Welcome to the TBM Avengers Archive

Welcome to the TBM Avengers Archive supported by the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (located near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada). You will find detailed information about Grumman Avenger Aircraft used by Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, as well as information regarding Avengers which have been used in New Brunswick in aerial application programs from other parts of Canada and the USA.

This is a history of Forest Protection Limited’s association with some 88 TBM Avenger aircraft used in the spruce budworm aerial spray program, primarily in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. This text is based on my own Web site of the same name and has been compiled from many sources. From the late 1950s to the early 1980s, Avengers were contracted by FPL from all over the United States and Canada. FPL purchased many of those same Avengers in the establishment of its own fleet, which at one time had the most working Avengers flying at any one time in the World. Although FPL’s Avengers were gradually replaced by the AT803, they continued to be used as fire bombers well into the 2000s. The last Avenger left FPL in 2012.

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Major Revision Completed

I have just completed a major overhaul of the site, which took considerable effort and time. Several new pages have been added, and many new images were added (as well as some removed). The site is well regarded at the Forest Protection Limited Alumni and Military and Civil TBMs Facebook sites, and many members have contributed images and opinions. This site has been expanded considerably to include spray and fire bomber companies from the western USA — the previous owners of the TBMs that sprayed in New Brunswick.

In a recent post to TBMs – Mil & Civ, I urged members to research the Avenger companies in their own regions, which means this site may expand beyond its original scope of just New Brunswick. We will see what happens.

New page on the northwest Pacific states

Please check out the new page on the Pacific Northwest, the mountain states that provided Avengers to the New Brunswick spray program. These companies were also active in spray programs in their own region. Feedback and corrections are encouraged, but please note that my poor attempt just scratches the surface. It should be considered as only a summary, i.e., until someone else writes the book on the period.

New Revisions Coming

Winter is Coming, and I have started a period of new revisions on this TBM Avenger Archive. The Pilots page has been updated with new images and material with help from various Comments, the FPL files and the Forest Protection Limited Alumni Facebook site. More tweakings will occur over the next few days, so stay tuned. To come are a desperately needed rewriting of the US companies that provided aircraft and a second look at the individual Avenger histories, helped by the additions of some new images collected from the TBMs – Military and Civil Facebook site.

New updated pilots page

I’ve just updated Don Henry’s 2008 list of TBM pilots and the years they flew for aerial pest control and for firebombing, up to 2010. This is still a work on progress, so stay tuned. I’ve added some images as well.

Still to come are updates to U.S. companies.

Revised page: Other Canadian Companies

I’ve just revised the Other Canadian air spray companies page. This includes Several New Brunswick companies (Miramichi, Maritime, JD Irving) and two from Ontario: Norfolk and Hicks and Lawrence. I’m going to tackle the U.S. companies next — wish me luck!

Wheeler – Evergreen companies updated

Besides Skyway and Conair, the other great pair of Canadian companies was Wheeler Airlines, which morphed into Wheeler-Northland and then Evergreen. I have separated this group from the Other Canadian Companies page and updated its content. Let me know what you think. Again, this is still a work in progress and represents what I know at the moment.

Skyway/Conair page updated

I have just updated the page describing the history of Skyway Air Services and its successor, Conair Aviation, two British Columbia companies that played a large part in the history of TBM Avengers that operated in New Brunswick. However, details are sketchy, and sometimes the only evidence — and some of it is conflicting — comes from a photocopied newspaper article and brief mentions in reports and published material. The information in this page needs some verification, and I need some feedback on this effort. So far, this is just my opinion based on what little I have gleaned from various sources.