Built to replace the obsolete TBD Devastator, the TBF torpedo bomber was produced by Grumman and were licensed by Grumman and produced by General Motors, to allow Grumman to concentrate on building the F6F Hellcat.

The TBF was used primarily for anti-sub patrols, bombing missions and rocket-firing strike aircraft. Note the dorsal turret which was operated by the radio/gunner. The first TBF’s flew across the Pacific and arrived just in time for the Battle of Midway June 4, 1942. Able to sink a Japanese ship with as little as three hits, the Yamato and Musashi battleships were two of its later victims.

President George Herbert Walker Bush flew TBMs during his tour of duty in WW II. The Avenger remained in service with the Navy until 1954. After this time the threat from new-generation deep-dive nuclear subs created a need for more specialized aircraft.

This Avenger was an MGM movie prop before it was acquired by Yanks on August 18, 1980. During restoration of this TBF, Japanese 27mm bullets were found in the tail.

DISPLAY STATUS COUNTRY OF ORIGIN CURRENT LOCATION
Own United States Restoration
PURPOSE & TYPE MATERIALS ERA & DATE RANGE
Bomber Steel World War II
1939 – 1945
PRODUCTION &
ACQUISITION
SPECIFICATIONS SERVICE HISTORY
MFG: Grumman
First Produced: 1942
Number Built: 9,839 total; 2,293 Grumman, 7,546 GM
Armament: (1) .30 cal machine gun firing through the prop; (1) .50 caliber machine gun in turret, 2,000 lbs of bombs of 22” torpedosAcquired by Yanks on August 18, 1980.
Wingspan: 54’2”
Wing Area: 490 sw ft
Length: 40’
Height: 16’5”
Empty Weight: 10,080 lbs
Gross Weight: 15,905 lbs
Powerplant: Wright R-2600-8
Thrust:
Cruise Speed:
Maximum Speed: 271 mph
Range: 1,215 miles
Delivered: November 24, 1942

USS Enterprise, NAS San Diego, CA, Puuene, Barbers
Point, HI and Ford Island, HI, Noema, USS Saratoga,
VF-12 Henderson Field, Guadalcanal.
Strikes on Kolombagra Island, Naura and Rabaul

Stricken: July 31, 1945