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Vought SB2U


The "walkaround" photos in this feature are all of SB2U-2 BuNo 1383, the sole survivor of the Vindicator family, recovered from Lake Michigan in the early '90s and painstakingly restored by the staff of Black Shadow Aviation and the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, FL.  Interestingly, this is also the last SB2U-2 model produced before production changed to the -3 variant.  The aircraft was ditched by Marine 2LT. A.W. Lemmons while attempting a landing on the training carrier USS Wolverine.  Thanks to this unfortunate event, we now have an example of this rare and wonderful aircraft.

I would like to apologize in advance for the crappy quality of some of these shots; the flash of my camera stopped working while I was shooting and I did not notice.  Several of the clear shots you see in this feature were graciously donated by Bill Coffman, and as with all other pictures on this site are copyrighted.

Currently in production is a full database of each USN SB2U produced, with squadron assignments, dates, and dispositions where known.

Update: Lots and LOTS more photos have been added, taken on the aforementioned trip in October.  In addition, I've been very fortunate to have the assistance of Ken Dangelo, formerly of Black Shadow Aviation (the company which initiated the restoration project) and he has provided a number of photos of 1383 while under restoration. Included in the photo package was a shot from Harry Swett of the center wing assembly, which is most helpful.  And, as if that weren't enough, the respected Naval Aviation historian and photographer Bill Larkins has granted me permission to post some of his ORIGINAL Vindicator pictures, taken in the late 30s and early 40s.  These additions make this page the most complete photo reference available either online or in print of the Vindicator to my knowledge, and I am most thankful for the assistance of Bill Larkins, Ken Dangelo, Harry Swett, and Bill Coffman for the use of their photos!