The Recovery and Restoration of the SBD-1 Dauntless

Coming soon. . . an exhibit and programs on the recovery and restoration efforts of the only SBD-1 Dauntless dive bomber in existence now in the collection of  the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum.

The Dauntless spent 52 years at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Bob Cramsie, lead restoration volunteer at the Museum, is restoring the SBD-1 Dauntless.

Since December 2012, using only the aircraft’s original blueprints, Cramsie has spent more than 2500 hours fabricating many of the missing and damaged pieces from scratch, because there are no replacement parts for the aircraft. As just two examples, he has built and installed a vertical stabilizer from scratch, and fabricated and installed the aft gun bay and doors.

His efforts were recently recognized by Northrop Grumman Corporation with their “Excellence in Volunteerism Award”, one of only 11 given out worldwide.

Mr. Cramsie is a former aircraft mechanic for PSA, and now Production Environmental Test Technician at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Environmental Stress Screening lab.  This labor of love and way for Cramsie to “give back to our country and the US Marine Corps” will likely last another 3-5 years before the Dauntless is finished.