Saturday, March 2, 2013

Jim Landis' Pearl Harbor Plane-- Part 4

Continued from February 22nd.

After Midway, the shot up SBD-2 was sent back stateside, repaired and assigned to Carrier Qualification Training Unit at Glenview NAS in Illinois.  A lot of obsolete or heavily damaged planes were assigned to this site, which, along with pilot error (after all, they were learners) led to a large number of crashes into lake Michigan while attempting to land on the converted carriers.

On the morning of June 11, 1943, with Marine 2nd Lt Donald A. Douglas piloting, it too crashed into the lake during an errant approach to training carrier Sable (IX-81).

It was recovered from the lake in 1994.

This plane has a lot of history as a survivor of Pearl Harbor, two other air actions and the Battle of Midway and then training.  Without qualified pilots, the aircraft carriers were not of much use.

Its armament consisted of two forward-firing .50 inch machine guns and a rear-firing .30-inch machine gun.  Its crew consisted of a pilot and a gunner.  This would make sense of Jim Landis saying at Pearl Harbor that he had gotten a machine gun from the plane and used it to fire at the Japanese planes.

The plane can be seen at the Naval Air Museum at Pensacola NAS in Florida.

The Story of a Plane.  --GreGen

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