Views Comments & Stories

On balance, the SB2C-3 was a delight to fly.
---VAdm D.D. Engen (VB19, 1944)

I thought it was great as a dive bombing aircraft. On a scale from 0 to 10 I would rate it as a '7' considering all aspects-maintenance, diving, etc.. As I recall, it was a bit of a maintenance nightmare.
---Capt S.C. Walls (VB14, 1944)

...they were soon known throughout the fleet as the "The Beasts", a name which stuck with that airplane throughout its service life. Whenever I use that term, it is always with great respect and admiration because I always considered the Helldiver to be a wonderful flying machine.
---Capt Don Monson (VB80 and VB75)

Those of us who had flown the SBD preferred the SB2C as far as flight characteristics were concerned. However, the SB2C-1A had an achilles heel. It was a mechanical booby trap.
---LtCol J.H. Clark (CO VMSB454, 1944)

I believe that throughout the original design, for which Mr Ray Blaylock was almost totally responsible, he carefully and conscientously tailored the design to meet the specific requirements and suggestions of the Bureau of Aeronautics. I believe, in general, this advice was sound and resulted, ultimately, in a very effective weapon.
---Mr R.W. Holmes (SB2C Project Engineer, Curtiss-Wright, Columbus)

Our statistics show that the largest percentage of mechanical failures in new type aircraft which we ferry occur in General Motors TBM-3s and FM-2s
---CO VRF-1, 1945

It's been a long time since I worked on the SB2C and I don't remember too many specifics. I do remember that the R-2600 engine could be a recalcitrant son of a gun to work on especially if you were on a work-stand on the flight line. Everything seemed easier to do when you had that big bird in the hangar shielded from the sun. We had to run-up and pre-flight each of the squadron's aircraft assigned to us every morning. As I recall, the SB2C was easy to start and the pre-flight checks went smoothly most of the time. However, It could be a bear to taxi with the wings folded. Of course we were fortunate to have a big ramp and plenty of wing men to assist.
---Joe Genne (AMM2c CASU-1/FASRON 11, Ford Island, 1945/6)

My experience with the SB2C models I flew is that they were fine, reliable aircraft and dependable for combat. ---Ens. R.J. Barnes (VB20, 1944/5)

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