TBD Devastator

History is Made

There are no other Devastator representations anywhere else in the world!

In October 2019, after months of restoration, the USS Midway Museum welcomed aboard a special replica torpedo aircraft, the TBD Devastator.

Originally built for the upcoming motion picture Midway, this full-sized TBD Devastator would be incorporated into the overall presentation of our current Battle of Midway Theater complex, which already contains dynamic displays of the F4F Wildcat fighter and SBD Dauntless dive bomber.

TBD Devastator

The Douglas TBD was the U.S. Navy’s first all-metal monoplane carrier aircraft, joining the fleet in 1937. Designed as both a torpedo and level bomber, the TBD featured hydraulically folding wings and the secret Norden bombsight. A lengthy enclosed cockpit section, commonly called a “greenhouse,” and prominent corrugated ribs on the wings and empennage were distinctive features that set the design apart. In 1941, the Navy assigned official nicknames to its aircraft, and the TBD became the “Devastator.” After war broke out towards the end of the year, Devastator squadrons participated in the earliest carrier strikes in the Pacific. Although torpedo crews eagerly expected the more advanced Grumman TBF Avenger, production delays meant that only a single squadron’s worth of the new type was available by the time of the Battle of Midway in June 1942. The carriers Enterprise, Yorktown, and Hornet would fight with their combined forty-one TBDs.

Unlike any others of its kind, this replica torpedo aircraft, like those flown in the Battle of Midway, is an exciting addition to our collection. Keep scrolling to learn more about this amazing WWII-era aircraft!


Learn More From Our Historian

Welcoming the TBD Devastator

In this blog article from 2019, our ship's onboard historian Karl Zingheim, discusses the TBD Devastator's unique history, including the Battle of Midway, and shares what it was like for the USS Midway Museum to welcome a TBD Devastator replica!

Midway the Movie

Watch the trailer to see if you can spot the TBD Devastator replica!

Plot: US soldiers and pilots change the course of World War II during the Battle of Midway in June 1942. The US and Imperial Japanese naval forces fought for four days.

Release date: November 8, 2019 (USA)

Drama/Action ‧ 2h 18m

Director: Roland Emmerich

Budget: 100 million USD

Production companies: Centropolis Entertainment, Polybona Films, Street Entertainment

Music composed by: Harald Kloser, Thomas Wander

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