Grumman TBF Avenger
 
  

The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation

See Grumman F3F.

The Eastern Aircraft Division of the General Motors Corporation

See Grumman F4F/Eastern Aircraft FM

Description

The TBF/TBMs were all-metal, carrier-based, mid-wing monoplane torpedo bombers. The hydraulically-operated folding wings were designed by Grumman and in the folded position, the wings were almost vertical parallel to the fuselage with the leading edge of the wing facing down. The horizontal and vertical stabilizers are all metal but the rudder and elevators were fabric covered. The main landing gear retracted outwardly in recesses in the wings and the tail wheel and arrester hook retracted into the fuselage.

The aircraft had a crew of three, pilot, gunner and radioman. The pilot’s cockpit was over the leading edge of the wing. Aft of the pilot’s cockpit was the rear cockpit; this cockpit had duplicate flight controls in the first 50 TBF-1s but these were discontinued in subsequent aircraft and the area was used for electronic equipment. The seat in this cockpit was removed with the introduction of the TBF-1C/TBM-1C.

Aft of the rear cockpit was the power operated gun turret with a single 0.50-caliber (12.7-millimeter) machine gun. This gun was manned by either an aviation ordnanceman or an aviation machinist mate. On most flights of long duration, particularly scouting or patrolling missions, the turret gunner may have changed positions and posts of duty with the radioman. Hence an interchange of duties occured, and the turret gunner must know the radioman’s tasks and be able to perform each of them.

The radioman’s station was located in the lower fuselage aft of the bomb-bay. The aviation radioman was primarily just that while in flight. He operated the high frequency radio and all radar equipment. He also armed all of the ordnance in the bomb-bay, i.e.,  bombs, depth bombs and torpedoes and if necessary, operated any cameras. The radioman also manned the 0.30-caliber (7.62-millimeter) ventral machine gun.

As the war progressed in the Pacific, Japanese fighters rarely made low-side runs and the ventral gun was not needed. Also, there was very little armor protection in the belly, putting the radioman in constant danger of shrapnel wounds from antiaircraft fire. Thus, most torpedo squadrons started carrying only one crew member in each Avenger. This crewman would occupy the turret most of the time, but could slide down into the belly if needed for radio adjustments, arming bombs or torpedoes, etc. The exception to the one crew member rule was made if a photographer or news correspondent was assigned to the strike.

Production History

On 25 March 1939, the U.S. Navy asked all U.S. aircraft companies to submit design proposals for a new torpedo bomber to replace the Douglas TBD-1 Devastator. The specifications for this new aircraft were:

1. A top speed of 300 miles per hour (483 kilometers per hour),
2. Range not less than 1,000-miles (1,609-kilometers),
3. Service ceiling of 30,000-feet (9,144-meters),
4. Aircraft was to carry torpedo or bombs internally, and
5. Maximum wingspan of 60-feet (18-meters) and maximum length of 39-feet (12-meters).

The aircraft must be capable of dropping a torpedo or bombs, lay smoke, act as a scout and strafe light surface vessels.

The Navy received 13 design proposals from six companies, Brewster and Company, Aircraft Division; Douglas Aircraft Company, Incorporated; Grumman; Hall Aluminum Aircraft Corporation; Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corporation; and Vultee Aircraft Division, Aviation Manufacturing Company. Some manufacturers submitted multiple designs and by November, and the Navy recommended two prototypes, designated XTBF-1 from Grumman, and one prototype from Vought-Sikorsky, designated XTBU-1.

XTBF-1: The contract for the two Grumman prototypes was awarded on 8 April 1940. The two prototypes were powered by a 1,700-horsepower Wright R-2600-8 fourteen cylinder, twin row, air-cooled radial engine with a single-stage, two-speed supercharger driving a three-bladed Curtiss propeller. Armament consisted of one 0.30-caliber (7.62-millimeter) machine gun with 300 rounds in the engine cowling, a 0.50-caliber machine gun in the electrically driven rear turret with 400 rounds and a 0.30-caliber machine gun in the ventral position with 500 rounds. Internally, the Avenger could carry one 22-inch (56-centimeter) Mk. 13 torpedo, one 1,600-pound (726-kilogram) bomb, one 1,000-pound (454-kilogram) bomb, four 500-pound (227-kilogram) bombs, 12x100-pound bombs (45-kilogram) bombs, one 650-pound (295-kilogram) Mk. 29 depth bomb or four 325-pound (147-kilogram) Mk. 17 depth bombs. The first flight of the first prototype was 7 August 1941 but it crashed on 28 November 1941 after fire erupted during a climb stability test. The second prototype made its first flight on 20 December 1941. Prototype 2 was identical to Prototype 1 except that a dorsal fin had been added between the fuselage and vertical stabilizer.

