The Curtiss Helldiver, despite
a reputation for being difficult to handle at low speeds, was
responsible for the destruction of more Japanese targets than
any other aircraft. Joining the Douglas
SBD Dauntless as the primary attack/bombing planes for the
US Navy. The plane was so valuable in the Pacific theater that
the Navy accepted nearly every plane produced.
The Curtiss SB2C single-engine dive-bomber
joined the fleet late in 1943, with its first combat mission over Rabaul on November 11, 1943.
USAAF designation for the Helldiver.
A total of 26 aircraft (out of 450 ordered) were delivered to the British Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, where they were known as the Curtiss Helldiver I. Postwar, surplus aircraft were sold to the navies of other countries.
7,000 were built during WWII.