The SBD Dauntless and the Battle of Midway Come to Living Aviation History

Photo by Steve Chapis

The SBD Dauntless and its crucial role in the Battle of Midway will be featured Nov. 18 at this month’s Living Aviation History Days program, a series presented by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing Warbird Museum. The program will begin at 11 a.m. at the Museum hangar, 1200 Echo Ct., Peachtree City, Ga., adjacent to Atlanta Regional Airport – Falcon Field. Admission is $10, with veterans and active military members admitted free.

Retired CIA officer and U.S. Navy submariner Rick Ector will review the development of the SBD Dauntless dive bomber and examine the details of the decisive Battle of Midway. Ector, a WII historian and curator of the Dixie Wing Warbird Museum, brings a mix of video, unique interactive digital features and a panel of SBD pilots to tell the story of the SBD’s development, the Battle of Midway and the flying characteristics of this famous warbird.

U.S. Navy Douglas SBD-3 “Dauntless” dive bombers from scouting squadron VS-8 from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) approaching the burning Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma to make the third set of attacks on her, during the Battle of Midway, 6 June 1942. Mikuma had been hit earlier by strikes from Hornet and USS Enterprise (CV-6), leaving her dead in the water and fatally damaged. Note bombs hung beneath the SBDs. U.S. Navy photo

“Dramatic events were commonplace in World War II, but few were more dramatic than the Battle of Midway,” Ector said. “Midway initially promised to be a strategic intelligence success, yet it nearly ended in a tactical disaster save for a fortuitous sighting at a critical moment. The battle’s climactic phase lasted just eight minutes, when three U.S. Navy SBD squadrons struck a blow from which the Imperial Japanese Navy never recovered.”

For more information about Living Aviation History Days or the CAF Dixie Wing Warbird Museum, please go to

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