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This tubby three-man bomber/torpedo bomber made its debut in the Battle of Midway, with disastrous results: only one of the six aircraft that had taken off made it back to base! Despite getting off to a bad start the Avenger soon won the affection of its crews and the respect of its adversaries, quickly becoming the standard carrier bomber of the U.S. Navy. Over 9000 Avengers were built and many were supplied to allied nations: they were used extensively on all fronts and they inflicted heavy losses on enemy shipping, whether surface or submarine. The Avenger continued its career after the Second World War: over 500, often specialised versions, saw service with the U.S. Navy and in many other nations including Japan - the country against which the TBF had begun its career!
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