Vought SB2U-3 Vindicator: Its swan song.

The Vindicator was conceived in answer to a mid-1930s US. Navy’s carried-based scout/dive bomber requirement. One of the first monoplanes operated from carriers, this transitional aircraft was on its way to obsolescence before World War II broke out. Their baptism of fire with in 1940 with the french Aéronavale proved their evident vulnerability. Slow and badly defended, they still remained in first line service with the US. Navy/Marines until mid-1942. Other more capable platforms relegated the Vindicators to less hazardous duties soon afterwards.

The USS Ranger (CV-4) band rehearsing. That two-blade prop looks definitely out of place by 1942. The year Paul Sample created this nice piece of work, part of his “Naval Aviation” collection for the LIFE magazine.

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