Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fire From the Sky: The SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber

The Dauntless Dive bomber was used extensively by American air forces in the Pacific Theatre in World War II. Along with a good array of machine guns, it carried one 500-pound bomb. (That's a quarter of a ton!)

The pilot of the Dauntless would fly at a high altitude, then preform a nose-dive drop toward it's target before releasing the bomb strait at it. Hence it's name, "dive bomber". Both sides had dive bombers, the Japanese favorite being the Aichi D3A "Val" dive bomber, used extensively in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Dauntless, unlike many other early American planes, could effectively match what the Japanese could throw at it, many thanks to it's rearward-mounted machine gun.

"Bombs away!" The Dauntless saw extensive service in the battle of Guadalcanal and Midway, America's first land and sea victories against the Japanese Imperial forces in 1942.

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