Douglas' SBD Dauntless was the Navy's go-to dive bomber in the early phases of the War in the Pacific and as such was responsible for a large percentage of Japanese naval losses. In spite of its importance in the Pacific, the SBD didn't get a lot of press in the magazines in my collection. Much of this was probably related to the fact that the Dauntless was the Navy's tool in the Pacific, while the government was holding public focus on the Army's campaign in Europe (through the USAAC/USAAF), because Germany was considered the priority enemy.
The only Design Analysis article [ HTML ] was one from Air Tech magazine and is, as was typical for the articles in that magazine, relatively brief.
- "Hit and run" [ HTML ] goes into Marauder strikes and joint Havoc-Marauder raids out of England.
- A Pesco (pumps) ad in the "Performance Controls the Air" series features a color painting of an SBD diving on a Japanese capital ship. View is from 7 o'clock. Painting has no rear gunner. Insigne is large star-in-circle.
- "Marine Wings" is a four-photo color Gallery which includes 2 photos of SBDs:
- Four SBDs in flight, seen from 10 o'clock.
- Two SBDs on a flight deck; one seen from 10 o'clock, the other from 5 o'clock.
- The BF Goodrich Airplane of the month for June, 1943, "Douglas Dauntless," features a color painting of an SBD dropping its 500-lb bomb. Dive flaps are deployed. Insigne is large star-in-circle on fuselage.
- Labeled cutaway drawing "bid illustration" of SBD
- exploded assembly breakdown drawing with parts IDs
- The Air Tech Design Analysis article [ HTML ] includes 5 diagrams:
Something somewhat confusing in the printed photos is that the forward antenna mast may appear on either side of the forward fuselage. All of the drawings, however, indicate that the antenna mast was on the left side of the fuselage ahead of the cockpit.
- A news clip with photo, "Better than the Stukas,
.," shows an SBD in early livery on hardstand, seen from 8 o'clock. Tail numbers are not quite legible.
- The "Have You Seen?" section for March, 1941, compares bomb trapezes on SBD Dauntless and Ju-87 Stuka. SBD-1 is shown in flight, seen from 10 o'clock.
- The "Have You Seen?" section for April, 1942, shows a Dauntless in flight seen from 1 o'clock, with a Lexington-class carrier in the background.
- The front cover of Flying and Popular Aviation for May, 1942 [ photo ] shows an SBD in khaki, seen from 2 o'clock. Plane has "meatball" insignia, group markings 5-S-14.
- A Fafnir Ball Bearings ad, "One of the world's toughest dive bombers!," shows an SBD in early livery. View is from 9 o'clock.
- A Douglas ad, "The World's Hardest Hitting Dive Bomber," shows an SBD from 2 o'clock high. Plane has large star-in-circle insignia, twin rear machine guns, no front cockpit gunsight. Quite a bit of left rudder is dialed in.
- A color Gallery photo, "Outward Bound," shows an SBD on a carrier flight deck, seen from 8 o'clock high. Paint on the upper wing surfaces is dramatically faded. Insignia are large star-in-circle. Photo appears to be reversed. Antenna has atypical connection to upper wing instead of to vertical fin.
The same photo, flipped left-for-right [ photo ] should be a more accurate depiction of the plane. The caption, however, is fanciful, since deck crew are working inside access panels on the aft fuselage and the engine is not running.
- A color Gallery photo, "Dauntlesses," shows 3 SBDs flying in formation, seen from 2 o'clock. Insignia are large star-in-circle. Underwing bomb racks, centerline trapeze and arresting hook are all visible.
- A Gallery photo, "Good Hunting," shows 4 SBDs flying in formation. Foreground plane is seen from 10 o'clock. Insignia are large star-in-circle. Foreground plane appears to have antenna wires to both upper wing and vertical fin.
- A White-Rodgers Electric Co ad, "Make them more and more automatic," shows 3 SBDs in echelon right. View is from 10 o'clock. Insignia are large star-in-circle.
- A color Gallery photo, "Popular in AAF as well as Navy is Douglas Dauntless dive bomber, shows an A-24 in flight, wearing mottle camouflage. Plane has large star-in-circle insignia. Tail number is A 505, cowl number is 0864.
- An Interstate ad, "Both motor and pilot Keep Cool," shows an SBD from 2 o'clock low, showing nearly the whole underside of the plane. Insignia are large star-and-bar, shown under both wings.
- The Air Tech Design Analysis article [ HTML ] includes 3 photos:
- SBD in flight, seen from 2 o'clock; plane has underwing bomb, oversized white star in blue circle insigne on fuselage, adjacent to rear cockpit; blue over grey camouflage. [ photo ]
- SBD in flight seen from 2 o'clock; blue over grey camouflage; small white star in blue circle insigne on fuselage, aft near stabilizer; single machine gun deployed in rear cockpit; Lexington-class carrier in background. [ photo ]
- SBDs arrayed on flight deck of a carrier; planes are in light-colored finish with "meatball" insignia. [ photo ]
- A detail photo from a US Rubber ad shows deck crew bombing up an SBD with a 1000-lb bomb on the trapeze. View is from deck level, just forward of the left wing fold.
- A Kenyon Instrument Co ad, "Jap sinker No 1," shows an SBD from 10 o'clock low, showing the whole underside. Insigne is large star-and-bar.
- A color Gallery photo, "Dauntlesses returning to their carrier from a dive-bombing mission," shows 3 SBDs flying formation. View is from 8 o'clock low. Plalnes have star-and-bar insignia. Group numbers D-S-11, D-S-52, D-S-68.
Foreground plane (D-S-52) has large star-in-circle insigne under left wing; other planes lack underwing insignia. D-S-52 also has unusual underwing masts that appear to be antennas.
- A Gallery photo, "Wake," shows 2 SBDs flying in formation over ocean. Planes have star-and-bar insignia, including insignia under right wing. Background plane (marked 14) has larger underwing insigne. 14 also has underwing mast, apparently an antenna.
Caption reads: "Returning to their carrier from a raid on Wake Island, these Dauntlesses dive-bombed enemy installations with their 1,000-lb bombs."
- A Doak Aircraft Co ad, "Vicious Circle," shows an SBD from 4 o'clock, seen across the wing of another SBD flying formation. Planes are probably SBD-5s large star-and-bar insignia, twin aft-machine-gun mount.
- A Gallery photo, "Turning Home," shows 2 SBDs in the pattern to land on a carrier. View is from 4 o'clock low. Planes have star-and-bar insignia with large star-and-bar on underside of right wing. Planes have group numbers 18, 6; 6 has a structure under lefthand outer wing panel.
- A Duotone photo shows 3 SBDs in formation over a seaport town.