The image (below) is from LIFE magazine (Hattip D Shelly), 1938. It is of a SBC-3 Helldiver scout bomber getting ready for takeoff from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) during maneuvers off the coast of Hawaii in September 1940. It is from Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6).

This plane, bureau number 0542, was soon pulled from front line service (as were the rest of the cumbersome Helldivers). This airframe was kept around until 1944 as a trainer.

The blue tail indicates this aircraft is from the USS Enterprise. The red chevron on the top of the wing and the bottom of the cowling are the colors of the first section, made up of three aircraft, out of six sections in a squadron. The cowling being painted only on the bottom indicates this is aircraft number three, which would fly on the left-wing of the section leader when in a “V’ formation. It’s number, which you cannot see, would be “6-S-3” for Sixth Carrier Group, Scouting Squadron, aircraft #3

Also, the rear observer looks exceptionally non-plussed.

Incidentally, the Curtiss SBC-3 Helldiver, built in 1935, was obsolete as soon as it left the factory. While it would have been useful over the skies of France in WWI, any fighter of its day could have cleaned its clock. In fact, it was the last bi-plane built for the US Navy and Marine Corps. Slow (230 kts) and not very maneuverable, the plane had a short 150-200 nm radius of action as a scout plane and was pitifully armed with just two 30.06 caliber M1919 light machine guns (one forward and one rearward). It could, however, carry a half ton of dumb bombs.