1/48 Accurate Miniatures TBM-3

Pacific Predator

“TBM Avenger”

by Mark L. Rossmann



Sub hunting was recognized as a natural for the Avenger as she trolled the Atlantic for the U-Boats, aboard the Bogue(VC-9, VC-42, VC-65, VC-95), Core(VC-13), Card(VC-9, VC-1), Guadalcanal (VC-58, VC-13), Wake Island (VC-58), Santee (VC-29), Suwannee (VGS-27) and Block Island (VC-1, VC-6) with total kills of 32. The Pacific theater had its success but far less numbering 6 in all aboard the Anzio (VC-82, VC-13), Suwannee (VT-60) and Tulagi(VC-92)

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Pacific Predators early kills came in the 1943 with Chanango aircraft sinking I-21off the Gilbert Islands in 1943.  But CVE Liscombe Bay fell victim to I-175 in late November suffering much loss of life. Two kills occurred in 1944, first in June when a VT-60 Avenger sank I-184 near Guam , the second was a shared kill between VC-82 and its escort destroyers of I-41, several hundred miles east of Sumar.  1945 Off Iwo Jima , VC-13 sank two submarines on successive days, January 26th & 27th, a 960 ton “RO” boat and a large I–boat. Two more sinkings occurred off Okinawa by VC-92 Avengers of an I-boat, VC-82 a month later of I-361. The final Pacific Avenger kill came from Anzio’s TBM’s, assisted by screening destroyers, of I-13 on July 16 some 500 plus miles east of Yokosuka.

This is an Accurate Miniatures TBM-3 of VC-97, aboard USS Makassar Straight (CVE-91) in March of 1945. Note the unique fishhook emblem as if “fishing” for subs. Makassar’s TBM’s performed ASW duties, and close air support during the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns, but scored no sub kills. In 1944 the Avenger came equipped with 5” HVAR’s, and gave it more then a broadside of a destroyer. An Avenger pilot proclaimed them “greatest thing since the nickel cigar” against island targets.  

Used Tamiya spray synthetic AS-19 Intermediate Blue, AS-8 Navy Blue and Testors Flat White spray paint.  Used Superscale 48-819 decals. This is my final article on the specific use of Tamiya spray paint, my first on F6F Hellcats and second on an F4U-1A Corsair are in this gallery.  

References:  from decal sheet and Osprey Combat Aircraft #16 TBF/TBM Avenger Units of WWII.


Photos and text © by Mark L. Rossmann