Ordering the Grumman TBF ‘off the drawing board’ was a risk, but — in spite of a number of not insignificant teething troubles — it paid off


Avenger AS4 XB298/366 of 815 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm in 1954. CHRIS SANDHAM-BAILEY

TBF-1C Avengers of US Navy torpedo squadron VT-32, operating from the USS Langley (CVL 27), over the waters off Oahu on 16 January 1944. US NAVY

•Ordered straight off the drawing board

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