Armour Collection B11F042 USMC Douglas SBD1 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VMSB-232, Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii, December 7th, 1941 (1:48 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.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of a USMC Douglas SBD1 Dauntless dive-bomber that was attached tot VMSB-232, then deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii, on December 7th, 1941. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 11-5/8 inches
Length: 8 inches
Release Date: April 2009
Historical Account: "Red Devils" - With the tension in the Pacific increasing, VMB-2 was deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Oahu, Hawaii. Early 1941 also saw the transition from the colorful pre-war scheme to the tactical, and less colorful light grey scheme, but still the Red Devil insignia was absent. On July 1st, 1941, in anticipation of the large expansion Marine Aviation was about to undergo, VMB-2 became VMSB-232, the designation it carried during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during which one member of the squadron was killed and nine of the squadrons aircraft were destroyed, with ten more requiring major overhaul. On Wake Island, a Red Devil detachment suffered twenty five enlisted Marines killed or captured while assisting in the defense of the doomed island.
On August 20th, 1942, the squadron became part of the Cactus Air Force and flew SBD Dauntlesses from Guadalcanal's 3,000-foot dirt runway, Henderson Field. The Red Devils became the first Marine dive bomber squadron to fly against the Japanese. They left Guadalcanal on October 12th, 1942 and headed for Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California where they were redesignated yet again as Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 232 (VMTB-232), flying newly acquired Grumman TBF Avengers. They returned to the Pacific in July 1943 when they were originally based out of Espiritu Santo. From there they moved to Munda in order to support allied forces during the Bougainville landings in November 1943.