From late 1942 to the end of the War, Grumman’s Avenger was the main strike aircraft used by US aircraft carriers.
After the jump, a brief look at this important type.
At the start of World War Two the Navy’s standard torpedo bomber was the Douglass TBD Devastator, which was obviously obsolete and in need of replacement. The Avenger was already in the pipeline, and by June of 1942 was being assigned to carrier squadrons. Its combat debut at the Battle of Midway was inauspicious, when five out of six Avengers were lost. But that was clearly a case of a poor tactical situation, and the outgoing Devastators suffered even worse.
The Avenger was powerful, fast and carried a large payload. That meant not only torpedoes (the “T” in its designation, so theoretically its main purpose) but a conventional bomb load as well. It was deployed with every carrier squadron by the end of July 1942. It also had excellent low speed handling, and with its folding wings could use very little hanger space; which led to it being adopted for the much smaller escort carriers (AKA “baby flat tops”) too.
Demand for the type was great enough that the Navy ordered it mass produced by General Motors as well as Grumman (General Motors production eventually superseding Grumman) . This example is a General Motors built aircraft assigned to Composite Squadron 76 of the escort carrier “USS Petrof Bay” (CVE-80). Escort carriers had “Composite Squadrons” because with only about 30 planes on board the whole air group of fighters and bombers was no bigger than a single squadron on a fleet carrier. The Shamrock on the tail identifies the ship.
This is the Accurate Miniatures kit with Aeromaster Decals. I loved doing the huge area of glass and interior. It was a lot of masking, but it leaves things more visible than most wartime types.