Designed as a light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, various versions of the Dauntless served during WWII with the US Marine Corps, Army and Navy. The Douglas Dauntless was the workhorse of the US Navy in the Pacific. The Dauntless dive-bomber was the only plane to fight in every major Pacific engagement and because of the battles and the courage of the men that flew them, this plane became one of the most successful designs of WWII with 5,936 having been built in all versions.
Originally Douglas SBD-2 BuNo 2106 belonged to VB-2 aboard USS Lexington. It survived the Pearl Harbor attack and in April 1942 was reassigned to VMSB-241. On June 4, 1942 VMSB-241 launched sixteen SBDs to attack Japanese carriers. Only eight SBDs returned and 2106, riddled with 219 bullet holes was one of them. The aircraft was repaired and sent to a training unit in Illinois. On June 11, 1943 the aircraft was ditched into Lake Michigan, in 1994 salvaged, restored and on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.