6
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I fall with my holey sleeves

Release the load then I heave

A five-year mission made me a crew of the war

To boldly take action where no man has taken before

When the dateline was almost torn up

The fire of revenge I had lit up

The successor came quite early

Yet my body still varied

It was not my intention to retain

As the reputation was hard to obtain

What am I ?

Hint 1:

The title was inspired from a Vietnam War movie quote, which made in 1991, based on a military novel that shared the same name.
Though the answer itself didn't starred in it, the quote may help you to identify the thing behind puzzle in some way.

Hint 2:

What it does is tactical, not strategic, even though the results were crucial.
It may help you a lot to solve the puzzle if you put the first two hints together.
(It's also fit to combine it with the first two line of the riddle!)

Hint 3:

Two names people used to called it: one came from navy, the other came from army.

Hint 4:

Its skill only came in handy through the 1940s, and it became old-fashioned after that era.

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  • $\begingroup$ is the answer related to a famous movie series? $\endgroup$ – WeShall Oct 19 '16 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ @WeShall well, I wish I could found one, but the answer doesn't featured in any movie series, as far as I know. Maybe that could help you to recognize a bit about what the answer is. $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Oct 20 '16 at 1:09
  • $\begingroup$ USS enterprise ncc 1701, seems to fit a few clues. $\endgroup$ – WeShall Oct 20 '16 at 1:29
  • $\begingroup$ Have a little edit on the riddle, make some clue more specific. Oh gosh, @WeShall, you've got a clue! $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Oct 20 '16 at 2:12
2
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You are ...

the Douglas SBD Dauntless

I fall with my holey sleeves

A dive bomber (I fall) with distinctive dive brakes on the trailing edges of the wings that look like perforations; see this picture.

Release the load then I heave

A bomber, so it released the bomb and then got itself out of there.

A five-year mission made me a crew of the war

Saw its major service life from 1940 to 1944 during WWII.

To boldly take action where no man has taken before

Served aboard the USS Enterprise CV-6 (hence the play on the tag line from Star Trek)

Addtional info from OP:
Here's another meaning that I had came up with, as this line was written:
To be precise, SBDs went into service on Yorktown-class aircraft carriers, including USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Yorktown (CV-5). It was the SBDs on USS Yorktown participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first battle that only aircraft carriers engaged on each other.
That also fit the line "take action where no man has taken before".

When the dateline was almost torn up

not sure what is meant here; other answers have several good interpretations, one of which is surely on point

OP:
That's actually talking about the Battle of Midway, as the dateline is near from Midway Atoll.

The fire of revenge I had lit up

During the Battle of Midway in early June 1942, four squadrons of Navy SBD dive bombers attacked and sank or fatally damaged all four Japanese fleet carriers present—three of them in the span of just six minutes (Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū and, later in the day, Hiryū). This avenged the losses at Pearl Harbor.

The successor came quite early

The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was a carrier-based dive bomber aircraft produced for the United States Navy during World War II. It replaced the Douglas SBD Dauntless in US Navy service. The SB2C was much faster than the SBD it replaced. First flight was 1940, and principle production from 1943-1945 -- practically on the heels of the SBD it was made to replace.

Yet my body still varied

The SBD went through many updates in a short timespan.
- The original model first entered service in mid-1939, and came in two models, designated the SBD-1 and SBD-2 (the latter had increased fuel capacity and different armament).
- The next version was the SBD-3, which began manufacture in early 1941. It had increased armor, self-sealing fuel tanks, and four machine guns.
- The SBD-4 doubled the voltage of the electrical system. Some of these became SBD-4P reconnaissance aircraft.
- The next (and most produced) version, the SBD-5, had a more powerful engine and an increased ammunition supply.
- The final version, the SBD-6, had more improvements, but its production ended during the summer of 1944.

It was not my intention to retain

As the reputation was hard to obtain

Aircraft design progression was fast and furious during WWII, so this model would quickly see an end to its usefulness. But it had earned its reputation: The SBD is best remembered as the bomber that delivered the fatal blows to the Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway in June 1942.

OP:
These lines were actually talking about the evaluation between SB2Cs and SBDs:

Though SB2Cs are faster, and able to carry bombs up to 2,000 pounds (SBDs could only up to 1,200 pounds), the control in low speed is so terrible that pilots found it hard to land safely on an aircraft carrier, even to aim a target while diving. On the contrary, those easy-to-fly SBDs were even earned the nickname "Slow But Deadly". As for the SB2Cs, its codename became "Son-of-a-Bitch 2nd Class".

Hint 1:

The title was inspired from a Vietnam War movie quote, which made in 1991, based on a military novel that shared the same name. Though the answer itself didn't starred in it, the quote may help you to identify the thing behind puzzle in some way.
The movie was Flight of the Intruder and did indeed get me looking into aircraft.

OP: "Fighter pilots make movies, bomber pilots make... HISTORY!"

Hint 2:

What it does is tactical, not strategic, even though the results were crucial.
The SBDs were used tactically, not strategically

Hint 3:

Two names people used to called it: one came from navy, the other came from army.
The SBD ("Scout Bomber Douglas") was the United States Navy's main carrier-borne scout plane and dive bomber from mid-1940 through mid-1944.
One land-based variant of the SBD — in omitting the arrestor hook — was purpose-built for the U.S. Army Air Forces, as the A-24 Banshee.