TBF-1: On 23 December 1941, the Navy awarded Grumman a contract for 286 TBF-1 production aircraft which were essentially the same as the second XTBF-1 prototype; eventually, Grumman built 1,524 TBF-1s. The first aircraft flew on 3 January 1942 and by the end of May 1942, Grumman had delivered 85 TBF-1s to the Navy. These aircraft were equipped with a three-bladed, 13-foot (3.96-meter) Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller driven by the Wright R-2600-8 or -8A engine. Initially, these aircraft had the ability to mount a Norden bombsight but combat use was disappointing and eventually described as "hopeless" during the Guadalcanal Campaign. In spite of giving up on the device in 1942, bureaucratic inertia meant they were supplied as standard equipment until 1944. Many of the TBF-1s were modified without receiving a designation change. For example, many were equipped with Navy ASB-3 Air-To-Surface Search Radar Sets; these aircraft can be identified by the movable Yagi antennas mounted at the end of both wings. Other aircraft were modified with zero-length mountings under the wings to launch High Velocity Attack Rockets (HVARs).

TBF-1B: These were 402 TBF-1s transferred to the British Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. They were initially known as Tarpon T.R. Mk. I but on 13 January 1944, the American name was adopted and they became Avenger T.R. Mk. I. The first aircraft was delivered on 17 August 1942.

TBF-1C: The 764 TBF-1Cs were introduced in July 1943. This aircraft deleted the .30-caliber (7.62-millimeter) machine gun in the engine cowling and replaced it with two 0.50-caliber (12.7-millimeter) machine guns, one in each wing. Internally the rear seat was removed from the cockpit and the duplicate instruments were also removed and the space used to carry the increasing weight of electrical and electronic equipment required over time. Fuel capacity was increased by providing a 275-U.S.-gallon (229-Imperial-gallon or 1,041-liter) auxiliary fuel tank in the bomb bay and two 58-U.S.-gallon (48-Imperial-gallon or 220-liter) fuel tanks, one under each wing. Eight 5-inch (12.7-centimeter) HVARs could be launched from under the wings of the last ones built.

TBF-1CP: A small number of TBF-1Cs modified for photographic reconnaissance by installing a trimetrogen camera in the bomb bay.

TBF-1D: TBF-1Cs modified with ASD microwave air-to-surface search radar (later designated AN/APS-3) in a radome mounting on the leading edge of the starboard wing. These aircraft were also equipped with rocket rails under the wings.

TBF-1E: TBF-1Cs modified with ASH microwave intercept radar (later designated AN/APS-4) in a radome under the starboard wing.

TBF-1J: TBF-1s modified for operations in the Arctic or severe bad weather, with de-icing boots on each leading edge and extra heaters in the aircraft.

TBF-1L: TBF-1s modified with a retractable searchlight in the bomb bay and used for anti-submarine warfare and air-sea rescue.

TBF-1P: TBF-1s modified for photographic reconnaissance by installing a trimetrogen camera in the bomb bay. These were equivalent to the TBF-1CP.

XTBF-2: This prototype was equipped with the 1,900-horsepower Wright XR-2600-10 fourteen cylinder, two-row, air-cooled radial engine in 1942. This engine had a two-stage, two-speed supercharger for high-altitude operation but the Avengers rarely operated at high altitudes and this aircraft/engine never went into production.

XTBF-3: In 1943, two aircraft, a TBF-1 and a TBF-1C, were modified with a 1,900-horsepower Wright R-2600-20 fourteen cylinder, two row, air-cooled radial engine with a single-stage, two-speed supercharger driving a three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller with a constant speed control. The first flight was on 20 June 1943. This aircraft was the prototype for the Eastern Aircraft TBM-3.

