View Full Version : SBD Fans!

02-11-2009, 12:48 AM

I haden't seen this magazine for almost 20years and there it was in LIFE Magazine archives on Google's home page of all places---<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">New! Search the newly digitized LIFE photo archive</span>.

So I searched the 1940's, then Navy & Marine bombers, then Midway Island and boom there it was
the picture of my dad's SBD Squadron that made the cover of LIFE magazine. I could feel my eyes water up when I saw it.

I am going to write Life Magazine and see if I can get a reprint of the whole magazine and all the photos from the article. This before he was transferred to a Corsair Sqdn.

The Article was titled "Life on Midway"

http://images.google.com/image...+Islands+source:life (http://images.google.com/images?q=Midway+Islands+source:life)

Squadron of US Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers in flight, patrolling coral reefs off Midway Island searching for Japanese troops prior to the famous naval engagement.
Date taken: 1942
Photographer: Frank Scherschel
A young Marine Lieutenant flying the SBD with the Black Engine Cowling(shadow). He was either
flight or section Leader at the time.

My Dad in the cockpit of his SDB-3 "Little Stud"
Midway Island.
US pilot at Midway Naval Base.
Date taken: 1942
Photographer: Frank Scherschel

Just months before the battle of Midway.......

Midway Island.

Midway 1942 "Eightball" top plane

"Eightball" Another Marine pilot Midway 1942

This is what they would see in June 1942:


A view of a telescope bomp sight used by a Navy pilot in a dive bomber.




02-11-2009, 03:02 AM
congratulations for your father and you buddy!

I was admired with the third photo, the SBD's formation was really tigth. I beat that is him. fly in such tigth formation with sure require much skill. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

02-11-2009, 03:57 AM
nice picks your dad Looks like a fighter pilot anyway nice picks. My grandad was a Anti Aircraft gunner in the war. Aprently he talked about that quite a bit(died 1984 in the summer i was born in the winter of that year so i just missed him).

02-11-2009, 05:52 AM
I have goose bumps...

What squadron was your father in?

02-11-2009, 06:25 AM
Think this one belongs to the same sequens of pics? I think it does.

Got it from a link here on ubizoo maby a month ago. cant remember where though.

Maby u allredy seen it.


Have it as my desktop background.

Dont know if this one is related at all.


02-11-2009, 10:17 AM

BaronUnderpants--Think this one belongs to the same sequens of pics? I think it does.


Thank you so much for posting that picture!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif--I had never seen color photographs of that series from LIFE magazine on Midway Island.

Are there more color pictures? Do you still have the link?

The second photo (#35) looks later in the war maybe a SBD-5. The Midway SBD-3's really look weather beaten.


Crash_Moses---I have goose bumps...

What squadron was your father in?

You and me both brother......

My dad passed a couple of years ago. I am the youngest of 5 kids and was born a good 25years after these photos were taken (my dad was well into his 40's when I was born). I didn't get to see my dad fly until the early 60's just before he retired after 30years with the Marine Corps. He was also a Pearl Harbor survivor stationed at Ewa Field. He survived being bombed
& strafed while running thru sugar cane fields/bushes trying to keep from getting killed. He had buddies on the Arizona and saw it explode and lift out the water before sinking.
These photos mean alot to me.

I am trying to get the box that has about 500photos spanning his career, he was in several Sqdns. About a year before he died he told the story about how Pappy Boyington had asked him to join the 214. Boyington had been one of his flight instructors at Pensa Cola and he knew Boyington liked to drink too much and cause trouble. My dad had concerns that Boyington's drinking might cause problems with combat flying so he turned it down. Well Boyington proved he could both drink and fight. My dad had regrets later that he had not joined the Blacksheep.

Ewa Marine Corps Air Station, Ewa, HI

A September 1941 aerial view looking southwest at Ewa Field

The skeleton of a burned-out SB2U-3 Vought Vindicator sits on the tarmac at Ewa after the Pearl Harbor attack.


02-11-2009, 11:25 AM

Thanks again for the kind comments guys--it means alot Thank You!

I forgot to add that my dad wouldn't open about actual combat until later in his life. He had seen alot.
He would talk all day long about aircraft performance, airacrft vs aircraft, technical issues, landing on a carrier, etc.

But not actual combat. Not till later in his life. I guess he figured he needed to say something before he left this world.

The Marines got mauled badly on Midway. They took the brunt of hundreds of japanese fighters & attack aircraft from 4 japanese carriers.
They were completey outnumbered and were flying inferior aircraft fighter vs fighter --Wildcats & Brewster Buffalos vs Zeros.

