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.
Visit TBM’s – Military and Civil, a great Facebook site on the active years of TBMs.
Visit the FPL Alumni Site
Check out the new Stearman archive/blog FOREST SPRAYING STEARMANS IN NEW BRUNSWICK.
Recently I have been haunting the Provincial Archives New Brunswick here is Fredericton. I came across some crash images of CF-KCG, Conair #615, which I have posted to its aircraft page.
Also, a mystery has been solved! FZTR and FZTS: The Mystery page, which now reads SOLVED! Barry McLeod had alerted me to a very interesting page run by the Stoltzfus family of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, who had purchased four Avengers in 1957. After a series of emails regarding N7028C and N4173A, Ken Stoltzfus decided to order the Certificate of Registration for N4173A. The previously unknown BuNo was finally revealed as 85904 and the BuBo for N7028C was confirmed as 53775.
Read about it on the revised mystery page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.