On this date in 1922, the Imperial Japanese Navy commissioned the world's first purpose-built aircraft carrier, the Hōshō. Prior to this, the few carriers in service with other navies had been conversions built on battlecruiser hulls; the Hōshō, which means "flying phoenix", was designed from the keel up as a floating airport.
By the time the Second World War was well and truly under way, the Hōshō was a little long in the tooth; small and cramped for the latest generation of high-performance monoplanes, she carried a squadron of eight obsolescent Yokosuka B4Y biplane bombers into battle near Midway. In the American order of battle at Midway, the star of the show was the Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber operating from the famous US Navy flattops. Relegated to the background, on the island of Midway itself were a few of the "Speedy D's" predecessors in the dive bomber role, the Vought SB2U Vindicator.
The Vindicator was an older aircraft, old enough that one of the planes it had competed against in trials was the Curtiss XSBC-3, which was adopted into service as the USN's last combat biplane, the SBC Helldiver. The "Helldiver" name, along with the "Hawk" moniker, was used by Curtiss for a whole range of military biplanes and monoplanes, which they shopped to nations around the world during the Depression years of the Thirties. The SBC's immediate ancestor, the BFC-2, was sold overseas as the "Hawk II".
Fighter-pilot-turned-sycophantic-junkie Hermann Göring allegedly enticed his old Jagdgeschwader 1 squadron-mate Ernst Udet, the highest-scoring WWI German ace after Richthofen, into joining the Nazi party by dangling the purchase of a couple of these hot ships in front of him. One, still in the colors it was wearing when Udet flew it in aerobatics over the 1936 Munich Olympics, was found in a field outside of Kraków. After Udet's suicide, it had become part of Hermann's personal collection, which had been moved to the remote site to escape the Allies' aerial leveling of Berlin. It can now be seen at the Polish Aviation Museum.