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Osprey Combat Aircraft 10 : SBD Dauntless Units of World War 2

Unquestionably the most successful dive-bomber ever to see frontline service with any air arm, the Douglas SBD Dauntless was the scourge of the Japanese Imperial Fleet in the crucial years of the Pacific War. 54 SBDs from the carriers Enterprise and Yorktown destroyed the heart of Adm Yamamoto's successful Pearl Harbour task force at the pivotal Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942, sending four large carriers to a watery grave in the course of just 24 hours - a defeat that the Japanese never fully recovered from. The revolutionary all-metal stressed-skin design of the SBD exhibited airframe strength that made it an ideal dive-bomber, its broad wing, with horizontal centre section and sharply tapered outer panels with dihedral, boasting perforated split flaps that doubled as dive brakes during the steep bombing attacks. The SBD-3 was the version most used in combat, some 584 airframes flown from carrier decks or island bases in the battles for Guadalcanal, Coral Sea and Midway. This book examines the aircraft's impressive war record by charting its frontline career with the Navy throughout the Pacific conflict, and describes the fighting experience of the Marine Corps, Royal New Zealand Air Force and Free French air force. Text by Barrett Tillman with illustrations by Tom Tullis.

    Contents
  • The Scout-Bombing Mission
  • Early Combat
  • Coral Sea and Midway
  • Guadalcanal and the Solomons
  • Centra Pacific and the Philippines
  • Banshees and Foreign Dauntlesses
  • Perspective
  • Appendices

 

Osprey Combat Aircraft


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