Aircraft built by the Eastern Aircraft Division of the General Motors Corporation.

TBM-1: 550 aircraft identical to the TBF-1, other than some of the internal paint.

TBM-1C: 2,336 aircraft identical to the TBM-1C.

TBM-1CP: TBM-1C modified as a photographic reconnaissance aircraft with a trimetrogen camera identical to the TBF-1C.

TBM-1D: TBM-1Cs modified with AN/APS-3 X-band (8.0 to 12.0 gigahertz) air-to-surface search radar in a radome mounting on the leading edge of the starboard wing and equipped with rocket rails under the wings. Identical to TBF-1D.

TBM-1E: TBM-1Cs modified with AN/APS-4 X-band (8.0 to 12.0 gigahertz) intercept radar in a radome under the starboard wing. Identical to TBF-1E.

TBM-1J: TBM-1s modified for operations in the Arctic or severe bad weather, with de-icing boots on each leading edge and extra heaters in the aircraft. Identical to TBF-1J.

TBM-1L: TBM-1s modified with a retractable searchlight in the bomb bay and used for anti-submarine warfare and air-sea rescue. Identical to TBF-1L.

TBM-1P: TBM-1s modified for photographic reconnaissance by installing a trimetrogen camera in the bomb bay. These were equivalent to the TBF-1CP.

XTBM-3: In 1943, four TBM-1Cs were modified with a 1,900-horsepower Wright R-2600-20 fourteen cylinder, two row, air-cooled radial engine with a single-stage, two-speed supercharger driving a three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller with a constant speed control. This was identical to the XTBF-3 and it served as the prototype for the TBM-3.

TBM-3: 4,657 aircraft built with the first being delivered in April 1944. This aircraft had the same engine as the prototype XTBM-3. The Norden bombsight was replaced with an automatic pilot because the bombsight was useless against maneuvering ships.

TBM-3D: TBM-3s modified as anti-submarine aircraft with AN/APS-3 X-band (8.0 to 12.0 gigahertz) air-to-surface search radar in a radome mounting on the leading edge of the starboard wing and equipped with rocket rails under the wings.

TBM-3E: The final production version of the Avenger. The fuselage of this aircraft was 11.5-inches (29.21-centimeters) longer than the TBM-3 and it was equipped with AN/APS-4 X-band (8.0 to 12.0 gigahertz) intercept radar in a radome under the starboard wing. Eastern Aircraft reduced the empty weight by 300-pounds (136 kilograms) to improve performance.

TBM-3J: TBM-3s modified for operations in the Arctic or severe bad weather, with de-icing boots on each leading edge and extra heaters in the aircraft. Identical to TBM-1J.

TBM-3L: TBM-3s modified with a retractable searchlight in the bomb bay and used for anti-submarine warfare and air-sea rescue. Identical to TBF-3L.

XTBM-4: Three prototypes based on the TBM-3E of an improved version of the Avenger that were to be produced in 1945. The XTBM-4 had a stronger wing center section and an improved wing folding mechanism, and was ordered into production as the TBM-4 for the US Navy. The first prototype was completed before the end of the war, but production was cancelled before it began, and the remaining two prototypes were the only other aircraft built. Contracts for 900 production aircraft were canceled.

Post World War II Avengers

TBM-3M: TBM-3s converted to missile and rocket testing. The updated model was the TBM-3M2.

TBM-3N: More than 40 TBM-3s converted to night torpedo bombers. The rear gun turret was removed and a radar operator position fitted under the canopy.

TBM-3Q: A few TBM-3s converted as radar countermeasures aircraft. Externally, they were identical to the TMB-3W with AN/APS-20 S-band (2-to-4-gigahertz) search and early warning radar in a large ventral radome.

TBM-3R: Small number of TBM-3s converted as carrier-onboard-delivery (COD) aircraft. The dorsal turret and all combat equipment was removed and it could carry seven passengers. Cargo was carried in a mesh basket in the bomb bay.

