TBM-3 Missouri Wing
St. Charles County Smart Airport, St. Charles, MO
|Power||1 × Wright R-2600-20 radial engine, 1,900 hp|
|Length||40 ft 11.5"|
|Height||15 ft 5 in|
|Wingspan||54 ft 2 in|
The Missouri Wings TBM-3E Avenger came off the production line in May of 1945 at the Eastern Aircraft / General Motors Corporation's Trenton, New Jersey Plant.
On May 19, 1945 the initial inspection was completed and the transfer order for TBM-3E aircraft number 53353 was finalized. For the next few years she would see service on the west coast from San Diego - SO NAS Pearl Harbor - NAF Tillamook - NAF Litchfield - NAS Norfolk.
During the years leading to the Korean War, TBM Avengers were mustered for training and active duty. TBM-3E #53353 was assigned to VS-27 which was an Air Anti-Submarine Squadron.
Designated as a trainer during the Korean War, #53353 and assigned to VS-27 whose aircraft had seen action off the carriers USS Kula Gulf, USS Siboney and USS Boxer Island. All three carriers from WWII were reactivated for use as trainers for pilots heading to the Korean Peninsula.
No. 53353 stayed in service until 1961 when it was transferred from Davis, CA to the Georgia Forestry Commission.
In 1977 our TBM-3E found its first private owner and remained in Florida until 1988.
2000 brought the aircraft to the Missouri Wing of the Commemorative Air Force where she still flies today.
Grumman's first torpedo bomber was the heaviest single-engined aircraft of World War II, and only the USAAF's P-47 Thunderbolt came close to equalling it in maximum loaded weight among all single-engined fighters, being only some 400 lb (181 kg) lighter than the TBF, by the end of World War II. The Avenger was the first design to feature a new "compound angle" wing-folding mechanism created by Grumman, intended to maximize storage space on an aircraft carrier