Three TBM Avengers flying in formation, August 22, 1945. Part of VT-88 from USS Yorktown (CV-10). The Avenger debut in combat was the Battle of Midway in 1942, just shortly after it entered service for the USN. It became an indispensable workhorse for the Royal Navy too. The Avenger had a stellar career during War in both the Atlantic and Pacific. The fame of the Avenger must have rubbed off on its crews as some went on to become celebrities; George H. W. "Skin" Bush was an Avenger pilot and Paul Newman was a rear gunner in Avengers !