The Douglas SBD Dauntless was a naval dive bomber made by Douglas during World War II. The SBD was the United States Navy's main dive bomber from mid-1940 until late 1943, when it was largely replaced by the SB2C Helldiver. The aircraft was also operated by the United States Army as the A-24 Banshee.
Although relatively slow and outmoded when it began its combat career, it was rugged and dependable and on giving way to the Helldiver had sunk more Japanese ships than any other aircraft.
The U.S. Army Air Forces sent 52 A-24 Banshees in crates to the Philippine Islands in fall 1941 to equip the 27th Bombardment Group, whose personnel arrived separately. However with the attack of Pearl Harbor, these aircraft were diverted to Australia and the 27th BG fought on Bataan as infantry. While in Australia, these aircraft were reassembled for flight to the Philippines, but missing parts including solenoids, trigger motors, and gun mounts delayed shipment. Plagued with mechanical problems the A-24s were diverted to the 91st Bombardment Squadron and designated for assignment to Java instead. The A-24s had worn-out engines, no armor plating, and no self sealing fuel tanks. Referring to themselves as "Blue Rock Clay Pigeons", the 91st attacked the enemy harbor and airbase at Bali and damaged or sank numerous ships around Java. After the Japanese shot down two A-24s and damaged three so badly they could no longer fly, the 91st received orders to evacuate Java in early March, ending a brief but valiant effort.