Built by Douglas in El Segundo, California. During June 1943, delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as SBD-5 Dauntless 28536. Disassembled and shipped overseas to New Zealand as part of lend lease.
During April 1944, delivered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Dauntless serial number NZ5062. Reassembled by No. 25 Servicing Unit. Assigned to 25 Squadron. Nicknamed "Francois".
On March 25, 1944 flown to Piva Airfield (Piva Uncle) on Bougainville. This SBD flew 30 combat missions including missions against the Rabaul area. On May 20, 1944 assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) and later shipped back to the United States.
This aircraft was purchased by MGM Studios, Culver City, CA and used as a wind machine.
During 1968, purchased by Ed Maloney founder of The Air Museum / Planes Of Fame. Stored in Claremont, California. n 1976, Charlton Heston was filmed sitting in the cockpit during the production of Midway (1976).
Restored to airworthy beginning in 1982. The wings used in the restoration were recovered from Guadalcanal. First flight on July 2, 1987 and registered with the FAA as N670AM. On September 8, 1987 this aircraft took off from USS Lexington (CV-16). Also used in the television series War And Remembrance (1988).
Today, painted in the markings of the U. S. Navy with fuselage number 39. This SBD often performs in air shows. When not flying, stored in the U. S. Navy hanger at the Planes Of Fame Museum.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - SBD-5 Dauntless 28536
ADF Serials - NZ Serials - Dauntless NZ5062
FAA Registry SBD Dauntless 28536
Thanks to Mark Foster and Ed Maloney for additional information
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January 9, 2018