Grumman TBM Avenger airplane model. The Grumman TBM Avenger was one of the most famous aircraft of WWII in Navy service. Originally designed as a carrier-based torpedo bomber by Grumman Aircraft, the Avenger found use as a close-support bomber, patrol aircraft, and even a trainer and COD aircraft in post-war use. It was known as the ,largest single-engine, carrier-based aircraft of WWII. Interest in this aircraft rose as it was the aircraft that former President Bush flew (and was shot down in) during World War II.