SB2U Vindicator file photo [6031]

SB2U Vindicator

CountryUnited States
Primary RoleDive Bomber
Maiden Flight4 January 1936


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 After 1943, they were considered obsolete for front line use, and were withdrawn into training roles.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 Chesapeake dive bombers saw little use with the Royal Navy as they were quickly outdated.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.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

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.


SB2U-1 Vindacator dive bomber of VB-3 squadron aboard USS Saratoga, 1938Yorktown at Naval Air Station, San Diego, California, United States, Jun 1940; note presence of TBD-1, BT-1, SBC-3, F3F-2, F3F-3, SB2U, JRF, J2F and JRS-1 aircraft modelsSB2U Vindicators and F3F “Flying Barrels” on the pad viewed from the tower at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Oahu, Hawaii, mid-1941. Note the false color added to the photo after the fact.Torpedo Squadron 5 TBD-1 Devastator aircraft parked at  Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, United States, 13 Sep 1941; note SBD-3, F4F, and SB2U aircraft beyond
See all 19 photographs of SB2U Vindicator Dive Bomber

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SB2U Vindicator Dive Bomber Photo Gallery
SB2U-1 Vindacator dive bomber of VB-3 squadron aboard USS Saratoga, 1938
See all 19 photographs of SB2U Vindicator Dive Bomber

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