A well used Avenger, 74 years ago

Here we see, aboard the brand-new Essex-class fleet carrier USS Hornet (CV-12), the starboard side of TBM-1C #95 (BU# 25216), showing a rapidly-filling “scoreboard” of bombing and torpedo missions. Taken on Hornet’s flight deck, 7 August 1944. While the plane and carrier were freshly minted, the squadron was among the oldest active torpedo units in the Navy and had a score to settle.

Here is a better shot of TBM-1C#95:

Two U.S. Navy Grumman TBF-1C “Avenger” of Torpedo Squadron 2 (VT-2) pass over the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-12) prior to entering the pattern for recovery on board the carrier. Note the mission markings on the aircraft, as well as the white dot on their tails indicating assignment to USS Hornet. VT-2 operated from Hornet during that carrier’s initial combat actions between March and September 1944. This included the “Mission Beyond Darkness” in the June 1944 during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, as well as strikes against the Palaus, Carolines, the Bonin Islands, New Guinea, and the Marianas. Date between March 1944 and September 1944 Source U.S. Navy National Naval Aviation Museum photo No. NNAM.1996.253.1089

TBM-1C’s, by the way, were Grumman G-40s built under license by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors Corporation. While I can’t find out the disposition of this particular Avenger, she was part of VT-2 of Air Group 2, which was long associated with the stricken USS Lexington (CV-2) and reformed after that carrier was lost in the Coral Sea in 1942.

Torpedo Squadron 2 (VT-2) in the “old days” before WWII, back when they flew Douglas TBD Devastators from CV-2 and were the first squadron in the Navy to do so, in Oct. 1937

VT-2 reformed in 1943 with Avengers and shipped aboard Hornet from March 1944 to October 1944. The new Hornet (herself renamed after another recently lost carrier) and her reformed group saw heavy combat in 1944 from the Palau Islands, Wakde, Sawar, Sarmi, the dreaded Truk, Ponape, the 4 trips to Bonin Islands, Guam, the landings at Saipan, and finally the big landings in the Philippines, where she and companion carriers chalked up a kill on the Japanese aircraft carrier Hiyō.

More about that storied deployment here

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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