GRUMMAN TBF / TBM AVENGER

AVENGER SERVICE

Manufacturers: The Grumman Aircraft Engr. Corp., Bethpage, Long Is., New York, USA
General Motors Corp., Eastern Aircraft Division, Trenton, New Jersey, USA
Models: G-40, G-56
Designations: TBF; TBM
Names: Avenger (US Navy & RN); Tarpon (RN)
First official flight: (XTBF-1) 07/08/1941
Factory production period: 1941 - 1945
Primary service period: 1942 - 1945
Last official flight: (TBM-3S2 / W2) 06/1954

AVENGER VARIANTS

Grumman

1941 Model G-40 XTBF-1 2  
         
1942 Model G-40 TBF-1 1526  
1943 Model G-40 TBF-1C 765 Total: 2293

General Motors

1942 Model G-40 TBM-1 550  
1943 Model G-40 TBM-1C 2336  
         
1944 Model G-40 TBM-3 4657  
         
1945 Model G-40 XTBM-4 3 Total: 7546

 

Grand Total: 9839


Grumman TBM-3E Avenger, BuNo. 91110 (VH-TBM), runs up for another aerial display.
Warbirds Over Wanaka, New Zealand, 2012.

AVENGER PRODUCTION

Grumman

XTBF-1
Prototype single-engined, torpedo-
bomber, rear dorsal turret.
Produced 1941

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.2539, 2540 644, 645 2 Total: 0002

TBF-1
As second XTBF-1 with dorsal fin,
single cowling gun.
Produced 1941 - 1943

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.00373 / 00658 ?    
BuNo.01731 / 01770 2765 / 2804    
BuNo.05877 / 06491 3925 / 4539    
BuNo.23857 / 24086 4540 / 4769    
BuNo.24087 / 24241 4970 / 5124    
BuNo.47438 / 47637 4770 / 4969 1526 Total: 1526

TBF-1C
As TBF-1, 2 wing guns, cowling
gun deleted.
Produced 1943

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.24242 / 24520 5125 / 5403    
BuNo.47638 / 48123 5404 / 5889 765 Total: 0765
48 to RNZAF as NZ2501 / NZ2548.


The RNZAF operated 48 TBF-1C Avengers from 1943 to 1959, with the first
six delivered redesignated as TBF-1 for training purposes.
The above example was one such aircraft, built as a TBF-1C, BuNo. 24336,
it was delivered to the RNZAF and operated as a TBF-1 trainer with s/n: NZ2504.
It is now preserved with the RNZAF Museum painted as NZ2521.
Christchurch, New Zealand, 2000.

TBF-3 - Planned production model, cancelled.

General Motors

TBM-1
General Motors version of TBF-1.
Produced 1942 - 1943

General Motors Trenton, New Jersey (M)

BuNo.24521 / 25070 ? 550 Total: 0550

TBM-1C
General Motors version of TBF-1C.
Produced 1943 - 1944

General Motors Trenton, New Jersey (M)

BuNo.16792 / 17091 ?    
BuNo.25071 / 25720 ?    
BuNo.34102 / 34105 ?    
BuNo.45445 / 46444 ?    
BuNo.73117 / 73498 ? 2336 Total: 2336

TBM-3
As TBM-1C, double cooling intakes,
engine upgrade, minor changes.
Produced 1944 - 1945

General Motors Trenton, New Jersey (M)

BuNo.22857 / 23656 1 / 800    
BuNo.53050 / 53949 3112 / 4011    
BuNo.68062 / 69538 801 / 2277    
BuNo.85459 / 86292 2278 / 3111

4011

 
145 additional airframes cancelled.

TBM-3E
As TBM-3, stronger airframe, search
radar, ventral gun deleted.

BuNo.91107 / 91752 4012 / 4657 646 Total: 4657
254 additional airframes cancelled.

XTBM-4
Prototypes based on TBM-3E,
strengthened wings.
Produced 1945

General Motors Trenton, New Jersey (M)

BuNo.97673 / 97675 ? 3 Total: 0003

TBM-4 - 4126 ordered but cancelled after VJ Day.

