BBI BBI99114 US Navy Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - "White C46," USS Enterprise (CV-6), Battle of Eniwetok, 1944 (1:32 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 affectionaly 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 1:32 scale replica of an US Navy SBD-3 Dauntless dive-bomber was embarked upon the USS Enterprise during the Battle of Eniwetok, in 1944. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 15-1/2 inches
Length: 12-1/2 inches
Release Date: July 2008
Historical Account: "Operation Hailstone" - The Battle of Eniwetok was a battle waged during the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought between February 17th, 1944 and February 23rd, 1944, on Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
The invasion of Eniwetok followed the American success in the battle of Kwajalein to the southeast. Capture of Eniwetok would provide an airfield and harbour to support attacks on the Mariana Islands to the northwest.
The island had been lightly defended in 1943 — the Japanese believed that the Americans would strike at the southwestern Marshalls first. However, the defenders had been reinforced by the 1st Amphibious Brigade in January. Its commander, Major General Yoshimi Nishida along with Tank Company/1st Amphibious Brigade led by First Lieut. Ichikawa (9 Type 95 Light Tanks), had begun to construct defenses, but repeated air attacks made this difficult, and the tiny coral islands meant that defence in depth would be impossible.
Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance preceded the invasion by Operation Hailstone, a carrier strike against the Japanese base at Truk in the Caroline Islands. This raid destroyed 15 warships and more than 250 planes, cutting off Eniwetok from support and supply.