© Ralph Groenhuyzen Photography. All Rights Reserved.
Though its introduction to combat at the Battle of Midway was not a promising start (five of the six Grumman TBF-1 Avengers assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT) 8 were shot down, and the lone survivor was heavily damaged), the TBF became the Navy's standard torpedo bomber throughout the war. It served in other roles as well, including glide bombing in close air support, reconnaissance, and light transport. In all, 9,836 Avengers were built, 7,546 of which were turned out by General Motors Eastern Aircraft Division and designated TBMs.