|Primary Role||Dive Bomber|
|Maiden Flight||4 January 1936|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseSB2U Vindicator dive bombers were the results of a 1934 United States Navy requirement for carrier scout bombers. The most distinctive design element of these aircraft were the propellers: they were capable of rotating in reverse, thus taking on the second duty as dive brakes during dive bombing attacks. They were introduced into the US Navy in 1937, and served aboard carriers Lexington, Saratoga, Ranger, and Wasp until 1942; the US Marine Corps also had SB2U Vindicator dive bombers, although in smaller numbers (only two squadrons). A number of SB2U Vindicator aircraft of US Marine Corps VMSB-241 squadron saw action during the Battle of Midway in Jun 1942. After 1943, they were considered obsolete for front line use, and were withdrawn into training roles.
ww2dbaseA small number of SB2U Vindicator dive bombers, designated V-156-F, were sold to France; these aircraft saw limited combat during the German invasion of France. In Jul 1941, they were sold to British Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm under the designation Chesapeake. Chesapeake dive bombers saw little use with the Royal Navy as they were quickly outdated.
ww2dbaseDuring the design's production life, about 170 SB2U Vindicator aircraft were built.
Last Major Revision: May 2008
SB2U Vindicator Timeline
|17 Dec 1941||A PBY Catalina flying boat led 17 SB2U-3 Vindicator dive bombers of Marine Scout-Bomber Squadron 231 from Hickam Field, Oahu, Hawaii Islands to Midway Atoll; at 9 hours and 45 minutes covering 1,137 miles, it was the longest mass over-water flight by single-engined aircraft to date.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945