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 1:32 scale replica of a US Navy SBD-3 Dauntless dive-bomber was operated by VB-2, then embarked upon the USS Lexington during early 1941. Only 900 pieces produced. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 15.75 inches
Length: 12.4 inches
Release Date: June 2008
Historical Account: "First Shot, First Kill" - By the time of the Japanese raid at Pearl Harbor, both the carriers Enterprise and Lexington were equipped with the SBD-2. Enterprise carried VS-6 and VB-6 squadrons while the Lexington had on board VS-2 and VB-2. On Wednesday, December 10th, 1941, a Dauntless flown by Lt. C.E. Dickson of VS-6 scored the first enemy ship sunk by a Dauntless, the Japanese submarine I-70. During the coming year, the Dauntless would go on to sink more enemy shipping than all other aircraft combined.
The Dauntless was the only plane to participate in all five major carrier-only naval engagements in the Pacific and it broke the back of the Japanese Navy at Midway, sinking three enemy carriers in a space of less than 30 minutes. Although considered obsolescent when it was introduced, the Dauntless served as the principal U.S. Navy ship-based dive-bomber until late 1944 and also served with the Royal Navy.