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Encyclopedia > TBF Avenger
Grumman TBF Avengers in 1942
Grumman TBF Avengers in 1942

The Grumman TBF Avenger (designated TBM for aircraft manufactured by General Motors) was an American torpedo bomber, developed initially for the United States Navy and Marine Corps and used by a large number of air forces around the world. It entered service in 1942, and began major use during the Battle of Midway. Grumman TBF Avenger US Navy pic. ... Grumman TBF Avenger US Navy pic. ... The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, later Grumman Aerospace Corporation, was a leading producer of military and civilian aircraft of the 20th century. ... General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM), also known as GM, is a United States-based automobile maker with worldwide operations and brands including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and Vauxhall. ... A torpedo bomber is a bomber aircraft designed primarily to attack ships with torpedoes, but they could also carry out conventional bombings. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for conducting naval operations around the globe. ... United States Marine Corps seal The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the U.S. military. ... This article is about the year. ... Combatants United States Japan Commanders Chester Nimitz Frank J. Fletcher Raymond A. Spruance Isoroku Yamamoto Chuichi Nagumo Yamaguchi Tamon Strength Three carriers, about 50 support ships 233 carrier aircraft; 127 land-based aircraft Four carriers, about 150 support ships 248 carrier aircraft; 16 floatplanes Casualties 1 carrier, 1 destroyer sunk...


The Douglas Devastator, the main torpedo bomber of the U.S. Navy (from 1935 to about 1942) had become obsolete by 1939. In order to replace it, Grumman (the "Iron Works") was contracted to create a new replacement. Designed by Leroy Grumman, its first prototype was called the XTBF-1. Although one of the first two prototypes crashed near Brentwood, New York, rapid production continued. The Douglas TBD Devastator was a torpedo bomber of the United States Navy, ordered in 1934, first flying in 1935 and entering service in 1937. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Leroy Randle Grumman born in Huntington on January 4, 1895, he demonstrated an early interest in aviation. ... Brentwood is a hamlet ( and census-designated place ) located in Suffolk County, New York. ... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ...

Contents


Design

Grumman's first torpedo bomber was the largest single-engine plane of WWII, and it was the first to feature a new wing-folding mechanism (designed by Grumman) that would minimize storage space on an aircraft carrier; the F6F Hellcat (also manufactured by Grumman) would have the same mechanism. The engine used was the Wright R-2600-20 (which produced 1900 horsepower). There were three crew members - pilot, turret gunner, and radioman/bombardier/ventral gunner. A .50-caliber machine gun was mounted in each wing, and one more .50 caliber gun was mounted right next to the turret gunner's head in a rear-facing electrically-powered turret. There was a single .30 caliber hand-fired machine gun mounted ventrally (under the tail), which was used to defend against enemy fighters attacking from a below and to the rear. This gun was fired by the radioman/bombardier while standing up and bending over in the belly of the tail section, though he usually sat on a folding bench facing forward to operate the radio and to sight in bombing runs. There was only one set of controls on the aircraft, and no access to the pilot's position from the rest of the aircraft. The radio equipment was massive, especially by today's standards, and filled the whole glass canopy to the rear of the pilot. The radios were accessible for repair through a "tunnel" along the right hand side. Any Avengers that are still flying today usually have an additional rear-mounted seat in place of the radios, which increases crew to four. A torpedo bomber is a bomber aircraft designed primarily to attack ships with torpedoes, but they could also carry out conventional bombings. ... F6F Hellcat The Grumman F6F Hellcat started development as an improved F4F Wildcat, but turned into a completely new design sharing a family resemblance to the Wildcat but with no shared parts. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Wright R-2600 Cyclone 14 (also called Twin Cyclone) was an engine widely used in American aircraft in the 1930s and 1940s. ... The horsepower (hp) is the name of several non-metric units of power. ...


During the Battle of Midway, all of the three aircraft carriers' torpedo groups (from the USS Hornet, USS Enterprise, and USS Yorktown) had taken horrendous casualties; one group had a single survivor (Ensign George Gay). This was partly due to the slow speed of the Devastator (less than 200 mph (320 km/h) during glide-bombing) and its weak defensive armament. Ironically, the first shipment of TBFs had arrived only a few hours after the three carriers quickly departed from Pearl Harbor (although a few eventually participated). Combatants United States Japan Commanders Chester Nimitz Frank J. Fletcher Raymond A. Spruance Isoroku Yamamoto Chuichi Nagumo Yamaguchi Tamon Strength Three carriers, about 50 support ships 233 carrier aircraft; 127 land-based aircraft Four carriers, about 150 support ships 248 carrier aircraft; 16 floatplanes Casualties 1 carrier, 1 destroyer sunk... An aircraft carrier is a warship designed to deploy and recover aircraft—in effect acting as a sea-going airbase. ... The seventh USS Hornet (CV-8) of the United States Navy was an aircraft carrier of World War II, notable for launching the Doolittle Raid, as a participant in the Battle of Midway, and for action in the Solomons before being mortally wounded in the Battle of the Santa Cruz... USS Enterprise (CV-6) was the sixth aircraft carrier of the United States Navy and the seventh US Navy ship of that name. ... // Early Career The third USS Yorktown (CV-5) was lead ship of the Yorktown class aircraft carrier of World War II, sunk at the Battle of Midway. ... Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ... George Gay Ensign (later Lieutenant Commander) George H. Gay Jr. ... Satellite image of Pearl Harbor. ...


