Hobby Master HA0166 RNZAF Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - No. 25 Squadron, Piva, 1944 [Open Dive Brakes] (1:72 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
The Dauntless was the standard shipborne dive-bomber of the US Navy from mid-1940 until November 1943, when the first Curtiss Helldivers arrived to replace it. Between 1942-43, the Dauntless was pressed into service again and again, seeing action in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Guadalcanal campaign. It was, however, at the Battle of Midway, that the Dauntless came into its own, singlehandedly destroying four of the Imperial Japanese Navy's frontline carriers. The SBD (referred to, rather affectionately by her aircrews, as "Slow But Deadly") was gradually phased out during 1944. The June 20th, 1944 strike against the Japanese Mobile Fleet, known as the Battle of the Philippine Sea, was the last major engagement in which it was used. From 1942 to 1944, the SBD was also used by several land-based Marine Corps squadrons.
Built as a two-seat, low-wing Navy scout bomber, the Dauntless was powered by a single Wright R1820 1200-horsepower engine. It became the mainstay of the Navy's air fleet in the Pacific, suffering the lowest loss ratio of any U.S. carrier-borne aircraft. A total of 5,936 SBDs were delivered to the Navy and Marine Corps between 1940 and the end of its production, in July 1944.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a US Navy SBD-5 Dauntless dive-bomber was flown by the RNZAF's No. 25 Squadron, then deployed to Piva during 1944. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 6.5 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: April 2011
Historical Account: "Planes of Fame" - No. 25 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force was formed at Seagrove, Auckland in July 1943 with Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers and served in the Southern Pacific based at the Piva Airstrip on Bougainville, flying missions against Japanese forces on Bougainville and at Rabaul. It was disbanded in May 1944 and reformed as a fighter/ground attack squadron flying F4U Corsairs. It served in Santo, Guadalcanal, Los Negros and Emirau, before returning to New Zealand and being disbanded in September 1945. A SBD-4 Dauntless operated by 25 Squadron was for a time preserved in the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum at Wigram, displayed in the condition which it was recovered after being lost with its crew while on a training mission at Espiritu Santo. One of the SBD-5 aircraft operated by 25 Squadron has been restored to flying condition in America for the "Planes of Fame" museum, in the colour scheme of an American aircraft.