SBD first carrier service

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Airman 1st Class
May 2, 2005
When did the SBD started service in carrier squadrons? It was end of 1940 or 1941. Probably the first were VB-2 and VB-6. Can you detail me the month those squadron became operational with the new plane?

Thanks in advance
wasn't it Northrop BT-1 that was delivered to VB-5 in april 1938?
It's right that BT was the precursor of SBD, anyway I'd like to know when the SBD started to substitute BG, SB2U and BT itself.

AFAIK the First SBD order was done in 1939 and flew in 1940 (SBD-1 for USMC and SBD-2 for the Navy).
In june 1940 the embarked bomber squadron were equipped in that way:
VB-2 (Lexington): SB2U-1
VB-3 (Saratoga): SB2U-2
VB-5 (Yorktown): BT-1
VB-6 (Enterprise): BT-1

They all got SBD before Pearl Harbour. Ranger and Wasp got SBD only in 1942.
Possibly the the first sqn. was VB-2 because its Vindicators left between end of 1940 and jan. 1941.
VMB-2 and VMB-1 got their SBD in the same period. Anyway all my books are not clear about this period.

Probably right on the BT. Most of my really good materials for double checking info are boxed up and buried out in the garage while I have some work done on the house, so it might be another week or so before I'm back up to speed.

First came the Northrop BT. Modifications and refinements (really a wholesale redesign) to the BT became the XBT-2. In the meantime Northrop became the El Segundo division of Douglas and the XBT-2, Bu/No 0627 became the XSBD-1. Be that as it may, the first production orders for the SBD-1 on 8 April 1939, for 57 SBD-1s and 87 SBD-2s. All of the -1s went to the Marines, into VMB-2 and then VMB-1 starting in June 1940. The -2s went to VB6, VS-6 and VB-2. Looks like VB-2 was first, sometime in November 1940. All 87 -2s were delivered by May 1941. In December 1941, SBD-3s went to VS-2, VB-5, VS-5, VB-3 and VS-3.

Thank you Rich!
Do you have precise dates about the delivery of SBD-3? Did they start only after the completion of the SBD-2 order? I'm trying to complete the order of battle in june 1941 ( I assume that by that time VB-2 and VB/VS-6 were equipped with SBD-2, but now I need to know when VS-2, Yorktown and Saratoga got their SBD-3.

The picture would be:
VB-2: SBD-2
VS-2: SBC-4 or SBD-3

VB and VS-6: SBD-2

VB-5: BT-1
VS-5: SBC-3

VB-3: SBD-3
VS-3: SBC-3

All got SBD-2/3 by december 1941.


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