Douglas SBD Dauntless: the US Navy’s venerable diver bomber

The Douglas SBD Dauntless was the venerable American naval diver bomber of World War 2 and is perhaps best known for destroying the heart of the unbeaten Japanese aircraft carrier fleet of the war — the Kido Butai.

In just six minutes, they handed the Japanese a blow from which they would never recover. They destroyed the Japanese aircraft carriers during the Battle of Midway the Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū, and then later on in the day the remaining Hiryū (plus a heavy cruiser for good measure). Nearly 6,000 were produced and the last of them were retired in Mexico in 1959.

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