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  SBD-5 Dauntless Bureau Number 36035  
USMC
VMSB-331
"Doodlebugs"


Robert Stitt 1975

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas Aircraft Company in El Segundo, California. Constructors Number 4674. On September 23, 1943 Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as SBD-5 Dauntless bureau number 38035.

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 331 "Doodlebugs" (VMSB-331). No known nickname or nose art. This aircraft was based on Nanumea Airfield.

Mission History
On November 27, 1943 at dusk took off from Nanumea Airfield pilot and gunner unknown on an overnight patrol mission until dawn of the next morning. One of the main undercarriage legs failed to extend and the pilot was made a forced landing. The pilot was unhurt. Afterwards, this Dauntless was written off and abandoned at the airfield.

Wreckage
Until the middle of the 1970s, the fuselage of this SBD-5 with the wings removed remained in situ at the overgrown airfield.

References
Some sources list the date of this force landing as 11/25/43, others 11/27/43
Navy Serial Number Search Results - SBD-5 Dauntless 36035
"36035 (VMSB-331) wheels up landing on Nanomea 11/27/1943."
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List November 1943 - 11/25/43 SBD-5 36035 VMSB-331 Nukufetau
Thanks to Robert Stitt for additional information.

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Last Updated
November 30, 2018

 

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