Air Power Series>1:72 die-cast display model>SBD>HA0160

Douglas SBD-5 Major Christian Lee, VMS-3, USS Virgin Islands 1944
General Background
The SBD-5 Dauntless was the best variant built with 2,965 aircraft being built. Even with its upgrades there was one major stumbling block for this plane and that was its lack of folding wings. As the USN built more and more carriers for their offensive against Japan this problem became even larger. So after the invasion of the Mariannas the USN SBDs were assigned to secondary land based operations where they spent the rest of WWII.
The Aircraft
Prior to WWII the USMC had three Marine Scouting Squadrons with only one stationed east of the USA. VMS-3 known as the "Devilbirds" were located in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands where their task was to deploy on anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic during 1943-44. The last aircraft type used by VMS-3 prior to the end of WWII was the Douglas SBD Dauntless. The S-1 of Major Christian Lee is a fine example of an Atlantic color scheme of insignia white and blue-grey.
Specifications :
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
Crew: 2 (pilot, observer/gunner)



Length: 33'1" 10.0m)
Height: 13'7" (4.1m)
Wingspan: 41'6" (12.6m)
Wing area: 325.0 sq. ft. (30.0 sq.m)
Empty weight: 6,404 lb (2,905 kg)
Gross weight: 10,676 lb (4,853 kg
Powerplant: 1 X Wright R-1820-60 1,200 hp
Range: 1,115 miles (1,795 km)
Cruising speed: 185 mph (298 km/h) (161 kt)
Maximum speed: 255 mph (410 km/h) (221 kt)
Climb rate: 1,700 ft/min (518 m/min)
Ceiling: 25,530 ft (7,780 m)
Armament: 2 X 0.50 inch MGs in upper nose
2 X 0.30 inch movable MGs rearward firing from rear cockpit
up to 2,250 lb of bombs – 1 X 1,600 lb
or 1,000 center-line bomb – 2 X 325 lb under wing