TBM-3S: A number of TBM-3Es modified for antisubmarine warfare operations. All guns removed and aircraft equipped with (1) the AN/APR-1 search receiver designed to measure the frequency of radar or radio signal within its frequency range; (2) AN/APR-16B Sonobuoy Receiver; (3) AN/APA-70 direction finder; (4) AN/APS-4 X-band (8-to-12-gigahertz) intercept radar mounted beneath the right wing; and (5) the normal IFF and high frequency and VHF radio equipment. A searchlight was mounted beneath the left wing. Aircraft were later modified and were redesignated TBM-3S2.

TBM-3U: General utility and target towing aircraft.

TBM-3W: TBM-3s modified as an airborne early warning aircraft that entered service in May 1946. These aircraft were equipped with an AN/APS-20 S-band (2-to-4-gigahertz) search and early warning radar in a large ventral radome. Two radar operators were located in the radio operator's station at the rear of the aircraft, while the turret was removed and a new single place cockpit with a turtle-back fairing replaced the greenhouse. At the same time as gaining a second crewman the radio operator's compartment lost some space as the 'tunnel' was smoothed off to improve the aircraft's rear ground clearance. The rest of the fuselage was filled with electrical equipment, including two VHF radios, IFF gear, the rest of the radar set and data link relay equipment that could transmit the radar data to another aircraft or to the ground. Finally auxiliary tail fins were added near the tips of the horizontal stabilizers to improve lateral stability. The TBM-3W joined the fleet in May 1946, and was soon paired with the TBM-3S in hunter-killer anti-submarine teams. The powerful radar in the -3W would be used to find a potential Soviet submarine, guiding the -3S onto its target. The -3W remained in service with the US fleet until the mid 1950s. The TBM-3W2s entered service in 1950 and had their AN/APS-20 radar optimized to detect the snorkel of a submarine.

Operational History     

The first squadron to be equipped with the TBF-1 Avenger was Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) serving in the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8). Hornet was commissioned on 20 October 1941 and after training off the East Coast of the U.S., the ship sailed from Norfolk, Virginia on 4 March 1942 en route to San Francisco via the Panama Canal. VT-8, equipped with eight Douglas TBD-1 Devastators, were aboard Hornet. By June 1942, the squadron had 15 TBD-1s.

Back home, a detachment of VT-8 had been sent to the Grumman plant to learn as much as they could about the TBF-1. The first TBF-1 was delivered to the detachment at the end of March and the detachment, based at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia, began training missions. On 8 May, 1942, the detachment was ordered to proceed to San Diego, California, for shipment to Hawaii. Arriving at NAS San Diego, the 21 TBF-1s were loaded onto aircraft transport USS Kitty Hawk (APV-1) and arrived at Ford Island, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii on 17 May. The next day, a call was made for volunteers to fly six TBF-1s to Midway Atoll; all 21 crews volunteered and six were selected. On 1 June, the six aircraft took off and began the eight-hour, 1,303-mile (2,098-kilometer).flight to Eastern Island, Midway Atoll.

The real Battle of Midway began on 4 June. A Navy PBY Catalina sighted many Japanese aircraft heading for Midway at a point 150-miles (241-kilometers) to the north and west; seven minutes later another PBY located the Japanese carrier force. Ten U.S. aircraft, four U.S. Army Air Forces’ B-26 Marauders, which had been modified to each carry a Navy Mk. 13 aerial torpedo, and the six TBF-1s of VT-8, were launched. At 0705 hours, the ten aircraft attacked through heavy fighter defense and flak with no fighter support of their own; two B-26s and five TBFs were shot down by the Japanese and the surviving three aircraft made it back to Midway. No hits were made on the Japanese fleet. At about 0930 hours, the 15 TBD-1 Devastators of VT-8 in USS Hornet attacked the Japanese ships without success and all 15 aircraft were shot down. There was only one survivor, Ensign George Gay. After this battle, there were only 39 TBD-1s in the inventory but TBF-1s began to take their place, e.g., the 15 TBF-1s of VT-8 at Ford Island were reformed and assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3).