Hint 4:

Its skill only came in handy through the 1940s, and it became old-fashioned after that era.
As already noted, it quickly became obsolete, and in any case its primary purpose was service in WWII

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  • $\begingroup$ You've got the right one! Line 5 and line 6 are actually talking about the same thing. If you don't mind, I would like to edit some further explanation from yours. $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Nov 5 '16 at 2:15
  • $\begingroup$ @ShaneHsu Be my guest. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Nov 5 '16 at 3:10
3
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Although some don't seem to quite fit, there's some strong connections with

The Enola Gay

I fall with my holey sleeves

Fall from the sky

Release the load then I heave

Release the bomb

On a five-year mission I did swear

Manhattan project (4+ years)

Go boldly into the azure frontier

Plane flies

When the dateline was almost torn up

Negotiations for surrender with Japan had failed.

The fire of revenge I had lit up

Retaliation for declaring war

The successor came quite early

The second atomic weapon was deployed by the B-29 airplane named Bockscar 3 days later.

Yet my body still varied

Not sure what a varied body is.

It was not my intention to retain As the reputation was hard to obtain

The bomb was intended to be released, or the infamy was not expected or wanted.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's a nice try I admit, but unfortunately not the right one. $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Oct 19 '16 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ @ShaneHsu, okay. $\endgroup$ – John Oct 19 '16 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ Kind of complete explanation... you've earned my upvote. I want to say sorry for the quick reply in minutes. $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Oct 20 '16 at 1:15
2
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Are you...

B-26 Flak Bait

I fall with my holey sleeves

This aircraft has a reputation of surviving 1000 bullet holes

Working through other clues !!

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh my, I didn't know such a legend lived in the past! (taking notes) But that was not the answer, maybe a second try? $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Oct 22 '16 at 8:12
  • $\begingroup$ SpaceShipOne? but it has more of a holey nose than sleeves :) $\endgroup$ – WeShall Oct 22 '16 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ Ha, ha! That's creative, I should take another note then. You can check the comment I had left for @rand al'thor, it may help with your previous comment above. As for holey sleeves, well, think again :D $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Oct 22 '16 at 16:24
2
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The 3rd and 4th lines of the riddle hint towards

Star Trek and the USS Enterprise, which, as well as being the name of various starships in the Star Trek universe, has also been the name of various real-life ships.

I think the answer is

the USS Enterprise CV-6, a WWII aircraft carrier.

I fall with my holey sleeves

Perhaps something to do with the numerous guns on board the ship?

Release the load then I heave

I can't even parse this line, sorry.

A five-year mission made me a crew of the war

It was roughly 5 years from when Enterprise was first commissioned to her participation in the war.

To boldly take action where no man has taken before

As well as being a Star Trek reference, this also describes the real-life Enterprise, which did things no other ship had done during WWII.

When the dateline was almost torn up

This is probably a reference to the Battle of Midway, which took place close to the International Date Line.

The fire of revenge I had lit up

Enterprise took part in the destruction of many Japanese craft, a kind of 'revenge' for the Pearl Harbour attack.

The successor came quite early

Yet my body still varied

Another Enterprise was commissioned only a year after the CV-6 was scrapped, but its shape ('body') was different from its namesake.

It was not my intention to retain

As the reputation was hard to obtain

Enterprise had a reputation for having been sunk: on three separate occasions the Japanese declared that she had gone down, but always she showed up again. She was also the most decorated US ship in WWII - another tough act to follow!

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  • $\begingroup$ if this is the answer, then, this is more trivia than a riddle $\endgroup$ – Sid Oct 22 '16 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ Excuse me, the 3rd and 4th lines were not meant to lead directly to the answer. We know the movie from that famous quote, which I intended to make you come up with; However, the spaceship was the point where I emphasized, since there were more than one ship shared its name in history. $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Oct 22 '16 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ @ShaneHsu Something to do with one of these then? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Oct 22 '16 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor That's what I'm talking about :) $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Oct 22 '16 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ @ShaneHsu I would guess this one, as the most famous ship on that list. The "fire of revenge" perhaps referring to revenge for Pearl Harbour? Not sure about "holey sleeves" or the "dateline" though (unless that's a reference to the International Date Line ...) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Oct 22 '16 at 17:07
2
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Answer:

Viking 1 probe

I fall with my holey sleeves

A reference to probe's solar panels

Release the load then I heave

The probe comprised of a lander and an orbiter. Load being the lander, presumably.

A five-year mission made me a crew of the war

To boldly take action where no man has taken before

No one's been to Mars yet

When the dateline was almost torn up The fire of revenge I had lit up

The probe came close to crashing on Mars towards the end of its mission.

The successor came quite early Yet my body still varied

Viking 2 dates were pretty close too.

It was not my intention to retain As the reputation was hard to obtain

Not sure about this one. Viking was no doubt a milestone in NASA's space exploration.

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  • $\begingroup$ That is a creative answer, but not the right one. When it comes to the word "war" in line 3, a war machine may much more reasonable than a spacecraft. $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Oct 27 '16 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ A challenge. Will muse over it. $\endgroup$ – sybillan Oct 27 '16 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ Then I would suggest that to check other user's answer. Good luck! $\endgroup$ – Shane Hsu Oct 27 '16 at 13:21

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