Dive into pivotal WWII battle Saturday at Falcon Field

Dive into pivotal WWII battle Saturday at Falcon Field

The SBD Dauntless and the Battle of Midway come to Living Aviation History; decisive battle reviewed by WWII historian Rick Ector

The SBD Dauntless and its crucial role in the World War II Battle of Midway will be featured Nov. 18 at this month’s Living Aviation History Days program, a series presented by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing Warbird Museum.

Above, one of only two flying SBD Dauntless dive bombers still in existence is maintained and operated by the CAF Dixie Wing in Peachtree City, Ga. See this aircraft and hear the story of the SBD and the Battle of Midway on Nov. 18 at Living Aviation History Day. Photo/Stephen Chapis.

The program will begin at 11 a.m. at the Museum hangar, 1200 Echo Court, adjacent to Atlanta Regional Airport — Falcon Field. Admission is $10, with veterans and active military members admitted free.

Retired CIA officer and U.S. Navy submariner Rick Ector will review the development of the SBD Dauntless dive bomber and examine the details of the decisive Battle of Midway.

Ector, a WII historian and curator of the Dixie Wing Warbird Museum, brings a mix of video, unique interactive digital features and a panel of SBD pilots to tell the story of the SBD’s development, the Battle of Midway and the flying characteristics of this famous warbird.

“Dramatic events were commonplace in World War II, but few were more dramatic than the Battle of Midway,” Ector said. “Midway initially promised to be a strategic intelligence success, yet it nearly ended in a tactical disaster save for a fortuitous sighting at a critical moment. The battle’s climactic phase lasted just eight minutes, when three U.S. Navy SBD squadrons struck a blow from which the Imperial Japanese Navy never recovered.”

For more information about Living Aviation History Days or the CAF Dixie Wing Warbird Museum, go to www.dixiewing.org.

The CAF Dixie Wing, based in Peachtree City, Ga., was founded in 1987. The Wing, one of the largest units of the Commemorative Air Force, maintains and flies seven WWII aircraft including a P-51 Mustang, an FG-1D Corsair and rare types such as the SBD Dauntless dive bomber and P-63A Kingcobra.

The Dixie Wing organizes two large events a year — WWII Heritage Days and the Atlanta Warbird Weekend. The unit, composed of 300 volunteers, is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that relies on contributions of time and funds to carry out the mission of the CAF.

Steve Forsyth is the public information officer for the local wing.

The Commemorative Air Force is a non-profit organization dedicated to flying and restoring World War II aircraft. Based in Dallas, Texas, the organization has more than 13,000 members and owns a fleet of 174 WWII aircraft.