Douglas TBD-1 "Devastator"
By B.R. Jackson, T.E. Doll, James Dietz
Publisher: Tab Books 1972 54 Pages
PDF 11 MB
The Douglas TBD-1 during the immediate pre-WW II years was considered to be the most modern and efficient aircraft of her type. Aviation publications of the pre-war years boasted of her power and sleekness and the Pensacola yearbook for 1939, FLIGHT JACKET, stated that the TBD-1 was the overwhelming choice of it's Aviation Cadets when asked about the type of airplane they hoped to fly on a regular basis after graduation. Truly the TBD was in her prime in 1937. 38, 39 and 40. Two years later in early 1942, while still our only operational torpedo bomber, progress in the form of faster more adequately armed Japanese fighter planes coupled with an outdated method of attack would bring the combatant life of the TBD to a humiliating halt. Torpedo bombing in itself was fast becoming a thing of the past. The successor to the TBD, the Grumman TBF and its
variants, would actually be used more as a horizontal bomber than as a torpedo bomber throughout World War II. In complete fairness to the TBD crews that flew her into combat it should be stated that the airplane did not always get the short end of the stick. Many examples of successes with the TBD are evident in the early 1942 carrier raids against Wake Island, Marcus, Lae and the action in the Coral Sea. These bright spots in a dark period of time reflect mostly on the ability and training of the US Naval Aviator and aircrewmen.