|Grumman/GM TBF/TBM "Avenger"
| In response to a
1939 requirement for a carrier-based torpedo-bomber to replace
the TBD "Devastator", Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation
produced the TBF "Avenger" equipped with an electrically
powered gun turret and an internal bomb-bay for four 500 lb
bombs or an aerial torpedo. Crewed by a pilot, radioman and
gunner, the TBF could cruise at 145 mph. In 1942 General
Motors also built the TBF known as the TBM. A total of 9,842
TBF/TBM "Avengers" were produced, the last of which was
retired in 1954.|
The combat debut
of the TBF occurred during the Battle of Midway when six of
them were launched from Midway without fighter escort to
attack the approaching Japanese fleet. Jumped by "Zeros"
during their torpedo runs, five were shot down while the sixth
was so badly shot-up (pilot/radioman wounded, gunner killed)
that it was scrapped after landing at Midway with bomb-bay
doors open and only one wheel
In 1944 while
flying from an aircraft carrier on a bombing mission against a
Japanese radio station on Chichi Jima, the TBM of LTJG George
Bush was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire. Despite a
flaming engine, he continued his dive to score a direct hit
before being forced to bail-out over water where he was picked
up by a submarine and subsequently returned to his squadron to
fly additional combat missions. Both of his crewmen failed to
survive. Other combat highlights involving the "Avenger"
included: sinking of six Japanese transports in one day by
aircraft from a single squadron; sinking of the world's
largest battleships - the Musashi and Yamato; shooting down
ninety-eight planes in aerial combat; and sinking thirty-one
German submarines in the Atlantic. In 1945, five TBMs from NAS
Ft. Lauderdale on a routine training flight disappeared in an
area known as the "Bermuda Triangle". Their location remains a
mystery to this day.
From our Premier Series. 1/35th scale.17.5"
wingspan by 13.5" long.
No. AENMD-PR. Only
From our Standard Series.
scale. 16.75" wingspan by 12.75" long