Douglas SBD Dauntless Color Photographs Part 2

SBDColorLIFE11
More color Dauntless photographs.  First is yet another from the LIFE magazine series posted last week, which I missed last time.
SBD_12
The same flight as the LIFE color photographs, but a different photographer and this time in black and white.  A nice overhead view and an incredibly tight formation.  Note that black 2 has the “Eight Ball” marking.
SBDColorVS5_13
A stacked formation of Dauntlesses from the USS Yorktown (CV-5) seen in the pre-war overall light gray scheme.
SBDColorVS5_14
Another Yorktown SBD from Scouting Five showing details of the overall gray scheme.  A nicely-composed picture but from an obviously damaged negative.
SBDColor_15
An SBD with her tailhook down the moment before recovering aboard a carrier.
SBDColor_VB4Ranger_16
Another landing photograph, this time aboard the USS Ranger (CV-4).  Modelers should note the color and wear of the flight deck stain.  US carrier decks were stained in the last few months before the war.
SBDColor_17
A flight deck crewman attaches a ground wire to prevent static discharge while refueling.  The large yellow numbers indicate a training aircraft.  The numbers were repeated on both sides of the fuselage, the upper surface of the starboard wing and the underside of the port wing.
SBDColor_18
Another view of a different SBD being refueled.  The red outlines to the national insignia were only used for a only few months during the summer of 1943, effectively dating the photograph.
SBDColor_19
A fine atmospheric shot of an SBD on an atoll “somewhere in the Pacific”.
SBDColorVS37_20
SBDs of VS-37 in the Atlantic anti-submarine scheme.  Something a bit different for modelers tired of the blue Pacific schemes.
SBDColor_21
A nice study of a war-weary SBD in use by a training command.  Interesting details are the fresh outlines to the faded national insignia and the replacement cowling with the graded camo scheme.  The fading and paint wear present an interesting challenge for an experienced modeler.
SBDColor_22
The underside of the same aircraft seen in the previous photograph.  Multiple views of the same aircraft are comparatively rare but quite useful when found.

Part III here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2020/03/11/douglas-sbd-dauntless-color-photographs-part-3/

7 thoughts on “Douglas SBD Dauntless Color Photographs Part 2

    1. It’s quite possible. The red outline was very unpopular due to the possibility of any red being mistaken for the Japanese Hinomaru. Some units refused to paint the red outlines at all, and those that did paint them generally went over them with the blue as soon as it was authorized.

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  1. Richard Harmer was with Yorktown Scouting Five. I trying to get more info from his son to make sure when he was with that squadron. It was before 1942.

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    1. The overall Light Gray camouflage scheme for shipboard aircraft was short-lived, officially authorized only from 30DEC40 to 20AUG41. That should give you a time frame for the photographs. Hope this helps.

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