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SBD-2 Dauntless "White 2-B-6", BuNo 4628, VMSB-232, Ewa Mooring Field, Territory of Hawaii, 7 Dec., 1941
General Background
The Douglas “Dauntless” was the workhorse for the US Navy during the WWII. This “Slow but Deadly” dive-bomber was the only plane that had fight in every major Pacific conflicts. Although it had been considered obsolete in 1941 already, the Dauntless was used until 1944 and undertook the last major conflict in the Battle of Philippine Sea. A total of 5,936 SBDs were produced in WWII.
The Aircraft
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. On July 1, 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.
Specifications :
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
Crew: Pilot and gunner/radio operator



Length: 32 ft., 8 in.
Height: 13 ft., 7 in.
Wingspan: 41ft., 6 in.
Empty: 6,345 lb.
Gross: 10,400 lb.
Powerplant: One 1,000 horsepower Wright R-1820-52
Maximum Speed: 250 M.P.H.
Maximum Range with Bomb Load: 1,345 miles
Service Ceiling: 27,100 ft.
Armament: Two fixed forward-firing .50-in. guns,
Two flexible-mounted rear-firing .30-in. guns,1,200 lb. of ordnance