The Avenger had a large bomb bay, allowing for one Bliss-Leavitt Mark 13 torpedo, a single 2000 lb (900 kg) bomb, or up to four 500 lb (230 kg) bombs. Torpedoes were generally abandoned after Midway and were not carried again regularly until after June of 1944, when improvements mandated their use again. By that time, it was rare for American aircraft to encounter enemy shipping at sea and the Avenger was primarily employed as a ground support weapon. The plane had overall ruggedness and stability, and pilots say it flew like a truck, for better or worse. With a 30,000 foot (10,000 m) ceiling and a fully-loaded range of 1,000 miles (1,600 km), it was better than any previous American torpedo plane, and better than its chief opponent, the then obsolete Japanese Nakajima B5N "Kate". A torpedo in Rail terminology refers to a small explosive device strapped to the top of the rail to alert an approaching train of immediate danger ahead. ... The Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, produced in the United States. ... The Nakajima B5N (Japanese: 中島 B5N, Allied reporting name: Kate) was the Imperial Japanese Navys standard torpedo bomber for the first years of World War II. Although, like its Allied counterparts the TBD Devastator and Fairey Swordfish, the type was obsolescent by 1939, B5Ns were flown nearly throughout the...


General history

On the afternoon of December 7, 1941, Grumman held a ceremony to open a new manufacturing plant and display the new TBF to the public. Ironically, on that day, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor, as Grumman soon found out. After the ceremony was over, the plant was quickly sealed off to ward against possible enemy action. By early June 1942, though, a shipment of more than 100 planes was sent to the Navy (although, as mentioned before, most were too late to participate in the fateful Battle of Midway). December 7 is the 341st day (342nd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film) 1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1941 calendar). ... Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ...


However, six TBF-1s were present on Midway Island, as part of VT-8 (Torpedo Squadron 8), while the rest of the squadron flew Devastators from the Hornet. Unfortunately, most of the pilots had very little previous experience, and only one TBF survived (with heavy damage and casualties). As author Gordon Prange mentions in Miracle at Midway, the outdated Devastators (and lack of new planes) contributed somewhat to the lack of a complete victory (and the loss of the Yorktown); bravery was no equal to superior planes. A Squadron is a small unit or formation of cavalry, aircraft (including balloons), or naval vessels. ... Gordon William Prange was the author of several World War II-based manuscripts, published after his death in 1980. ... Miracle at Midway is a book by Gordon Prange that describes the time leading up to, and the subsequent naval battle at, the island of Midway by the forces of the United States and Japan in World War II. See Also: Battle of Midway Categories: Literature stubs ...


On August 24, 1942, the next major naval battle occurred at the Eastern Solomons. With only two carriers (the USS Saratoga and the Enterprise), the 24 TBFs present were able to sink the Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo and claim one dive bomber, at the cost of seven planes. During the early war period, a non-aircraft related problem had emerged: the faulty torpedoes used by the U.S. Navy had failed to explode (even on direct hits) on many occasions; Prange mentions a likely problem in the magnetic detonation device (at Midway, one submarine actually hit the Soryu with a faulty torpedo, although fortunately after it was already incapacitated). August 24 is the 236th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (237th in leap years), with 129 days remaining. ... This article is about the year. ... The fifth USS Saratoga (CV-3) was the third aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. ... Ryujo (Japanese: 龍驤, prancing dragon) was a light aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ... HMS Vanguard, a Vanguard-class nuclear ballistic missile (SSBN) submarine HMCS Windsor, a Victoria-class diesel-electric hunter-killer (SSK) submarine HMAS Rankin, a Collins-class diesel-electric guided missile (SSG) submarine USS Virginia, a Virginia-class nuclear attack (SSN) submarine A submarine is a specialized watercraft that can operate...


