The Vought-Sikorsky SB2U entered fleet operations in 1937. Named the Vindicator, the aircraft was the first monoplane scout/dive bomber for the navy and was
faster than the contemporary biplane fighters. However, the design was fatally flawed in design and still used some fabric instead of all metal in construction. By
1941 the Vindicator was totally eclipsed by the Douglas Dauntless SBD. In the best navy tradition, as the Dauntless went into squadron service in Navy squadrons,
the Vindicators were cast off to the Marines. The Marine air squadrons were used to Navy hand-me-downs. On December 7, 1941 there were still six squadrons
that operated the Vindicator. During the Battle of Midway the Marine Scout Bombing Squadron VMSB 241 operated their twelve Vindicators and valiantly went to
attack the Japanese. Only one Vindicator returned. The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola NAS has the only surviving Vindicator in the World. It is
Bureau Number 1383 and was the last SB2U-2 produced. In 1943 it was in use training carrier pilots in the Great Lakes, making landings and take offs from the
training carrier, USS Wolverine. In that year she went into Lake Michigan and remained there preserved in the cold water until recovered in 1990 and restored.
Called the Wind Indicator by the Marine air crew who flew the USN cast off Vought-Sikorsky SB2U Vindicator in 1942, this aircraft entered service in 1937 but
was hopelessly obsolete in 1942. The only surviving Vindicator is this SB2U-2 located at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola NAS.
Steve Backer