The Douglas Dauntless was a US Navy carrier-borne dive-bomber manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company at their El Segundo Plant between 1940 and 1944, during which time around 6000 aircraft were built. During this time, the Dauntless was the US Navy’s key dive bomber.
Here we see it as deployed aboard USS Lexington, nicknamed ‘Lady Lex’ in 1941. This highly decorated aircraft features silver fuselage and underwings with a deep yellow upper surface and leading edge. A brighter yellow has been applied to the tail surfaces and the propeller blade tips. The US Navy Star is printed in red, white and blue on both the upper and lower wing surfaces. Two bombs painted dark green sit under each wing while a larger one is positioned centrally under the aircraft body. A tiny detail below the cockpit sees a flying horse and Japanese rider printed in red and white. A kill, perhaps! Sadly USS Lexington was hit during a battle with the Japanese in the Coral Sea in May 1942 and she was scuttled to avoid capture.