War Master WMAPF024 USN Grumman Avenger Torpedo-Bomber - "White 33", VT-46, USS Independence (CVL-22), March 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
The Grumman TBF Avenger (designated TBM for aircraft manufactured by General Motors) was an American torpedo bomber, developed initially for the United States Navy and Marine Corps and used by a large number of air forces around the world. It entered service in 1942, and began major use during the Battle of Midway.
The Avenger had a large bomb bay, allowing for one Bliss-Leavitt Mark 13 torpedo, a single 2000 lb (900 kg) bomb, or up to four 500 lb (230 kg) bombs. Torpedoes were generally abandoned after Midway and were not carried again regularly until after June of 1944, when improvements mandated their use again. By that time, it was rare for American aircraft to encounter enemy shipping at sea and the Avenger was primarily employed as a ground support weapon. The plane had overall ruggedness and stability, and pilots say it flew like a truck, for better or worse. With a 30,000 foot (10,000 m) ceiling and a fully-loaded range of 1,000 miles (1,600 km), it was better than any previous American torpedo plane, and better than its chief opponent, the then obsolete Japanese Nakajima B5N "Kate".
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a USN Grumman Avenger torpedo-bomber that was attached to VT-46, then embarked upon the USS Independence (CVL-22), during March 1945.
Back Order! Ship Date: November 2014.
Wingspan: 10 inches
Length: 8 inches
Release Date: June 2014
Historical Account: "Jeep Carrier" - The fourth USS Independence (CVL-22) (also CV-22) was a United States Navy light aircraft carrier, lead ship of her class and served during the Second World War.
Converted from the hull of a cruiser, she was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation and commissioned in January 1943. She took part in the attacks on Rabaul and Tarawa before being torpedoed by Japanese planes, having to be repaired and refitted in San Francisco from January to July 1944.
After repairs she launched many strikes against targets in Luzon and Okinawa. Independence was part of the carrier group that sank the remnants of the Japanese Mobile Fleet in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and several other Japanese ships in the Surigao Strait. Until the surrender of Japan she was assigned to strike duties against targets in the Philippines and Japan. She would finish her operational duty off the coast of Japan supporting occupation forces until being assigned to return American veterans back to the United States as part of Operation Magic Carpet.
Independence was later used for testing during Operation Crossroads. After being transported back to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco for study, she was later sunk with nuclear waste near the Farallon Islands. Her sinking is considered at fault for the contamination of the wildlife refuge in the area.