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SB2A Buccaneer


SB2A Buccaneer

SB2A Buccaneer
An SB2A-4 near Vero Beach, Florida, 1942-43
Role Scout bomber
National origin United States
Manufacturer Brewster Aeronautical Corporation
First flight 17 June 1941
Status Retired
Primary users United States Navy
United States Army Air Corps
Royal Air Force
Royal Navy
Number built 771

The Brewster SB2A Buccaneer was a single-engined mid-wing monoplane scout/bomber aircraft built for the United States Navy during the early 1940s. It was also supplied to the United States Army Air Corps.

Design and development

The SB2A (Brewster Model 340) was a development of Brewster's earlier SBA scout-bomber, sharing the single-engined, mid-winged monoplane layout of the earlier aircraft, but was larger and had a more powerful engine. It carried up to 1,000 lb (454 kg) of bombs in an internal bomb-bay and for defensive purposes was fitted with a power operated turret armed with two .30 in machine guns supplementing a further four forward firing guns.

The US Navy ordered a prototype XSB2A on 4 April 1939, which first flew on 17 June 1941.[1] Large-scale orders had already been placed by this time, however, with the United Kingdom ordering 750 aircraft as the Brewster Bermuda and the Netherlands ordering a further 162 to equip the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force.[2] The first US Navy production order, for 140 aircraft, was placed on 24 December 1940.[1]

The RAAF had plans to order approximately 240 Bermudas in mid-1941 to re-equip 11 squadrons, but problems with the plane led the RAAF to cancel the order in November 1941, opting instead for the Vultee Vengeance.[2]

Operational history

The Royal Air Force purchased a version based on the SB2A-1s which they designated the Bermuda. They were used for training and target towing. Five of the Cyclone powered aircraft under the model number '340' were supplied to the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy for assessment - four as dive bombers and one as a target towing tug.[3]


XSB2A-1 Buccaneer
(Model 340-7) Prototype, one built.
(Model 340-20)Initial production, revised armament - non-folding wings. 80 built.
(Model 340-26) Fitted with folding wings and arrestor hook for carrier operations. 60 built.
(Model 340-17) Requisitioned aircraft built for Netherlands. 162 built.
A-34 Bermuda
Designation for Lend Lease production for United Kingdom (see below)[4][5]
Bermuda Mk.1
Model 340-14 production for United Kingdom. Turret replaced by flexible gun mounting. Originally 750 ordered, but only 468 were delivered.[4][5]
United States Army Air Force designation for Bermuda I aircraft not delivered to the United Kingdom and used as ground training airframes.


 United Kingdom
 United States



Specifications (SB2A-2)

Data from United States Navy Aircraft since 1911[8]

General characteristics


  • Guns:
    • 2 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns in fuselage
    • 2 × .30 in (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine guns in wings
    • 2 × .30 in (7.62 mm) flexible rear-mounted .30 machine guns
  • Bombs: 1,000 lb (450 kg)

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists




  • Donald, David (editor). American Warplanes of World War II. London: Aerospace,1995. ISBN 1-874023-72-7.
  • Gemeinhardt, F., J. Lucasbaugh and R. Martin. "The Bellicose Brewster: Part One". Aeroplane Monthly, November 1989, Vol. 17, No. 11. pp. 674–678.
  • March, Daniel J.(editor). British Warplanes of World War II. London: Aerospace,1998. ISBN 1-874023-92-1.
  • Swanborough, Gordon and Bowers, Peter M. United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. London:Putnam, Second edition 1976. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.
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