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.