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  • TBM Avenger
  • TBM Avenger
dividing bar Archival photo courtesy of the National Archives

The Avenger’s combat debut was at Midway in 1942. Six Avengers from Midway Island attacked the Japanese carrier strike force, but only one bullet-riddled Avenger made it home to Midway, and none of those scored hits on the Japanese ships. Despite this disappointing action at Midway, the Avenger served as the US Navy’s primary torpedo bomber, effectively interdicting enemy shipping and delivering ordnance on enemy positions throughout the Pacific.

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TBM Avenger “Bayou Bomber”

This aircraft is depicted as Lt. (jg) Thomas C. Lupo’s Avenger at the Battle off Samar, one of the three naval battles collectively known as the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Flying from the USS Fanshaw Bay, Lupo made repeated attack runs on the IJN Yamato, one of the largest battleships in history. After Lupo expended all of his ammunition, he continued making runs on Yamato, throwing a Coke bottle and other loose articles from his aircraft at the ship’s bridge.

Made possible through a gift from the Lupo Family in honor of Alvena and “Commodore” Thomas J. Lupo

Type: Torpedo Bomber

Date Introduced: 1942
Manufacturer: General Motors
Number Produced: 7,500+

Specifications (TBM-3)
Crew: 3 (Pilot, Radioman/Bombardier, Gunner)
Maximum Speed: 275 miles per hour
Wingspan: 54 feet
Length: 41 feet
Cruising Speed: 150 miles per hour
Maximum Range: 1,000 miles
Engine: One Wright R-2600-20 (1,900 hp)
Maximum Ordnance Load: 2,000 lb (internal)
Armament: Three .50 caliber and one .30 caliber machine guns

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