Sheet #

Superscale 48-567 for TBM-3 Avengers




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Review By:

Scott Van Aken




The 'Turkey' was one of the more successful naval bombers of WWII. First seeing action at Midway in June of 1942, it continued to provide sterling service in both the Pacific and Atlantic until the end of the war. The TBM was also used by Great Britain and New Zealand with some success during this period. After the war, it was exported to a number of countries including Canada, Uruguay, and the Netherlands. It was also the first aircraft of the new Japanese Navy in 1955.

What made the TBM such a useful aircraft was its ability to carry a decent load as well as its ability to get airborne of even the smallest of decks. Often the TBM would be carried on board the very small 'jeep' carriers. In the Atlantic, their ability to stay airborne for long periods of time while carrying depth bombs ensured that allied convoys had adequate air protection from the menace of the U-boat. 

In the Pacific, the TBM was also used for ground attack duties, covering Marine and Army landings while going on Nimitz's 'island hopping' campaign in the Central Pacific. It was also quite helpful that the Avenger was able to sustain quite a bit of damage and still carry its crew back to the ship.

After retiring from military service, the TBM was often converted for use as a fire bomber, though its limited carrying capacity compared to a DC-4 somewhat stifled its use. Today, it is not uncommon to see this huge aircraft at an airshow as it has become a favorite amongst the warbird crowd.

This Superscale sheet carries markings for four aircraft, all in the tri-color scheme of dark and medium blue over white. There are common markings and insignia for two of the four planes on the sheet. I have scanned the sheet darker than normal to emphasize the white parts. 

You will also notice the two insignia with no white in them. There is an small addendum sheet with a couple of correct insignia on it.

First aircraft is from VC-97 off the USS Massar Strait, CVE-91 in Feb 1945.

Next is a VT-88 aircraft from the USS Yorktown, CV-10 in July 1945. This is the time that the aircraft started carrying code numbers instead of the geometric designs used previously.

A VT-84 Avenger from the USS Bunker Hill, CV-17 is next. This has the arrow marking on the tail and top of the right wing.

Also carrying geometric markings, is a VC-83 Avenger from the USS Sargent Bay, CVE-83. Like the previous aircraft, the design is carried on the right wing and tail.

Review copy courtesy of me and my now empty wallet!

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