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"I am writing regarding the P-51A... (Serial #). She was sitting on jacks at Cal Aero Tech when I attended A/C maintenance training there in June of 1951. I often felt sadness for that aircraft, as I was sure it was destined for the bone yard. You cannot imagine the thrill it gave me to run across your museum and see her so beautiful and know she was safe. It made me misty-eyed. I honor you for maintaining a beautiful legacy."
James H., Clarkson, WA
James H., Clarkson, WA
- It started its career at Pearl Harbor in October 1943. From there it went to Espiritu Santo in the South Pacific in March of '44 and was assigned to 25 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. During its brief service with the RNZAF, it flew 32 combat missions from Bougainville. In May of that year it was returned to the U.S. Navy at Russell Island and departed for San Diego in June.
- Best known for its dive bombing success against the Japanese during the Battle of Midway during World War II. Armed with two forward-firing .50-caliber ma- chine guns and flexible twin .30-caliber guns aft, the SBD was well defended while diving on a target with its typical configuration of a 500- or 1,000-pound bomb.
- In 1958, museum founder Ed Maloney obtained Planes of Fame Air Museum's SBD Dauntless from a Hollywood film studio, minus its wings.
- Restoration of the SBD by the Museum began in 1982 and was completed in 1987.
- The museum's SBD is an actual combat veteran.
- This aircraft is currently the only true Navy SBD Dauntless flown regularly.
- This Dauntless was used in the movie Midway, with Charlton Heston being filmed in the cockpit.
|Status: Flyable||Length: 33 ft. 1 in.|
|Manufacturer: Douglas||Height: 13 ft. 7 in.|
|Year: 1943||Maximum Speed: 255 mph|
|Model: SBD Dauntless||Cruise Speed: 185 mph|
|Serial Number: 28536||Power Plant: 1, 1,200-hp Wright R-1820-60 Cyclone 9-cylinder
air-cooled radial engine
|Crew: 2||Range: 1,115 miles|
|Max T/O Weight: 10,700lb.||Service Ceiling: 25,530 ft.|
|Span: 41 ft. 6 in.||Armament: Two fixed foreward firing .50-cal & two flexible .30-cal rear