Grumman's Avenger did yeoman's service in both Pacific and Atlantic ocean theaters during the war. Given the poor overall quality of American torpedoes, especially during the first couple of years of the war, the Avenger probably did more good as a bomber dive, glide or level in the Pacific, while it was a sub-hunter in the Atlantic. Its initial involvement at Midway was less than a resounding success, but with lessons learned it became an attack workhorse in the Pacific.
Because of the importance of Grumman's development work on naval fighter planes, production of Avengers was transferred to the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors, where they were known as TBM Avengers.
Credited as the heaviest single-engined plane of World War II, the TBF/TBM had a maximum recommended gross weight for takeoff from a runway of 17,600 lb, or 18,100 lb for a catapult launch. For comparison, the SB2C Helldiver is listed for a takeoff weight of 16,600 lb; the P-47 lists at 12,500 lb. Capable of carrying a Type 13 torpedo, one 1,600-lb armor-piercing bomb, one 2,000-lb demolition bomb, or four 500-lb demolition bombs, the Avenger was a valuable asset in the island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific.
- "Navy's Avenger Lives Up to Name" [ HTML ] is a short introductory article.
- "Avengers By Eastern" [ HTML ], describes the processes at Eastern Division of General Motors where they built the TBM version of the TBF under license.
- Air Tech published a Design Analysis article [ HTML ] in the November, 1944, issue.
- "Navy's Avenger Lives Up to Name" [ HTML ] includes 4 photos:
- A Bendix ad, "Takeoffs and Landings on runways paved with Teak", features a drawing of a TBF and a photo of a main landing gear strut.
- A Grumman ad, "Too Bad For the Axis", shows a TBF in flight, seen from 10 o'clock.
- An RBC Ball Bearings ad, RBC Aircraft Series #3, Grummand Avenger, shows TBF in flight, seen from 2 o'clock.
- A Gallery Duotone photo, "Avengers", shows a flight of 5 TBFs in echelon right; foreground plane seen from 10 o'clock high.
- A Gallery color photo shows TBFs in flight; foreground plane seen from 3 o'clock low.
- "Marine Might" is a four-photo Gallery page which includes a photo of five TBFs flying in echelon right.
- A color Gallery photo, "TBF Close-up," shows a TBF in flight, seen from 10 o'clock. Plane has "meatball" insignia, rudder stripes, blue-over-grey paint scheme.
- A color Gallery photo, "Grumman TBF," shows a flight of five TBFs flying formation over the ocean. Planes have star-in-circle insignia. Planes have fuselage markings for F-T-3.
- A Fafnir Ball Bearings ad, "Repayment with Deadly interest!", shows a TBF in flight, seen from 2 o'clock.
- A General Aviation Equipment Co ad, "Torpedoes by the Ton", has a color painting of a TBF on a torpedo run; view from 1 o'clock.
- A Pesco ad (pumps and accessories) ad, "Performance controls the air", is based on a color painting of a TBF with a Japanese carrier being struck by a torpedo in the background.
- A US Hammered Piston Ring Co ad, "Loading Food for Thought", features a color photo of a TBF being loaded, seen from in front of the left wing fold joint.
- A news clip with photo from August, 1944, "Rocket-tossing Avenger", shows an Avenger at catapult, seen from 1 o'clock, featuring the rocket rails under the right wing.
- A Gallery Duotone photo, "Back from a raid, two Avengers enter their carrier's landing circle", shows two TBFs dirty, gear down and hooks trailing with a carrier in view. Planes seen from 4 o'clock.
- A Gallery two-page color photo,"Avengers of Task Force 58, headed for Saipan", shows 6 TBFs in two Vs; foreground planes seen from 9 to 10 o'clock low.
- A Gallery photo, "An Avenger climbs away from Wake Island after dropping its bombs on the airfield. Not low smoke from ship burning in the lagoon.", shows an Avenger from 8 o'clock.