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SBD Dauntless - Naval Aviation Centennial

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SBD Dauntless flyby at Centennial Celebration

SBD Dauntless during flyby at Naval Aviation Centenial February 12, 2011

The SBD dauntless dive bomber to the left was part of the "Parade of Flight" during the celebration of 100 years of Naval Aviation. It is painted in a tri-color camoflague consisting of two shades of blue and a light gray which was the scheme used in the Pacific during mid World War II. The tail hook and rod is visible in front of the tail wheel.  This assembly is hinged on the front end, and would swing down to catch the arresting wire on the aircraft carrier deck. I believe this is the aircraft from Palm Springs Air Museum.

The SBD Dauntless dive bomber saw its first action during the Battle of the Coral Sea and is well know for its role in the Battle of Midway. One notable exploit in an SDB Dauntless was that made by "Swede" Vejtasa during the Battle of the Coral Sea, when his patrol was ambushed by Japanese Zeros. Vejtas was able to shoot down three enemy aircraft during the attack. He later flew F4F Wildcats and is reportedly the only World War II carrier pilot to receive Navy Crosses for both dive bombing and aerial combat.

The short video clip below was taken during the Naval Aviation Centennial "Parade of Flight".