TBM bureau number 91188 was delivered to the United States Navy during WWII from the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors. Following her retirement from the U.S. Navy # 91188 saw extensive service in the hazardous role of fire bomber for the U.S. Forestry Service based at Davis, California from 1956-1964. She would continue in this role through 1969 with Georgia Forestry Commission in Macon, GA. After her distinguished career as a fire bomber 91188 transitioned between various private owners throughout the country ultimately finding herself at the Valiant Air Command, Inc. in 2002. For nearly 18 years the VAC TBM has been undergoing an extensive restoration to flight by our skilled restoration personnel.
On January 11th, 2020 she returned to skies for the first time in several years a testament to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. Our aircraft is painted in the colors of the Flight 19's Commander, Lt Charles Taylor the lead aircraft for one of the greatest unsolved disappearances in Florida State History. Five Avengers departed NAS Ft. Lauderdale in 1945 never to be heard from again. To this day the search for the 5 missing TBMs continues to be the focus of many historical and dramatic accounts and films.
To maintain and keep these old Warbirds alive is costly, with the significant insurance cost and parts and required maintenance to support these amazing beautiful pieces of history. If you'd like to support our efforts to keep these gems flying please leave your donations here.