Grand Total: 9839

AVENGER CONVERSIONS

WW2

US Navy

TBF-1D 1+ TBF-1, wing mounted ASD radar for ASW duties.
TBF-1E 1+ TBF-1, special radar and avionics.
TBF-1J 1+ TBF-1, factory conversions for Arctic operations.
TBF-1L 1+ TBF-1, fitted with retractable searchlight in bomb bay.
TBF-1P 1+ TBF-1, photo reconnaissance aircraft with multiple cameras.
TBF-1CD 1+ TBF-1C, same as TBF-1D.
TBF-1CP 1+ TBF-1C, same as TBF-1P.
XTBF-2 1 TBF-1(00393), 1942, prototype with engine upgrade.
XTBF-3 2 1 TBF-1(24141) / 1 TBF-1C(24341), 1943, prototypes with engine upgrades.
TBM-1D / -1E /
-1J / -1L / -1P
1+ TBM-1, equivalent to TBF-1 conversions.
TBM-1CP 1+ TBM-1C, equivalent to TBM-1P.
XTBM-2 1 TBM-1(24580), 1942, prototype with engine upgrade.
XTBM-3 4 TBM-1C(25175, 25521, 25700, 45645), 1943, prototypes with engine upgrades.
TBM-3D / -3J /
-3L / -3P
1+ TBM-3, equivalent to TBF-1 conversions.
TBM-3H 1+ TBM-3, 1944, conversions with surface-search radar.
XTBM-3W 1 TBM-3, 1944, prototype AEW aircraft.
XTBM-5 2 TBM-3E, 1945, light-weight conversions.
Model G-56 1 TBF-1(01746), 1942, prototype with Martin 2-gun turret,
engine upgrade cancelled.

British Royal Navy
Original name was Tarpon, changed to Avenger in 1944.

Tarpon TR.Mk. I 402 TBF-1, 1942-1946, aircraft in service with the Royal Navy.
Assigned RN s/n: FN750 / FN949, JT773, JZ100 / JZ300.
US designation TBF-1B.
Avenger TR.Mk. II 334 TBM-1/-1C, 1944-1946, aircraft in service with the Royal Navy.
Assigned RN s/n: JZ301 / JZ634.
Avenger TB.Mk. III 222 TBM-3, 1944-1946, aircraft in service with the Royal Navy.
Assigned RN s/n: JZ635 / JZ746, KE430 / KE539.
Avenger Mk. IV 70 TBM-3S, cancelled deliveries.

Post WW2

US Navy
Some conversions from WW2 carried into post WW2 service.

TBM-3E2 1+ TBM-3E, upgrade with extra avionics.
TBM-3M 1+ TBM-3, various missile launching conversions.
(TBM-3M2) 1+ TBM-3M, upgrades with extra equipment.
TBM-3N 1+ TBM-3, 1945, special night-attack missions, no rear turret.
TBM-3Q 1+ TBM-3, 1945, re-builds for ECM and EW research.
TBM-3R 1+ TBM-3/-3E, 1950, cargo On-Board-Delivery conversions, no rear turret.
TBM-3S 1+ TBM-3/-3E, major re-builds as ASW strike aircraft, no rear turret.
98 of the 125 in service (1950-1960) with the RCN designated as
Avenger AS.Mk. 3 and AS.Mk. 3M.
(TBM-3S2) 1+ TBM-3S, avionics upgrades.
TBM-3U 1+ TBM-3, utility and target towing conversions.
TBM-3W 1+ TBM-3, 1945-1950, major re-builds as ASW / AEW radar aircraft,
belly radome.
(TBM-3W2) 1+ TBM-3W, 1950-1954, avionics upgrades.

British Royal Navy

Avenger AS.Mk. 4

100

TBM-3S, 1953-1962, aircraft in service with the Royal Navy.
Assigned RN s/n: XB296 / XB332, XB355 / XB404, XB437 / XB449.
Conversions: AS.Mk. 5, ECM.Mk. 6.

FOREIGN MILITARY / CIVILIAN SERVICE
 - Exported post WW2 to Navies in Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, The Netherlands
   and Uruguay.
 - Many sold on the civil market as water bombers, sprayers, transports etc.


Another view of the classic Grumman Avenger NZ2504.
Christchurch, New Zealand, 2003.

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