1:18 scale SBD-3 Dauntless plastic display aircraft
Flown by Richard Best in the Battle of Midway
Length 22 inches
Wingspan 27 inches
* Detailed plastic construction.
* Bomb swings on moving trapeze.
* Retractable landing gear.
* Sliding front and rear canopies.
* Classic SBD deployable dive brakes.
* Spinning propeller.
* TWIN REAR .30s.
* Rear gun traverses, elevates, and retracts back into cockpit.
* MG has a flip-up sight
* Faithfully replicated 9-cylinder Wright Cyclone R-1820-52
* Tail hook.
* Hinged ailerons, flaps, rudder, elevator.
* All wheels roll and the tail wheel can turn.
* Working canopy (pilot's canopy slides open & closed; rear sections pull out and fit in place)
* Model-quality details in the tooling especially in the cockpit.
* Very accurate paint job representing an actual aircraft.
After contact reports of Midway-based PBY Catalina patrol aircraft on the morning of June 4, 1942, Enterprise started to launch her air group starting on 07:06. Under the overall command of the air group commander (CEAG) Lt.Cdr. Wade McClusky were 14 TBD-1 Devastator torpedo bombers of Torpedo Squadron 6 (VT-6), 34 SBDs of VB-6, the CEAG section, and VS-6, and ten F4F-4 Wildcat fighters of Fighting Squadron 6 (VF-6). However, the squadrons became separated and reached the Japanese independently. Only the dive bombers stayed together and reached the enemy by 09:55h. At about 10:22 the Enterprise dive bombers started to attack two Japanese carriers, which proved to be the Kaga, and the Akagi.
At this point, the attack became confused, as all 34 Dauntlesses started to attack Kaga, and none the Akagi. Obviously, Best expected to attack according to the U.S. dive bomber doctrine. This was that VB-6 would attack the nearer carrier (in that case Kaga) and VS-6 the one further away (here Akagi). The three-plane CEAG section was expected to attack last, as their planes were equipped with cameras to assess the damage later. However, evidently McClusky was not aware of this, having been a fighter pilot until becoming CEAG. Therefore McClusky began his dive on Kaga, being followed by VS-6, and Best's VB-6 was also attacking Kaga according to doctrine. Lieutenant Best noticed the error and broke off with his two wingmen to attack the Akagi.
At 10:26 Best's three SBDs attacked the Akagi. The first bomb, dropped by Lt.(jg) Edwin John Kroeger, missed. The second bomb, aimed by Ens. Frederick Thomas Weber, landed in the water, near the stern. The force wave of that hit jammed the Akagi's rudder. The last bomb, dropped by Best, punched though the flight deck and exploded in the upper hangar, in the middle of 18 Nakajima B5N2 planes, parked there. That hit doomed the Akagi. Later that day, Lieutenant Best participated in the attack on the last remaining Japanese carrier - the Hiryu, possibly scoring one of the four hits. After the battle, Best was awarded the Navy Cross and the Distinguished Flying Cross.