they did a vertical dive. What a load of rubbish. The maximum dive is usually in the order of 60 degrees. In a dive when flying the Stuka, because it’s all automatic, you are really flying vertically. You feel that you are over the top and feel you are going that a way! The Vengeance and Dauntless were both very good but could dive no more than 60 or 70 degrees. The Stuka was in a class of its own."

Now: Compared to Ju-87, SBD was only superior in range. All other aspects were either comparable or Ju-87 was better. Saying that SBD was maneuverable and Ju-87 wasn't is just rubbish. Low-speed maneuverability of Ju-87 (without bomb load) was excellent - better than most fighters. Speed was the same, protection was much better in Ju-87 (D and higher). Bomb load - Ju-87 could carry 1800kg (4000lb - D) short range, normal load for D would be 1000kg (2200lb) = higher than SBD's. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:51, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Eric "Winkle" Brown reckoned the Stuka was the best dive bomber with the Aichi Val second, and the Dauntless third IIRC. He thought the Dauntless underpowered. In contrast, he thought the Skua competent enough, but unable to survive if attacked by fighters. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:07, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Douglas Dauntless:
"Was rugged and reliable with mediocre performance because it was underpowered. It seemed vulnerable to fighters and yet gave a good account of itself in the Pacific. Its loss rate in that theatre is reputed to have been lower than any other US ship-board aeroplane."
Original source for this (and others) here;[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:12, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
The Douglas SBD was the most successful naval strike aircraft of World War II, playing significant roles in the Battles of Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal. The designation indicated it was a scout-bomber built by Douglas Aircraft Company of El Segundo, California. The SBD-1 was derived from a Northrop design, the BT-1, before Donald Douglas formed his own company following affiliation with Jack Northrop.
First flown in 1939, the SBD-1 was unusual in that the first deliveries went to the Marine Corps. Usually the Marines received old "cast-off" models of Navy aircraft but the original SBDs possessed shorter range than the follow-on versions, hence the Marines' good fortune. Navy SBD-2s joined the fleet in 1940, and at the time of Pearl Harbor the SBD-3 was entering service.
In late 1941 the Navy began assigning popular names to its aircraft, and the SBD became the Dauntless. It was an apt name, as the SBD fought a long war, beginning with a scouting flight preceding the carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) as she neared Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Five SBDs were shot down by Japanese fighters and nervous American gunners.
In May 1942 Dauntlesses flew from the carriers Lexington (CV-2) and Yorktown (CV-5) in the Coral Sea battle, particpating in destruction of the Japanese carrier Shoho, first enemy flattop sunk in the war. A month later Enterprise and Yorktown SBDs sank all four Japanese carriers in the decisive Battle of Midway, which ended Japanese expansion in the Pacific.
During the long Guadalcanal campaign (August 1942-February 1943) Navy SBDs fought two carrier battles (Eastern Solomons and Santa Cruz), sinking another enemy flattop. Additionally, Marine Dauntlesses formed a crucial part of "The Cactus Air Force" ashore on Guadalcanal. SBDs also logged combat in the Atlantic, supporting the Allied landings in North Africa (November 1942) and attacking German shipping in Norway (October 1943). However, the Dauntless finished its war where it began--in the Pacific. The last carrier-based SBD squadrons flew in the Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 1944) but Marine squadrons continued flying in the Central Pacific and the Philippines into 1945.
From the "dash ones" through the last SBD-6s, nearly 6,000 Dauntlesses were built, including those used by the Army Air Force, designated A-24s. Dauntlesses also were flown by Free French squadrons in Europe and a New Zealand squadron in the Solomon Islands. Thus, SBD pilots and gunners fought a truly global war in the aircraft they affectionately called "Slow But Deadly."
The SBD's airframe was little changed throughout its production run. Internal fuel, electronics, and somewhat larger engines were the differences among the various models. All were powered by the Wright R1820 radial engine, rated from 1,000 to 1,200 horsepower. Standard armament was two .50 caliber machine guns firing through the propeller and twin .30s for the radioman-gunner. SBDs usually carried a 500-pound bomb on scouting flights and a 1,000-pounder for antiship missions.

(From above, contributor unknown)Gunbirddriver (talk) 04:24, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Capable dive bombers[edit]

Dive bombing was proven by the US Navy aviators to be an effective way to deliver ordinance onto a moving target, and that was why the US Navy was interested in developing a good dive bomber. Many attempts were made, but the ones we are all aware of are only the successful attempts. Even among those (Aichi D3A "Val", Ju-87 Stuka) I would have to rate the Dauntless SDB as the best: more rugged, better able to defend itself, excellent range, good bomb load, adequate speed, perforated dive break, accurate bomb delivery, capable defensive armament, reliably able to withstand steep dives, could perform multiple roles (scout, divebomber, anti-submarine weapon, even fighter air protection as CAP), plus it brought its aircrew home safe. Gunbirddriver (talk) 04:11, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

A question on armament[edit]

(moved down from top) No such thing as a ".30 in (7.62mm)" machinegun. The .30 caliber Brownings being referred to use a cartridge quite distinct from any "7.62mm" round. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:41, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Actually there is such thing, as .30-in is 7.62-mm. The designation .30 in or .30 Calibre refers to the cartridge 7.62 x 63 (bore diameter x case length - both in mm), which is also known as the Browning .30 Cal, 30-06, etc. The two most popular military cartridges in that bore diameter are the 7.62 x 51 (often called the NATO cartridge), and the afforementioned 7.62 x 63. Examples of weapons that fired the former are the M-1903 / M-1903A3 Springfield, M-1 Garand, M-1919Ax Browning Machine Gun, etc. A few of the weapons using the later cartridge are the M-14, M-60 MG, M-21 and M-40 sniper rifles, and H&K's G-3. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

SBD 01216 may have moved out of Restoration and into Display[edit]

There is an SBD on display on the Midway Museum in San Diego, California, which is not listed as such on this Wiki page. It may be the 01216 plane that's listed in the "Survivors" section as being under restoration for the Flying Leatherneck museum, because in "Hidden Warbirds: The Epic Stories of Finding, Recovering, and Rebuilding WWII's Lost Aircraft" the 01216 aircraft is listed as being under restoration for the Midway Museum in San Diego. I don't have solid enough information to update this Wiki page based on this, but am mentioning it here so that if any more experienced editor has the resources to do the verification they might be able to do so. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:45, 8 August 2013 (UTC)