WWII Dive Bomber Is Newest Addition At Castle Air Museum - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

WWII Dive Bomber Is Newest Addition At Castle Air Museum

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ATWATER, Calif. (KMPH) -

A rare World War Two Navy SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber is the newest addition to the Castle Air Museum.  The war bird was shipped in on trailer Friday in Atwater. 

The dive bomber that is missing its wings flew its last mission in 1943 near the South Pacific Island of New Guinea.  That's where it crash landed.

The museum has 56 restored aircraft.  There are a few more in the hanger but Castle Air Museum CEO says the dive bomber is special.  "We've been long wanting to extend our collection of WWII aircraft to include fighters and attack airplanes.

The SBD, Scout Bomber Douglas was the Navy's main carrier borne scout plane and dive bomber from 1940-1944.  The tail gunner faced backwards.  The new addition has bullet holes.

Bill Hiller is a volunteer on the restoration team.  " It means a whole lot for somebody my age because that was shot down in the first war I was in World War II."

The dive bomber is missing its wings but museum volunteers say they have the material and the patience to create new ones.  The engine is still intact but corroded by sea water. In its heyday the dive bomber flew missions off the aircraft carriers Enterprise and Yorktown.

Volunteers say it is going to take about $10,000 and four to five years of restoration work to make this war bird look brand new.

The diver bomber will be on display Sunday May 26th at "Open Cockpit Day" at Castle Air Museum.  The museum is located at 5050 Santa Fe Drive in Atwater.  The event begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m.

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