Douglas SBD-5 'Dauntless'


  Base model:SBD
  Designation System:U.S. Navy / Marines
  Designation Period:1934-1946
  Basic role:Scout Bomber
  Crew:Pilot and observer/rear gunner

  Length: 33' 1" 10.0 m
  Height:13' 7" 4.1 m
  Wingspan: 41' 6" 12.6 m
  Wingarea: 325.0 sq ft 30.0 sq m
  Empty Weight: 6,404 lb 2,905 kg
  Gross Weight: 10,676 lb 4,852 kg
  Max Weight: 10,700 lb 4,853 kg

  No. of Engines: 1
  Powerplant: Wright R-1820-60
  Horsepower (each): 1200

  Range: 1,115 miles 1,795 km
  Cruise Speed: 185 mph 298 km/h 161 kt
  Max Speed: 255 mph 410 km/h 221 kt
  Climb: 1,700 ft/min 518 m/min
  Ceiling: 25,530 ft 7,780 m

Known serial numbers
10807 / 11066, 28059 / 28829, 28831 / 29213, 35922 / 35949, 35951 / 36421, 36433 / 36932 , 54050 / 54599

Examples of this type may be found at
Lone Star Flight MuseumGalvestonTexas
National Museum of Naval AviationNAS PensacolaFlorida
The Air Museum "Planes of Fame"ChinoCalifornia
United States Marine Corps Air/Ground MuseumQuanticoVirginia

SBD-5 on display

Lone Star Flight Museum

The Air Museum

The Air Museum "Planes of Fame"


Recent comments by our visitors
 Bill Willis
 Chino, CA
Could some give me the name of the janitor who suggested the flap design on the SBD
11/06/2015 @ 18:35 [ref: 69307]
 D. Howerton
 Dyersburg, TN
Navy Lt Stanley "Swede" Vajtasi's harrowing encounter with three Japanese Zeros should have been a "heads up" warning to Naval air staffers and Douglas engineers that the rear gunner on Dauntless aircraft was a design error for that aircraft. They ought to have concluded the gunnery position should have been deleted because in hard maneuvering where high "G" forces are common, it is impossible for the gunner to operate his .30cal machine guns. And facing rearward, the weapons were all but useless as offensive weapons. Emphasis should have been put on saving weight and aerodynamic streamlining to increase the dive bomber's speed. In combat, speed is life, and the Dauntless was woefully slow.
07/31/2013 @ 15:15 [ref: 67991]
 D. Howerton
 Dyersburg, TN
With a 185mph cruise speed it could be confidently said the Dauntless sure wasn't fast, but it sure was slow. Most damage to the aircraft probably resulted from bird strikes to the rear of the plane. The Dauntless, nonetheless, is reported to have sunk more ships than any other warbird...very, very slowly to be sure. It's legacy is that it was a tough old bird that did its duty for our nation.
12/04/2011 @ 14:32 [ref: 50977]
 William D (Bill) Jackson
 Norfolk, VA
I am trying to find information on MAG22 VMSB 231. My wife had an uncle (2nd Lt. Clyde Vandusen) that flew and was killed in an SBD-5 Dauntless (BUNO 28303) off Midway 15 Oct. 1943. His Radio/Gunner PFC. Eugene W Hambrecht surived the crash. We do not know for sure if he was flying off of Midway Island or a Carrier. Any information about Lt Vandusen, PFC. Hambrecht, or MAG-22 VMSB 231 would be appreciated.

William D (Bill) Jackson
3709 Buckingham Stree
Norfolk Va. 23513
06/05/2009 @ 12:52 [ref: 24221]
 Abe v.d.Bijl
 Leeuwarden, OTH
I am searching for the registration of a SBD-5 Dauntless, who was crashed during a training mission in Watsonville near the Pajaro River in north Monterey County,CA.
The plane and the crew stationed on a naval air base in the Central Valley.
The plane belongs to the VB-18 Squadron also the both crewmen,they also died in the crash.
The both crewmen of that plane where Ens.Delbert C.Goodspeed and 2nd Class Robert Henry Paulson.
02/27/2009 @ 09:42 [ref: 23828]
 Bob Miller
 Gaston, SC
My father flew a USMC SBD in WW2. His squadron was transporting new aircraft from Espirito Santo to New Caledonia on 1 April 44 when 2 of them went down in a severe storm just SW of Espirito Santo. One went up and one down to see if there was a break in the weather. Neither aircraft or pilot was seen again. Oddly enough, both were named Miller, they were the only pilots that had passengers(hitchhiking to New Caledonia), they were the only married men in the group and both wives were expecting babies (including me). Both names appear together A.R. and C.W. Miller) on the wall of the missing at the Punch Bowl memorial in Hawaii. A few years ago I talked to a pilot who was directly behind my dad in the formation and he described the incident to me in detail. He was the last person to see my father. Very spooky conversation, but I'm so glad we talked after all those years. These 2 guys had trained, shipped out and were about to go north into combat when they were killed.
01/09/2009 @ 09:35 [ref: 23452]
 Frank Brooks
 Fort Johnson, NY
Can you tell me the color names (specs) for the Pacific theater paint scheme? I am working on a 1/9 scale of the Dauntless and would like to paint the plane in the right colors.
04/10/2008 @ 04:57 [ref: 20412]
 , DE
I was wondering do you know abot the sbd5 in the smithsonian air and space musuem plane number 109

03/21/2008 @ 17:41 [ref: 20226]
 , TX
Thank you so much for providing this site. I am sitting here with my dad, who is now 83 and slipping away quickly. He was the radio-gunner on an SBD on Ford Island shortly after the attack at Pearl Harbor, on patrol duty. Altho he doesn't understand the internet, sitting here with him looking at the pics and exploring the links has truly been an emotional experience for both of us.

Thank you so very much for the joy we just experienced!

03/12/2008 @ 15:48 [ref: 19993]
 Edward J. Gillespie
 East Lansing, MI

As a salute to my friend, Marine Harold A. Clemetsen, an individual who flew the Dauntless 5 while in the South Pacific (Emirau) during WWII, I've created a website to share his hundreds of photos. Please feel free to visit it at www.vmsb243.com Just started this effort so I'll be adding photos on a regular basis for the next several months. Ed Gillespie-East Lansing, Michigan.

06/16/2007 @ 12:31 [ref: 16850]


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