HA1222 Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale Grumman TBF-1C Avenger “The Battle of Leyte” White 93 of VT-15, USS Essex (CV 9), November 1944
Just prior to the start of WW II the USN started to look for a replacement for their ageing Douglas Devastator. Grumman made a presentation of a prototype labeled as XTBF-1 that impressed the USN and they placed an order to purchase. The plane was perfect for the Navy needs, a huge rotary engine that was enclosed in a barrel like fuselage to cut down on drag, and with some increase in the fuselage and wing lengths would accommodate a three-man crew. Production on what was now officially known as the TBF/TBM Avenger and would come to receive the affectionate name of “The Turkey” from the pilots that flew them began in 1941 with first delivery just in time for the Battle of Midway in June 1942. What started out as a carrier borne torpedo bomber soon turned into a close-support bomber, a patrol aircraft and even a trainer.
In mid-May 1944 the USS Essex joined other carriers to carry out strikes on the Marcus and Wake Islands. In June and August Essex supported the occupation of the Marianas and carried out attacks on shipping around the Palau Islands and Mindanao in September. In October the USS Essex and VT-15 took part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and
on November 5, 1944 TBF-1C Bu.No 46353 White 93’s gunner was killed attacking an IJN Cruiser. On November 25 USS Essex was badly damaged by a Kamikaze aircraft.