The first major "prize" for the TBFs (which had been christened the "Avenger" after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) was at the Battle of Guadalcanal, when Marine Corps and Navy Avengers helped sink the Japanese battleship Hiei. Combatants United States, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands Japan Commanders Frank Fletcher (tactical commander) Alexander Vandegrift (ground force commander) Hyakutake Haruyoshi (ground forces) Gunichi Mikawa (naval forces) Strength 29,000 (November 12) 30,000 (November 12) Casualties 1,492 killed, 1000, wounded 15,000 KIA, 9,000 died... Hiei (比叡), named for Mount Hiei north-east of Kyoto, was a Kongo-class battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ...


After hundreds of the original TBFs were built (designated the TBF-1), the TBF-1C began production. The allotment of space for specialized internal and wing-mounted fuel tanks doubled the Avenger's range. By 1943, Grumman began to slowly phase out production of the Avenger to produce F6F Hellcat fighters, and the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors took over (causing the designation to be changed to the TBM). Starting in mid-1944, the TBM-3 began production (with a more powerful powerplant and wing hardpoints for drop tanks and rockets). The dash-3 was the most numerous of the Avengers (with about 4,600 produced). However, most of the Avengers were dash-1s until near the end of the war (in 1945). 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... A Redstone rocket, part of the Mercury program A rocket is a vehicle, missile or aircraft which obtains thrust by the reaction to the ejection of fast moving exhaust gas from within a rocket engine. ... 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ...


Besides the traditional surface role (torpedoing surface ships), Avengers claimed about thirty submarine kills, including the cargo submarine I-52, whose remains were found in 1998. They were one of the most effective sub-killers in the Pacific theatre, as well as in the Atlantic, when escort carriers were finally available to escort Allied convoys. There, the Avengers contributed in warding off German U-Boats while providing air cover for the convoys. HMS Vanguard, a Vanguard-class nuclear ballistic missile (SSBN) submarine HMCS Windsor, a Victoria-class diesel-electric hunter-killer (SSK) submarine HMAS Rankin, a Collins-class diesel-electric guided missile (SSG) submarine USS Virginia, a Virginia-class nuclear attack (SSN) submarine A submarine is a specialized watercraft that can operate... I-52, a Japanese cargo submarine, was the lead ship of the three Type C-3 submarines designed and constructed by the Mitsubishi Corporation in 1943 and 1944. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... The Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) is the term used in the United States for all military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, in World War II. Pacific War is a more common name, around the world, for the broader conflict between the Allies and Japan... U-boat is also a nickname for some diesel locomotives built by GE; see List of GE locomotives October 1939. ...


After the "Marianas' Turkey Shoot", in which more than 250 Japanese aircraft were downed, Admiral Marc Mitscher ordered a 220-aircraft mission to find the Japanese task force. At the extreme end of their range (300 nautical miles out), the group of Hellcats, TBF/TBMs, and dive bombers took many casualties. However, Avengers from USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) torpedoed the light carrier Hiyo as their only major prize. Although Mitscher's gamble was acceptable, it did not pay off as well as he had hoped. Admiral is a word from the Arabic term Amir-al-bahr (commander of the sea). ... Admiral Marc A. Mitscher Marc Andrew Pete Mitscher, (26 January 1887 - 3 February 1947) was an admiral in the United States Navy, notable as commander of the Fast Carrier Task Force in the latter half of World War II in the Pacific. ... A dive bomber is a bomber aircraft that dives directly at its targets in order to provide greater accuracy. ... Two ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Belleau Wood, after the Belleau Wood near Chateau Thierry in France, the scene of heavy fighting by U.S. Marines in World War I. The first Belleau Wood (CVL-24) was a light aircraft carrier converted from a cruiser... Hiyo (Japanese: ???) was a Hiyo-class aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ...


In June 1943, future-President George H.W. Bush became the youngest naval aviator at the time. While flying a TBF with VT-51 (from the USS San Jacinto), his plane was shot down on September 2, 1944 over enemy territory. Both of his crewmates died; however, because he released his payload before being forced to bail out, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross. The presidential seal was used by president Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... Order: 41st President Vice President: Dan Quayle Term of office: January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993 Preceded by: Ronald Reagan Succeeded by: Bill Clinton Date of birth: June 12, 1924 Place of birth: Milton, Massachusetts First Lady: Barbara Pierce Bush Political party: Republican George Herbert Walker Bush, KBE (born June... The second USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) of the United States Navy was an Independence-class light aircraft carrier. ... September 2 is the 245th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (246th in leap years). ... The Distinguished Flying Cross. ...


Near the end of the war, TBF/TBMs killed two of the Japanese "super battleships": the Musashi and the Yamato (which was Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's flagship for most of the war). The Avengers played a very major role in the American victory during World War II, although torpedoes had become largely outdated (replaced by the faster and more effective dive bombers) by then. Musashi (武蔵), named after the ancient Japanese Musashi Province, was a battleship belonging to the Imperial Japanese Navy, and was the second and final ship of the Yamato class to be completed as a battleship. ... Yamato (大和), named after the ancient Japanese Yamato Province, was a battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and was the lead ship of her class. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A flagship is the ship used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships. ...


