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.
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.
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.