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Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless

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This object is on display in the Sea-Air Operations exhibition at the National Mall building.


The Douglas SBD Dauntless was one of the truly great aircraft of World War II. It played a major role throughout the Pacific. On June 4, 1942, during the Battle of Midway, SBDs destroyed four Japanese carriers, dramatically altering the course of the war.

The SBD's design was based on the Northrop BT-1, but with engine and structural changes. Production orders were placed in April 1939, with all SBD-1s going to U.S. Marine Corps units. Subsequent models were sent to Navy squadrons, with each succeeding model carrying such improvements as increased fuel capacity, illuminated gunsights, and armor plates for the crew. England, New Zealand, and France also used SBDs. The SBD-6 was the last production model, with 450 built.

This SBD-6 carries the markings of VS-51 (Navy scout squadron), which operated in the Pacific during World War II.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company

Date: 1940

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: Overall: 13ft 8 15/16in. x 40ft 9in., 10555.6lb., 54ft 2in. (4.19m x 12.42m, 4788kg, 16.51m)

Physical Description:Single engine, low wing, carrier based scout/dive bomber.Both sides of fuselage: "109," U. S. star and bar insignia. On the tail, "Navy" and U. S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics number "54605" and "SBD-4" in white. Wings have U. S. star and bar insignia.

Inventory number: A19610109000

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