Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA0171 Douglas SBD-1 BuNo 1597, Squadron Commander of VMB-2,
US Marine Corps, San Diego, 1940

Designed as a light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, various versions of the Dauntless served during the war with the US Marine Corps, Army and Navy. The US Military initially ordered 144 Douglas Dauntless SBD-1s with only 57 actually being produced; the remaining 87 were modified to SBD-2 standards. The Douglas Dauntless was the workhorse of the US Navy in the Pacific and was the only plane to fight in every major Pacific engagement. Production ended in July 1944 with a total of 5,936 had been built in all versions.

The new Douglas SBD-1 Dauntless was found to be unacceptable by the USN because they didn’t have self-sealing fuel tanks, no crew armor protection, poor fuel capacity limiting its range. The SBD-1 was disposed of in the usual way, sent to the USMC. The SBD-1 was the first mono- plane in Marine Corps service with Marine VMB-2 “Red Devils” being the first unit to receive them in late 1940. In July 1941 VMB-2 became VMSB-232. SBD-1 BuNo. 1597 entered service in 1940 and was withdrawn from use on March 15, 1944.

Douglas SBD-1 Dauntless specifications
Role – Scout/Dive Bomber
Production – 57
Operator – USMC
Dimensions
Length – 32 ft 2 in
Wingspan – 41 ft 6 in
Height – 13 ft 7 in
Weight
Empty – 5,903 lb
Maximum – 9,790 lb
Performance
Engine – 1 x R-1820-32, 1,000 hp
Rate Of Climb – 1,730 fpm
Service Ceiling – 29,600 ft
Speed
Cruising – 142 mph
Maximum – 253 mph
Range
Bombing – 860 miles
Scouting – 1,165 miles
Armament
Guns
Fixed – 2 x .30 Cal
Flexible – 1 x .30 Cal
Bombs – Maximum 1,200 lb