Model Airplane News
September, 1942

Model Airplane News Cover for September, 1942 by Jo Kotula Grumman TBF Avenger

Grumman TBF "Avenger"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for September, 1942
by Jo Kotula
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The Grumman TBF Avenger was a torpedo bomber developed initially for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, and eventually used by several air or naval arms around the world. It entered U.S. service in 1942, and first saw action during the Battle of Midway (as a land-based plane flying from Midway Island)

Grumman TBF Avenger     Pre-1942 Grumman TBF Avenger       George H.W. Bush Grumman TBF Avenger Pilot

Grumman TBF "Avenger" Torpedo Bomber
Future President George H.W. Bush was a TBF pilot
Planes made by General Motors (under license) were designate "TBM"
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Douglas' TBD Devastator, the U.S. Navy's main torpedo bomber introduced in 1935 was obsolete by 1939. Bids were accepted from several companies but Grumman's TBF design was selected as the TBD's replacement. Designed by Leroy Grumman, its first prototype was called the XTBF-1.

If you take a look at the September, 1942 cover, you'll find a small emblem in the upper right hand corner just below the date. This is artist Jo Kotula's tribute to Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. VT-3 participated in the Battle of Midway in which aircraft from the Enterpris sank the Japanese carriers Kaga and Akagi. VT-3, flying the older and slower TBD "Devastator" was at a disadvantage relative to Japanese aircraft and many were lost and were replaced by the Avenger. The cover art makes it appear that the Devastator is sinking the aircraft carrier pictured at the bottom right. In reality, the carriers were sunk by dive bombers. Below, you'll find an enlargement of his cover art and the actual VT-3 patches.

 The Douglas TBD Devastator VT3 Squadron Emblem on the cover of the September 1942 issue of Model Airplane news     The Douglas TBF Avenger VT3 Squadron Emblem USS Enterprise

Tribute to VT-3 Torpedo Squadron
On the USS Enterprise
They flew the TBD "Devastator" that was replaced by the Avenger
Click to Enlarge

The "Avenger" was of great interest to airplane modelers. The TBF and its predecessor (TBD) appeared on the cover of Model Airplane News in the same year. The Cleveland kit continued to be popular well after World War II.

Cleveland Kit for the Grumman TBF Avenger     Cleveland Kit for the Grumman TBF Avenger showing decals for post-1942 insignia      Cleveland Kit for the Grumman TBF Avenger

Cleveland Kit for the Grumman TBF Avenger
This kit should have included paint
The decals are for post-1942 insignia
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Thanks to the miracle of YouTube, here is a video of a restored TBF in action.

In addition to the cover of Model Airplane News, this airplane was also featured in the WINGS "Friend or Foe" trading card series of the early 1950s

 Card 074 of the Wings Friend or Foe series the Grumman TBF Avenger

Trading card representation of the Grumman TBF "Avenger"
Click Here to see all 200 cards in the series
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You can buy the plans and patterns that will enable you to make this model right now. Click Here to go to the exact location on the Cleveland Website to get them

Location of of the  Grumman TBF Avenger on the Cleveland Website

The TBF "Avenger" on the Cleveland Website
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Click Here for more information about the Grumman TBF "Avenger".

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