The SBD Dauntless was an American naval dive bomber designed by the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1940. It was the primary dive bomber of the United States Navy from 1940 to mid-1943. Although relatively slow and having average specifications, it was a sturdy aircraft and sunk more Japanese ships than any other aircraft during World War II.
In Battlefield 1942, the SBD is the United States Marine Corps' dive bomber and direct equivalent to the Japanese D3A Val. It spawns on the Enterprise along with an F4U Corsair and on several airfields in Pacific theater maps. It has space for two players: one pilot who has control over the aircraft, dual frontal machine guns and two bombs, and one gunner who mans rear mounted dual machine guns. Another version of the SBD, the SBD-T is a torpedo bomber, and launches a torpedo instead of bombs.
The SBD, like all diver bombers, is less maneuverable, slower and bigger than fighters. However, it is more heavily armored and has much better armament for attacking ground targets and ships. With its ability to drop two bombs at once, it can destroy or heavily damage a medium tank with relative ease, while lighter targets will surely be destroyed. It is the most effective anti-ship aircraft at the disposal of the USMC, and as such can cause massive damage at weak points, especially with a torpedo.
The SBD is prone to damage from fighters, heavy machine guns, and anti-aircraft guns. It can potentially hold its own against fighters, as its dual machine guns are nearly as effective as a fighter's machine guns, though it can be easily outmaneuvered. When used against ships, particularly those with anti-aircraft armament such as the Shokaku or the Yamato, players should either go at extreme heights and dive to drop bombs, or to fly low enough to be out of the reach of enemy guns and pull up at the last moment and to drop their bombs. Low flying is particularly effective with SBD-T, as it does not need to pull up in order to strike.