The Avenger was also used by the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm where it was initially known as the "Tarpon" however this name was later discontinued and the Avenger name used instead. The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the senior service of the British armed services, being the oldest of its three branches. ... The Fleet Air Arm is the operational group of the Royal Navy responsible for the operation of the aircraft on board their ships. ... Species Megalops atlanticus Megalops cyprinoides The tarpons are large coastal fish notable as a prize of anglers. ...


The only other operator in World War II was the Royal New Zealand Air Force which used the type primarily as a bomber, operating from South Pacific Island bases. Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others. ... The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is the air force arm of the New Zealand Defence Force. ...


In 1945 Avengers were involved in pioneering trials of aerial topdressing in New Zealand that led to the establishment of an industry which markedly increased food production and efficiency in farming worldwide. Pilots of the Royal New Zealand Air Force's 42 Squadron spread fertilizer from Avengers beside runways at Ohakea air base. Aerial Topdressing is the spreading of fertilisers such as Superphosphate over farm land. ... The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is the air force arm of the New Zealand Defence Force. ... 42 Squadron of the RNZAF was formed at Rongotai (Wellington) in December 1943 to provide a communications service around the country. ...


The post war disappearance of a flight of American Avengers, known as Flight 19, began the Bermuda Triangle legend. This article contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... The neutrality of this article or section may be compromised by weasel words. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page. ...


Many Avengers survived the remainder of the 20th century as firebombers in New Brunswick.


Specifications (TBF Avenger)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 40 ft 11.5 in (12.48 m)
  • Wingspan: 54 ft 2 in (16.51 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 5 in (4.70 m)
  • Wing area: 490.02 ft² (45.52 m²)
  • Empty weight: 10,545 lb (4,783 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 17,893 lb (8,115 kg)
  • Maximum gross takeoff weight: ()
  • Powerplant: 1× Wright R-2600-20 radial engine, 1,900 hp (1,420 kW)

Performance

Armament

  • 2x 0.50 cal (12.7 mm) forward-firing machine guns
  • 1x 0.50 cal (12.7 mm) dorsal-mounted machine gun
  • 1x 0.30 cal (7.62 mm) ventral-mounted machine gun
  • Up to 2,000 lb (900 kg) of bombs
  • 1x 2,000 lb (900 kg) torpedo

The wingspan (or just span) of an airplane is the distance from the left wingtip to the right wingtip. ... In aviation, the Maximum Take-Off Weight (or MTOW) is the maximum weight with which an aircraft can achieve flight. ... The Wright R-2600 Cyclone 14 (also called Twin Cyclone) was an engine widely used in American aircraft in the 1930s and 1940s. ... Radial engine of a biplane. ... VNO of an aircraft is the V speed which refers to the velocity of normal operation. ... Service Ceiling—The maximum density altitude where the best rate-of climb airspeed will produce a 100 feet-per-minute climb at maximum weight while in a clean configuration with maximum continuous power. ... This page is a candidate to be moved to Wiktionary. ... In aerodynamics, wing loading is the loaded weight of the aircraft divided by the area of the wing. ... Power-to-weight ratio is a measure commonly used when comparing various vehicles (or engines), including automobiles, motorcycles and aircraft. ...

Operators

  • Brazil (postwar), Canada (postwar), Japan (postwar), Netherlands (postwar), New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay (postwar).

References

  • Prange, Gordon William, et. al. (1983). Miracle at Midway. Viking. ISBN 0140068147.
  • Drendal, Lou (2001). Walk Around, TBF/TBM Avenger. Squadron/Signal Publications. ISBN 0897474244.

External links

  • The Avenger

Related content

 

Comparable aircraft

Designation sequence

Related lists

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  Results from FactBites:
 
uboat.net - Fighting the U-boats - Aircraft (1393 words)
In subsequent clashes with the Japanese Navy, the Avenger was hampered by the ineffectiveness of its primary weapon, the Mark 13 torpedo.
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Avengers were known to carry combinations of these devices, such as two 500-pound depth bombs, one Fido, radar, flares, and sonobuoys.
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Thus, when the Avenger became available for British use through Lend-Lease, their Lordships at the Admiralty were quick to become the second-largest operator of the Avenger during the war, using 1,000 of them.
The Avenger Is and IIs formed the heart of the FAA strike forces when flown against Japanese airfields on Formosa and the Sakishima Gunto, contributing to the isolation of the Okinawa battlefield.
Avengers were among the first British aircraft to fly over Tokyo and they were used continuously for strikes over the homeland up to the Japanese surrender.
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