Popularly known as the Douglas Dauntless, the U.S. Navy's SBD dive bomber was well named. The Dauntless turned the tide of war in the Pacific with the destruction of four Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway and made its mark in aviation history by sinking more enemy carriers than any other aircraft. Still in service at war's end, the Dauntless was the only U.S. carrier aircraft in operation from Pearl Harbor to V-J Day. The Dauntless was the only American Navy aircraft to fly in all five of the naval engagements fought exclusively by aircraft carriers and was credited with sinking the first Japanese fleet submarine and dropping the first bombs on Japanese-occupied soil during the war. The SBD was also active in the Atlantic, sinking Vichy French ships at Casablanca and German vessels in Scandinavian waters.
In between his authoritative accounts of these missions, Barrett Tillman tells the rousing story of the men who took the "slow but deadly" Dauntless into combat, loving her for her ruggedness and dependability while wishing for more speed and firepower. Filled with fascinating photographs, this book was widely acclaimed in 1976 when first published and is now available for the first time in paperback.
Barrett Tillman, the son of an SBD Marine pilot, learned to fly when he was a teenager and helped restore the Dauntless now on exhibit at the Marine Corps Museum at Quantico, Virginia. He is also the author of Corsair, Hellcat, MiG Master,and Wildcat.
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