Around 80-90% of the Marine Corps fighter force was shot down by IJN Zero fighters at Midway. Some of the Midway SBDs were sent after the japanese fleet
some were used for Midway Island air to air defense SBD vs Val & Kate. I asked my dad if he ever got shot down or had to bail out and he said yes.
I am pretty sure he was refering to the battle for Midway Island.

I also asked if he shot any planes down and he said he saw his guns do some major damage
to some japanese aircraft but he had to manuever away quickly or else be shot down himself--so unconfirmed--to busy trying to survive than gawk at a kill.


02-11-2009, 01:36 PM
Thx for sharing.

Your father must have had some storys to tell (obviousely)

Makes one sad sometimes to think how many people had to live an intire lifetime with memorys like that, never beeing able to truly forget. Maby they dont want to in some respects. In that sence we today are lucky not having to live thrugh the horrors of a world war and the life after.

Cant for the life of me remember the link but it should be here on this forum somewhere and will look around to see if i can find it.

As for the SBD`s looking weather beaten,that was my first reaction, one never see it that clearly on black and white pics. Just look at No. 5 and the engine cowling.

02-11-2009, 05:25 PM
Cant for the life of me remember the link but it should be here on this forum somewhere and will look around to see if i can find it.

Hya Baron,

I just went thru the last 8 pages of posts looking for anything that might be photo/Marine/SBD related. If you can't remember the link maybe the post title?

Appreciate the help--Thanks S!

Yeah that number 5 planes took some dents to the cowling. The color SBD photo of my Dad's Sqdn is my desk top pic now too.

02-11-2009, 05:53 PM
Amazing pics and story Kahuna. Thanks for sharing them with us.

02-11-2009, 11:37 PM
These kinds of images are regularly posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation

The Life series was recently posted.

02-12-2009, 07:57 AM
Thank you for sharing Kahuna, ...brought a sprinkle to my eye also.

My father flew Mosquito's...unfortunatly all pic's and other treasure's got consumed in a house fire.

02-12-2009, 10:45 PM

Thank you Waldo I'll check it out!

With help from a friend I found the exact LIFE magazine issue on ebay; "Life on Midway Island Photo Essay"--Nov. 23rd, 1942. I bought 3 magazines so far for family members and I plan on buying more. They also offer framed/double matted portriats on the LIFE magazine archive site.

I am waiting to see if I can find the complete series in color.

02-13-2009, 03:05 AM
Had no luck, the threadh seems to have vanished into thin air, very enoying indeed.

If u need to find them still i would start a new topic asking for the colored SBD pics from Life magazine. Has to be someone who knows the link.

Sry, and good luck.

P.S. Dont forget to post some pics when u get the whole story toghether.

02-14-2009, 01:31 PM
To all guys who forgot about it: thousand of shots from "Life" mag had been digitalized and released on Google archive a few months ago. Search for them here:


I also remember the thread with SBD pics in colour. There were also other planes posted there. Kahuna, You were very close to finding the colour pics, but you typed a little bit too much in the search box http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif (their current search engine works a little bit awkward, if you ask me). Just type "Midway" and you will find much more photos, including all of the colour ones. Happy downloading!

Cheers - Art

02-14-2009, 11:57 PM
Thanx for posting those. I still wish I had gotten more flying stories from my late dad, everything from T-28a To AH-1Js as an instructor. It's great to see your dad in those shots, and I really enjoyed those.

02-19-2009, 07:59 AM
Just type "Midway" and you will find much more photos, including all of the colour ones. Happy downloading!

Hey thanks Art-J !

I went back and you were right the color shots are there ! You can type in Midway or "Life on Midway" and all the pics are collected together.

Some really nice color pics:


Only saw one other Marine pilot pic in color:





02-19-2009, 10:37 AM
Egads, lads!

I'm in SBD heaven!

Warming up the skinning software now...


02-19-2009, 06:08 PM
Awesome pics!

02-20-2009, 03:33 AM
Sweet Jesus!! What beautiful pics!!

Thanks for sharing.

CS. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

02-20-2009, 03:34 PM
Great pics!!
Thanks for the links and pictures.


02-23-2009, 08:30 PM

Heres Midway being hit in color:


More color shots



SBD down during the Battle of Midway

02-24-2009, 11:50 PM
Kahuna, thank you so much for sharing these stories and your personal history regarding your father with us. The pictures are fantastic and truly do paint a thousand words. Im certain your father was a very brave and noble man and may he rest in peace.


02-25-2009, 04:17 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif I think this is VF-16 + VB-16 on the Lexington.


02-25-2009, 04:53 PM

02-25-2009, 05:35 PM
Thank you for the kind comments Havok!

R_Target --Nice color photos, great carrier deck action & SBD in the clouds.

I keep finding more and more color shots.....now if I can just find my dad in his cockpit in color http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif



On final



02-26-2009, 12:06 AM
More wind tunnel