No tactic represented naval aviation's rise to preeminence during World War II more than dive-bombing, and no aircraft embodied the success of this tactic more than the SBD Dauntless. An innovative design, the aircraft incorporated perforated dive-flaps, which stabilized and slowed it during bombing runs that routinely consisted of seventy-plus degree dives. It was also equipped with a telescopic sight, which, despite a tendency to fog over with sudden altitude changes, increased bombing accuracy. The initial production aircraft entered service in 1940, and by the time the United States entered World War II, ten squadrons operated the SBD. During World War II, Dauntless pilots participated in all five of the war's great carrier battles, achieving their greatest victory at Midway, where they sank four Japanese carriers. Though their mount was slow in speed and lightly armed, SBD pilots and gunners also shot down 138 enemy aircraft. By July 1944, a total of 5,936 examples of the aircraft had rolled off the Douglas assembly line, far more than were ever originally planned and testament to the amazing capabilities of the outstanding aircraft of the Pacific War.