Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

Devastator file photo [46]

TBD Devastator

CountryUnited States
ManufacturerDouglas Aircraft Company
Primary RoleTorpedo Bomber
Maiden Flight15 April 1935


ww2dbaseThe Douglas TBD Devastator torpedo bombers were ordered in 1937 as one of the most advanced torpedo bombers in the world, and it became the first widely used all-metal carrier aircraft of the United States Navy. It was also the first carrier aircraft of the US Navy to employ hydraulically folding wings. During normal flight, the pilot, the bombardier, and the radio operator/rear gunner sat in that order under the large canopy, but during attack runs the bombardier would lay prone underneath the cockpit, aiming his torpedo through a Norden bombsight at the bottom of the aircraft. Nevertheless, but by the time the United States entered the war, the rapid development of combat aircraft had already rendered the Devastators obsolete; the American replacement for Devastators, the Avengers, were already under development. Nevertheless, they continued to remain in naval service and claimed the credit of sinking the Japanese carrier Shoho during the Battle of the Coral Sea. During the Battle of Midway in Jun 1942, Devastators performed badly during their strikes against Japanese carriers; 41 were launched, only four made it back to their carriers, and to make matters worse, none of them claimed a hit on their targets. The US Navy quickly withdrew the 39 remaining Devastators from front line service, placing some of them in training squadrons.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2006


MachineryOne Pratt & Whitney R-1830-64 Twin Wasp radial engine rated at 900hp
Armament2x7.62mm machine guns, 1x453kg bomb or 1xMark VIII 544kg torpedo
Span16.51 m
Length12.48 m
Height4.60 m
Wing Area39.20 m²
Weight, Empty2,804 kg
Weight, Loaded4,473 kg
Weight, Maximum4,623 kg
Speed, Maximum331 km/h
Rate of Climb3.70 m/s
Service Ceiling6,000 m


Carrier EnterpriseCarrier Enterprise
See all 57 photographs of TBD Devastator Torpedo Bomber

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
9 Oct 2010 06:09:59 AM

At midway did they have 2 man or 3 man crew in TBD?
2. Zad Fnark says:
4 Mar 2015 08:44:25 AM

One correction: Bombardiers weren't on board for torpedo missions. Torps were aimed by the pilot with a sight for these. Bombardiers worked high level bombing missions with their Norden bombsights.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB
More on TBD Devastator
Related Documents:
» Carrier Aircraft Specifications
» Interview with Bert Earnest

TBD Devastator Torpedo Bomber Photo Gallery
Carrier EnterpriseCarrier Enterprise
See all 57 photographs of TBD Devastator Torpedo Bomber

Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!