The Douglas SBD Dauntless dive‐bomber’s place in military aviation history is often over‐shadowed by the more well‐known and iconic aircraft of World War II. In Britain, the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster are revered. For Americans, the Boeing B‐17 Flying Fortress and P‐51 Mustang are seen as the key war‐winning machines of the conflict. Japan’s Mitsubishi A6M Zero‐sen is also amongst the most familiar types of the Pacific War. Yet despite its unrivalled performance in 1941–42, the Zero‐sen was unable to stop the most capable and destructive dive‐bomber of World War II. The SBD Dauntless proved to be the perfect weapon during one of the pivotal moments in modern military history, and it did more to bring about a US victory in the Pacific than any other aircraft.