Hobby Master HA0102 USMC Douglas SBD-2 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VMSB-241, "Battle of Midway", June 1942 (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 USMC SBD2 Dauntless dive-bomber was flown by VMSB-241 during the Battle of Midway.
Release Date: June 2006
Historical Account "In a Matter of Minutes" - The Battle of Midway was a naval battle of the Pacific Theater of World War II. It took place from June 4th to June 7th, 1942, only one month after the inconclusive Battle of the Coral Sea, and six months after the Japanese Empire's attack on Pearl Harbor that had led to the entry of the United States into World War II. During the battle, the United States Navy defeated a Japanese attack against Midway Atoll (located northwest of Hawaii), and destroyed four Japanese aircraft carriers in the process.
By putting an end to early-war Japanese expansion, permanently damaging Japan's elite carrier force, and allowing the U.S. Navy to seize the strategic initiative, it represented the turning point in the Pacific War, and is widely seen as the most important naval battle of the war.
The Japanese plan of attack on Midway, which also included a secondary attack against points in the Aleutian Islands by a smaller fleet, was a ploy by the Japanese to lure America's few remaining carriers into a trap and destroy them. Doing so would effectively finish off the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and guarantee Japanese naval supremacy in the Pacific until at least late 1943. Likewise, securing Midway would extend Japan's defensive perimeter further from the Japanese Home Islands. The success of this operation was also considered preparatory for further operations against Fiji and Samoa, as well as an anticipated invasion of Hawaii. Had the Japanese achieved their objective at Midway, the northeastern Pacific Rim would have been essentially defenseless against the Japanese Navy. Thus, the Midway operation, like the attack on Pearl Harbor that plunged the United States into war, was not part of a campaign for the conquest of the United States mainland, but was instead aimed at the elimination of the U.S. as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its regional dominance under the auspices of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. In the best of circumstances, it was also hoped that the Americans would be forced to the negotiating table to terminate the Pacific War. As it happened, however, the battle was a crushing strategic defeat for the Japanese.