Best dive-bomber of the pacific

Discussion in 'Polls' started by tbfighterpilot, Dec 15, 2011.

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What was the best dive-bomber in the pacific theater?

Poll closed Dec 19, 2013.
  1. Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

    20.8%
  2. Douglas SBD Dauntless

    54.2%
  3. Yokosuka D4Y Judy

    8.3%
  4. Aichi D3A Val

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Other

    16.7%
  1. tbfighterpilot

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    What was the best dive-bomber of the pacific theater in WWII, between the Val, Judy, SBD, SB2C, or anything else?
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Best in performace or what it achieved?
     
  3. tbfighterpilot

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    Both performance and what it achieved.
     
  4. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    I voted "Other" 'cos you missed the Vengeance off the list. It did outstanding work in Burma - very accurate, carried a decent load and was reliable and rugged in combat conditions. Now I accept that Burma wasn't really "the Pacific" but it's close enough for me...and since there were no other dive bombers in CBI except, perhaps, a few A-36s, we should include it.
     
  5. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    RAAF Vengeances saw action in New Guinea and over New Britain, so it definatley qualifies.
     
  6. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wildcat,

    I thought you'd be on my side! Thanks for the additional info. I'd forgotten about those other operational areas. Hope you're proud of me, though, for not including the Wirraway's dive bombing efforts in Malaya! :D

    Cheers,
    Bravo-November
     
  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    A fearsome dive bomber if there ever was one! :) On the Vengeance, here is some nice footage of IAF/RAF aircraft in Burma

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4ohwlL_QhI
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    And the Vengence accomplished what in the naval role?

    The war in the Pacific was primarily a naval war. Anything that sinks ships will win the land war.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Lack of adequate fighter escort prevented this fine dive bomber from achieving it's full potential but it was probably the best CV based dive bomber of WWII.
     
  10. Arossihman

    Arossihman Member

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    I'm compelled to vote helldiver here. Sure it had some issues but it had good armament,internal bombays ,and was faster than the dauntless. Itwas involved in the final push to destroy the japanese navy although the dauntless held the line in those critical early days and performed very well and was well liked by its crews.
     
  11. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Add the F4U to the list.
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Could all F4Us bomb accurately or just the Korean War AU-1 variant?
     
  13. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    #13 Catch22, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
    All of them could, though in WW2 the -1D was more effective due to an increase in hardpoints. The AU-1 simply had high performance components removed from the engine, but otherwise the only difference between it and the -5 were upgraded bomb racks and increased armor on the belly. That said, I wouldn't really call it the best dive bomber of the war as it did not really dive bomb in the same way a traditional dive bomber would and could. A true dive bomber would be better at the job in question. The Corsair's strength was in its versatility, being an effective fighter while also being effective at ground support, but not almost vertical bombing. One of the issues is they did not have dive brakes, however the landing gear was often lowered to slow it down in dives.

    EDIT: That being said, I'd rather replace my complement of Helldivers on a carrier with F4Us, but I'm not an admiral. :lol:
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    IMO that makes no difference. The point of bombing is to place explosives on target.

    Ju-87Bs with average pilots could place 25% of bombs within 30 yards of the target. If the F4U could bomb with a similiar level of accuracy then it's a dive bomber as far as I'm concerned.

    It's my understanding that early F4Us employed the standard Mk 8 gunsight for bombing, which was nowhere near dive bomber accuracy. At the end of WWII they got a new bombsight which turned an excellent fighter aircraft into an excellent fighter-bomber. By comparison, the USN SBD and IJN VAL had proper dive bomber sights when they first entered service.
     
  15. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    While I do have a soft spot for "The Beast", this is why I won't vote for it.

    From Wiki...."In operational experience it was found that the U.S. Navy's F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair fighters were able to carry an equally heavy bomb load against ground targets and were vastly more capable of defending themselves against enemy fighters"

    I agree with Admiral Catch :) . I'd rather have the Corsair, which could do anything well, than a plane that could only do 1 or 2 things and be a liability defending itself and require Hellcats and Corsairs for cover.

    So.....If I have to pick from your list, I'd pick the Dauntless. Otherwise, give me the Corsair.
     
  16. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    #16 Catch22, Jan 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
    True, and fair, but I guess that gets into naming/classification semantics more than anything. I don't disagree that it was effective of course, as like I said I'd take Corsairs over Helldivers. That said, something I didn't think of last night when I posted that, what about bombing ships? I know for the most part for actual sinkings torpedoes were more effective, but is a dive bomber diving at 90ish degrees needed to hit ships effectively without having to get too close?

    Thor, I also have soft spot for "The Beast", but as you quoted, there were other planes that could do the job plus a lot of other things. I think one of the main advantages of the Helldiver over other divebombers was its speed. The only other plane with a cruising speed higher in the fleet was the F4U (or significantly higher, I read it somewhere and can't remember the exact quote). That said, its top speed of 295 MPH wouldn't do much to help it against fighters.
     
  17. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Hey, you forgot the Fairey Barracuda!
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #18 FLYBOYJ, Jan 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
    And rightfully so! :toothy5:
     
  19. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The landing gear of the F4U was designed so it could be used as dive brakes. The Corsair could actually dive safely at a steeper angle than the SBD. 85 degrees versus 70 degrees and tests showed that the Corsair was almost as accurate in dive bombing as the Dauntless. Pages 79-80, "Corsair" by Barrett Tillman. Another interesting story about the Corsair which was scoffed at in another thread by some members is that "Operation Danny" was planned in June, 1944. To counter the German V-1 threat it was planned to rush five MAG-51 F4U squadrons to Europe where they would fly from CVEs in the North Sea and destroy buzz bomb sites with Tiny Tim rockets. When this plan was discovered by George Marshall he canceled it and said " as long as I am charge there will never be a Marine in Europe." Also in Barrett's book, page 116.
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Almost anything can hit a merchant vessel so I assume you mean warships.

    Bombing warships requires a heavy bomb (at least 1,000 lbs) and more is better. The Val normally carried a 250kg bomb which isn't enough. HMS Prince of Wales was hit by several 250kg bombs which failed to penetrate the deck armor. The 1,000 lb bomb normally carried by SBDs was better but still marginal against large warships.

    The Ju-87D had the entire package - a bomb up to 1,800kg in size delivered with great accuracy. Not even a Yamato class battleship can shrug off hits of that size. The Ju-87D was also relatively well protected against ground fire.

    The SB2C could carry a heavy bomb load. However I have read plenty of comments on SB2C flying characteristics and most of them are negative. If I have a choice I wouldn't pick an aircraft that most pilots hated.

    In theory the Ju-88A could dive bomb ships but I've never read of it happening. Normally the Ju-88 employed skip bombing or carried a pair of aerial torpedoes. If the Me-410 had been employed against maritime targets I assume it would operate in a manner similiar to Ju-88s.
     
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