In the Pacific after Midway, Avengers took part in every major naval battle while operating from fleet aircraft carriers and small aircraft carriers. They also operated from escort aircraft carriers providing close air support during amphibious operations. A total of 102 Navy squadrons serving in the Pacific flew Avengers throughout the war participating in the Guadalcanal campaign, the Battle of Santa Cruz, the First and Second Battles of the Philippine Sea and the invasions of the Gilbert, Marshall, Mariana and Philippine Islands and Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Japanese homeland. One of the last victories of the Avengers was the sinking of the Japanese battleship HIJMS Yamato, one of the two heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed. On 7 April 1945, the Yamato, the light cruiser HIJMS Yahagi and eight destroyers were about 131-miles (211-kilometers) west-southwest of Kyushu Island, Japan en route to Okinawa to attack American forces. Yamato was hit by at least six bombs and 11 torpedoes and sunk by 386 Navy aircraft. The light cruiser and four destroyers were also sunk; the other four destroyers were damaged.

In the Atlantic, four U.S. Navy aircraft carriers were involved with the North African invasion on 8 November 1942. A total of 26 TBF-1s were based in three auxiliary aircraft carriers (redesignated escort aircraft carrier on 15 July 1943) and they flew close air support missions against the Vichy French. In March 1943, the U.S. Navy began operations by hunter-killer groups. These groups consisted of an auxiliary aircraft carrier with a composite squadron consisting of F4F/FM Wildcats and TBF/TBM Avengers and four or five destroyers or destroyer escorts. Initially, the composite squadron was equipped with 12 Wildcats and eight Avengers. Subsequently, this changed to nine Wildcats and 12 Avengers; the Wildcats were tasked with strafing a surfaced submarine while the Avenger bombed it with up to four depth bombs. The first “kill” was the German submarine U-569, which was scuttled in the North Atlantic on 22 May, 1943 about 736-miles (1,184-kilometers) south-southeast of Greenland after being badly damaged by depth charges from two Avengers based in the auxiliary aircraft carrier USS Bogue (ACV-9). During the war, 25 composite squadrons served in ten escort aircraft carriers of the hunter-killer groups; they sank 29 German, Japanese and Vichy French submarines in the Atlantic and shared credit for three other U-boats.

The first U.S. Marine Corps Avenger squadron to enter combat was Marine Scout Bombing Squadron One Hundred Thirty One [VMSB-131 redesignated Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron One Hundred Thirty One (VMTB-131) in June 1943]. The squadron arrived on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands in November 1942. During the night of 12/13 November, the Battle of Guadalcanal was waged. The Japanese had two battleships, a light cruiser and 14 destroyers; the U.S. Navy had two heavy cruisers, three light cruisers and eight destroyers. During the battle, the Japanese battleship HIJMS Hiei had been hit 85 times and had lost control of her steering gear. During the day of 13 November, Hiei was attacked repeatedly by Marine TBF-1s torpedo planes from Henderson Field, TBFs and Douglas SBD Dauntless dive-bombers from the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise and U.S. Army Air Forces Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses bombers. After sustaining more damage from air attacks, Hiei sank northwest of Savo Island, perhaps after being scuttled by her remaining crew, in the late evening of 13 November.

As the war progressed, Marine Avenger units served on Guam, Iwo Jima, Leyte, Peleliu, Okinawa and in the Solomon Islands. However, by 1944, Marine aviation units were relegated to attacking bypassed Japanese forces in the rear areas of the South and Central Pacific. The Marines wanted to be assigned to aircraft carriers enabling them to provide close air support for Marine ground troops. An agreement was reached with the Navy to establish Marine Air Support Groups (MASGs) each comprised of four Marine carrier air groups, each with an 18-plane Corsair squadron and a 12-plane TBM-3 squadron. The MASG consisted of four Marine and two Navy escort aircraft carriers, all ships to be manned by the Navy. The two Navy escort aircraft carriers were to provide antisubmarine patrols, combat air patrols, etc.  Two escort aircraft carriers with Marine air groups arrived during the Okinawa campaign and flew combat missions and two other arrived just before the Japanese surrender.

The last TBM in squadron service was a TBM-3E assigned to Antisubmarine Squadron Twenty Seven (VS-27) on 31 October 1954. The squadron was based at NAS Norfolk, Virginia.

British Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm

The British Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm (FAA) received 958 aircraft under Lend-Lease. Initially designated Tarpon by the FAA, the named was changed to Avenger on 13 January 1944. The 958 aircraft were:

    402 TBF-1Bs as Tarpon/Avenger T.R. Mk. Is
    334 TBM-1C as Tarpon/Avenger T.R. Mk. IIs
    222 TBM-3 and -3Es as Avenger T.R. Mk. IIIs

The first FAA squadron to be equipped with Tarpons was No. 832 on 1 January 1943 at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia. The 12 aircraft were put aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (R38) on 3 February and it set sail for Pearl Harbor where the ship was “loaned” to the U.S. Navy. In May 1943, Victorious sailed with USS Saratoga (CV-3) to the South Pacific and No. 832 Squadron operated from the American carrier from 27 June to 24 July 1943 in the vicinity of Noumea, New Caledonia providing air cover for the Allied invasion of New Georgia Island.

The British Pacific Fleet (BPF) was a Royal Navy formation which saw action against Japan during World War II. The fleet was composed heavily of British Commonwealth naval vessels. The BPF formally came into being on 22 November 1944; its main base was at Sydney, New South Wales Australia, with a forward base at Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. The British Pacific Fleet was one of the largest fleets ever assembled by the Royal Navy. By VJ Day it had four battleships and six fleet aircraft carriers, together with fifteen smaller aircraft carriers, eleven cruisers, and numerous smaller warships, submarines, and support vessels. Six of the ten aircraft carriers had Avenger squadrons aboard; none of the escort carriers had Avenger units aboard.

Major actions in which the fleet was involved included Operation Meridian, air strikes in January 1945 against oil production at Palembang, Sumatra. These raids, conducted in bad weather, succeeded in reducing the oil supply of the Japanese Navy. The U.S. Navy, which had control of Allied operations in the Pacific Ocean Areas, gave the BPF combat units the designation of Task Force 57 (TF-57) when it joined Admiral Raymond Spruance's United States Fifth Fleet on 15 March 1945. On 27 May 1945, it became Task Force 37 (TF-37) when it became part of Admiral William Halsey's U.S. Third Fleet.

In March 1945, while supporting the invasion of Okinawa, the BPF had sole responsibility for operations in the Sakishima Islands. Its role was to suppress Japanese air activity, using gunfire and air attack, at potential Kamikaze staging airfields that would otherwise be a threat to US Navy vessels operating at Okinawa. The carriers were subject to heavy and repeated kamikaze attacks, but because of their armored flight decks, the British aircraft carriers proved highly resistant, and returned to action relatively quickly.

Aircraft from the fleet also attacked the Japanese home islands. Carrier strikes were carried out against land and harbor targets including, notably, the disabling of a Japanese escort carrier by British naval aircraft. The BPF would have played a major part in a proposed invasion of the Japanese home islands, known as Operation Downfall, which was cancelled after Japan surrendered.

Royal New Zealand Air Force

Beginning in the summer of 1943, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) acquired six TBF-1s and 42 TBF-1Cs. These aircraft were assigned to No. 30 and No. 31 Squadrons. Both squadrons flew missions from Piva Uncle Airfield on Bougainville Island, Solomon Islands, No. 30 Squadron between March and May 1944 and No. 31 Squadron from May to July 1944.

Survivors On Display In The U.S.

