Torpedo bomber arrives at Louisiana military museum

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A full-sized model of a historic World War II aircraft has a new home today.

The TBM Avenger reproduction, whose real-life counterparts fired torpedoes and dropped bombs during the war and saw service until the 1960s, was a gift from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. That museum was given the aluminum model by the late Cmdr. Thomas Lupo, a retired naval officer and New Orleans businessman, had a California foundry build it.

It was delivered Monday via two 18-wheelers, with the fuselage on one and the wings on the other. The pieces will be kept in a Barrow Street building until display space is available.

“They gave it to us, no strings attached,” said C.J. Christ, director and curator of the Houma museum. Once a planned museum expansion is complete, the replica will be suspended from rafters.

“The casual observer cannot tell that this is a model,” Christ said. “It is impressive.”

The TBM Avenger was built by General Motors. Six of the planes saw service at Midway Island in 1942 as Allied Forces struggled to maintain a foothold in the Pacific. The aircrafts’ bomb bays could accommodate a single torpedo or up to five bombs....

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