The A-24 based on the Douglas Dauntless with a large pneumatic tail wheel and the tailhook removed. Never meant to be a front-line aircraft the Banshee was only to be used until the arrival of the more powerful A-25 and then it was to be used as a dive-bomber trainer. Because of the out break of WWII and delays with the A-25 the A-24 was forced into action. Due to heavy losses the A-24 was withdrawn and to the role it was initially intended, training.
A shipment of crated A-24 Banshees was destined for the Philippines but when the Japanese captured the islands the aircraft were diverted to Brisbane Australia. There they were re-assembled and found to be missing parts, no self-sealing fuel tanks, no armor-plating and had worn out engines. Pilots referred to them as “Blue Rock Clay Pigeons”. These A-24s were now destined for Java but had to be ferried across Australia to Darwin. On February 10 1942 Banshee s/n 41-15755 was ferried by 2nd Lt. Jackson who became lost and crash landed. The aircraft was repaired but later was SOC (Struck Off Charge) on August 1944.
First flown in 1938, The Douglas SBD Dauntless was the United States Navy’s main dive-bomber during World War II. The Dauntless featured “Swiss cheese” flaps; dive brakes punched with 3-inch holes, which helped it achieve pinpoint accuracy when diving to the target. The cockpit accommodated the pilot, who doubled as the bombardier and manned a fixed-forward gun. The rear cockpit contained a machine gun and played a major defensive role. During the Battle of Midway, SBD dive-bomber attacks fatally damaged all four of the Japanese aircraft carriers, and heavily damaged two cruisers.