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Grumman TBF-1 Avenger 8-T-1, VT-8, NAS Norfolk, May 1942
General Background
The TBF/M "Avenger" was the biggest single engine aircraft during the WWII. She was ordered into production in Dec 1940 with first delivery just in time for the Battle of Midway. The "Avenger" was characterized by its rigid and strong body and its versatilities. She started out as a torpedo bomber but it soon took the duties as a close-support bomber, a patrol aircraft and even a trainer. After the war the Avenger was also used as crop dusters and forest fire water bombers.
The Aircraft
In early 1942 Avengers began to arrive at NAS Norfolk, Virginia and assigned to VT-8. This made the squadron the first front-line unit to be equipped with the TBF-1 Avenger. The first to arrive was 8-T-1 BuNo 00380 wearing the inter-war red tail stripes and circle within the star insignia. Six VT-8 Avengers were sent to Pearl Harbor and on to Midway arriving just before the Battle of Midway. During this battle the 6 TBF-1s from VT-8 flew against the Japanese forces and 8-T-1 was the only Avenger to survive the encounter.
Specifications :
Length: 40' 11.5"
Height: 16' 9"
Wingspan: 54' 2"
Max weight: 17,364 lbs
Empty weight: 10,500 lbs
Engine & Power: 1 X Wright R-2600-20 @1900 hp
Power: 1700 HP at sea level
Stall Speed : Stall Speed: 77 mph IAS
Max Speed : 249 mph
Celling: 21,400 ft
Rate of climb: 1,400 fpm at sea level
Range: 1,100 miles
Armament: 2 X .50 cal machine guns in turret
  2 X .50 cal machine guns in wing
  1 X .30 gun in tail
  Various bombs or torpedo