Vought SB2U Vindicator Color Photographs Part I

Filming is underway for the Warner Brother’s film “Dive Bomber” aboard the USS Enterprise (CV-6) at San Diego, the following photographs are from that film. Enterprise has her flight deck stained Mahogany with yellow markings, she would have her deck stained Dark Blue in July 1941.
An SB2U-1 of VB-3 “Black Panthers” displays the colorful “Yellow Wings” scheme in use prior to December 1940. The white tail indicates an aircraft assigned to USS Saratoga (CV-3).
A close-up of the nose of a Black Panther SB2U-1, the solid red nose indicating the aircraft of the squadron commander. It would also carry a red fuselage stripe indicating a section leader and wing stripes in the section color.
A view of the undersides showing placement of the wing insignia. Note the yellow upper wing color wraps around the leading edge of the wing to ensure smooth airflow. The elongated pods under each wing are practice bomb dispensers used for training.
A fine shot of 3-B-3 from above showing the upper wing markings. The angled stipes on the vertical tail are to aid the Landing Signals Officer in determining the aircraft’s approach angle when landing aboard a carrier.
3-B-3 landing at NAS North Island at San Diego. The Vindicator had semi-retractable landing gear which rotated 90 degrees into wells under the wings.
The apron at NAS North Island packed full of carrier aircraft. In the left foreground is the squadron commander’s SB2U-1 Vindicator of VB-3 assigned to USS Saratoga. The first aircraft to the right is a Northrop BT-1 assigned to USS Enterprise as indicated by the blue tail.
VB-3 Vindicators warm up on the apron at North Island. The top hat markings were carried for filming of the movie “Dive Bomber”.
The VB-3 squadron commander’s Vindicator is in the foreground in this view, with a Northrop BT-1 in the background.

In this scene from “Dive Bomber” SB2U Vindicators prepare to launch from the carrier while Douglas Devastators with folded wings warm up astern. The white tails indicate aircraft assigned to USS Saratoga, but the USS Enterprise was used for filming.

Vindicators warm up on deck, revealing several details of the Yellow Wings paint scheme. In the background a Curtis SBC Helldiver is seen in the overall Light Gray scheme authorized on 30DEC40.

Part II here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2021/02/03/vought-sb2u-vindicator-color-photographs-part-ii/


8 thoughts on “Vought SB2U Vindicator Color Photographs Part I

  1. Dive Bomber is an interesting movie. You can see how many times actors light up cigarettes one after another. On another note the scenes with the planes are completely breathtaking…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dive Bomber was a two-hour cigarette ad with pauses to show aircraft. Even the flight surgeon was chain smoking! The other thing which struck me was the x-ray machine shooting exposures on the line of guys in the open room with no shielding.


  2. Just art reflecting life Pierre, that’s how it was back then, and up until the 80’s.
    Thanks for posting these Jeff, I have three of the SH kits in the stash. I love late 30’s a/c designs.

    Liked by 1 person

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