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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. 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 (VMSB-331) "Doodlebugs". No known nickname or nose art. During late 1943, this aircraft operated from Nanumea Airfield.

Mission History
On November 27, 1943 at dusk took off from Nanumea Airfield with an unknown pilot and gunner on an overnight patrol mission. Returning at dawn on November 28, 1943 one of the main undercarriage legs failed to extend and the pilot made a successful forced landing. Neither the pilot or gunner was hurt. Afterwards, this Dauntless was written off and abandoned at the airfield.

Wreckage
Until the early 1970s, this aircraft remained in situ at Nanumea Airfield and the fuselage with wings removed remains near the runway overgrown.

References
Some sources list the date of this force landing as 11/25/43, others 11/27/43 and the location as Nukufetau.
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 - SBD-5 Dauntless 36035
"11/25/43 SBD-5 36035 VMSB-331 Nukufetau"
Thanks to Robert Stitt for additional information

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Last Updated
November 9, 2019

 

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