CALIFORNIA
   Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum in San Diego has a TBM-3E on display.
   Palm Springs Air Museum in Palm Springs has a TBM-3E on display.
   Planes of Fame Museum in Chino has a TBM-3E on display.
   San Diego Aircraft Museum in San Diego has a TBM-3E on display.
   USS Hornet Museum in Alameda has a TBM-3E on display.
   Yanks Air Museum in Chino has a TBF-1 undergoing restoration.
FLORIDA
   Deland Naval Air Station Museum in Deland has a TBF-1 on display
   National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola has a TBM-3E on display
   Valiant Air Command in Titusville has a TBM-3 on display
IDAHO: Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg has a TBM-3E on display.
KANSAS: Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal has a TBM-3 on display
LOUISIANA: National World War II Museum in New Orleans has a TBM-3 on display.
MISSOURI: Missouri Wing of Commemorative Air Force in St. Charles has a TBM-3 on display
NEW JERSEY: Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum at Cape May Airport has a TBM-3 on display.
NEW MEXICO: War Eagles Air Museum in Santa Teresa has a TBM-3E on display.
NEW YORK
   American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale has a TBM-3 on display
   Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City has a TBM-3E on display
   Intrepid Air-Sea-Space Museum in New York City has a TBM-3E on display
   Wings of Eagles Discovery Center in Horseheads has a TBM-3 on display
NORTH DAKOTA: Fargo Air Museum in Fargo has a TBM-3E on display.
OHIO: Tri-State Warbird Museum in Batavia has a TBM-3 on display.
OREGON
   Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville has TBM-3E on display.
   Tillamook Air Museum in Tillamook has a TBM-3E on display.
PENNSYLVANIA: Mid-Atlantic Air Museum at Reading Airport has a TBM-3 on display.
RHODE ISLAND: Quonset Air Museum in North Kingston has a TBM-3E on display.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant has a TBM-3E on display.
TEXAS
   Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Dallas has a TBM-3E on display
   Lone Star Flight Musuem in Galveston has a TBM-3E on display
   USS Lexington Museum on the Bay in Corpus Christi has a TBM-3E on display
VIRGINIA: National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle has a TBM-3 on display

USN BuAer Numbers

2539/2540..............XTBF-1
00373/00392..........TBF-1
00393.....................XTBF-2
00394/00658..........TBF-1
01731/01770..........TBF-1
05877/06491..........TBF-1
16792/17091..........TBM-1C
22857/23656..........TBM-3 (Conversions to to TBM-3D, -3E, -3J, -3L, -3R & 3Q)
23857/24140..........TBF-1 (Conversions to TBF-1C, -1D, -1E, -1J and -1L)
24141......................XTBF-3
24142/24241...........TBF-1
24242/24340...........TBF-1C
24341......................XTBF-3
24342/24520...........TBF-1C
24521/25070...........TBM-1 (Conversions to TBM-1C and -1D)
25071/25720...........TBM-1C
34102/34105...........TBM-1C
45445/46444...........TBM-1C (Conversions to TBM-1CP, -1D, -1J and -1L)
47438/47637...........TBF-1 (Conversions to TBF-1C, -1J and -1D)
47638/48123...........TBF-1C
45445/46444...........TBM-1C
47438/47637...........TBF-1
47638/48123...........TBF-1C
53050/53949...........TBM-3  (Conversions to TBM-3J, -3Q, -3S and -3W)
68062/69538...........TBM-3  (Conversions to TBM-3D, -3E, -3J, -3P, -3U and -3W)
73117/73498...........TBM-1C (Conversions to TBM-1D and -1L)
85459/86296...........TBM-3E (Conversions to TBM-3N, -3Q and -3W)
91107/92006...........TBM-3E (Conversions to TBM-3S and -3Q)

Specifications

Wing Span: 54-feet, 2-inches (16.51-meters)
Length
   TBF-1, TBF-1C & TBM-3: 40-feet (12.19-meters)
   TBM-3E: 40-feet, 11.5-inches (12.48-meters)
Height: 16.5-feet (5.00-meters)
Empty Weight
   TBF-1: 10,080-pounds (4,572-kilograms)
   TBF-1C: 10,555-pounds (4,788-kilograms)
   TBM-3: 10,843-pounds (4,918-kilograms)
   TBM-3E: 10,545-pounds (4,783-kilograms)
Maximum speed
   TBF-1: 271 mph at 12,000-feet (436 km/h at 3,660-meters)
   TBF-1C: 257 mph at 12,000-feet (414 km/h at 3,660-meters)
   TBM-3: 267 mph at 15,000-feet (430 km/h at 4,572-meters)
   TBM-3E: 276 mph at 16,500-feet (444 km/h at 5,015-meters)
Service Ceiling
   TBF-1: 22,400-feet (6,830-meters)
   TBF-1C: 21,400-feet (6,525-meters)
   TBM-3: 23,400-feet (7,132-meters)
   TBM-3E: 30,100-feet (9,175-meters)
Range As Scout
   TBF-1: 1,450-miles (2,335-kilometers)
   TBF-1C: 2,335-miles (3,755-kilometers)
   TBM-3: 2,350-miles (3,782-kilometers)
   TBM-3E: 1,920-miles (3,090-kilometers)