TBM Avenger Gathering in Peru, Illinois – April 16th

TBM Formation Flight by Greg Morehead

TBM Formation Flight (photo by Greg Morehead)
TBM Formation Flight (photo by Greg Morehead)

A rare sight will greet the warbird world this April in Peru, Illinois. At least nine Grumman TBM Avengers are expected to gather at Illinois Valley Regional Airport for a mixture of public displays and an owner/operators conference. There is every possibility that additional TBMs will attend as well, making it potentially the largest gathering of airworthy Avengers of the warbird era.

Organized by Brad Deckert, and his company TBM Avenger LLC, the Avengers will begin arriving in Peru, Illinois during the third week of April. The TBM forum for owner/operators will take place on Friday, April 15th. The forum will include a presentation on maintaining the Avenger’s Curtiss-Wright R-2600-20 engine, as well as an open session for TBM owner/operators to discuss mutual concerns. For obvious reasons, these sessions will not be open to the public, however, the everyone is welcome to attend all of the weekend events. The public will be able to get a close-up look at the TBMs, and witness some flying as well. Formation flights are in the works too of course. There is also a plan to invite former Avenger veterans as well, though the final details are not complete on that just yet. The local EAA Chapter will be selling lunches, which will be available to all-comers.

So far the organizers expect the following TBM Avengers to attend:

1: TBM-3E – Bu.85632 – N81865 – Brad Deckert – based locally at KVYS, Illinois Valley Regional Airport in Peru, Illinois.

2: TBM-3E – Bu.53829 -N293E – Mark and Allen Yeagie – coming from KFAR, Hector International Airport in Fargo, ND.

3: TBM-3U – Bu.53768 – N683G – Tom Buck – coming from KJOT, Joliet Regional Airport in Joliet, IL.

4:  TBM-3 – Bu.91436 – N436GM – Charlie Cartledge – coming from KPCW, Erie-Ottawa International Airport in Port Clinton, OH.

5:  TBM-3E – Bu85882 – N9584Z –  Michael Kopp – coming from Seattle region, WA.

6: TBM-3U – Bu.69325 – N325GT – Darrell Berry – coming from OM8, Benton County Regional Airport, Camden, TN.

7: TBM-3S – Bu.53420 – N420GP – Tri-state Warbird Museum coming from I69, Clermont County Airport, Batavia, OH.

8: TBM-3 – Bu53835 – N3967A – Charles Lynch – coming from KHPN, Westchester County Airport, White Plains, NY.

9: TBM-3 – Bu.53353 – N5264 – Missouri Wing, CAF – coming from KSET, St. Charles County Smartt Airport, Portages des Sioux, MO.

For more information visit our FACEBOOK Event Page

WarbirdsNews will keep you up to date on any changes as/when they happen, and we also plan to have a representative on the ground, and probably in the air too, so Watch This Space!


  1. There is no such thing as a “Grumman TBM.” The Avenger was a Grumman design, but aircraft are formally and properly identified on the basis of who actually built the example in question and any Avenger built actually by Grumman was designated as a TBF by the US Navy. All Avengers designated as TBM by intentional contrast were built actually by the Eastern Aircraft division of General Motors and as such are properly identified as either Eastern Aircraft or General Motors TBM Avengers. That’s the whole point of the separate designations.

      • It actually is a BFD… Same thing with Wildcats, F4F vs FM, Corsairs F4U vs FG….if you’re going to talk about these planes at least get the designations correct.

        • Definitely a big deal…if the designations are off by even 1 digit it may cause a plague to be unleashed upon the world.

          Seriously, anyone with half a clue knows exactly what the article is talking about. It’s a petty, minor gripe at best, certainly not a “BFD”. The only reason for being that picky in this case is to say “look how smart I am”, like a 5 year old wanting a sticker.

          Now…who wants to contact the Collings Foundation and tell them they don’t know anything about airplanes?
          You may want to sit down for this, but not only do they have a “Grumman TBM Avenger”, but they also have a “Grumman FM-2 Wildcat”. I’m surprised they can even get them off the ground with such a glaring mistake in their nomenclature.



        • Yeah, I’m glad he pointed out the difference. I only attend events where TBF’s are present. I don’t care much for TBM’s. *eye roll*

    • Dave, many thanks for writing in. While technically you are correct, sometimes a little editorial license is perfectly reasonable. Yes, most of us are fully aware that the TBM was manufactured by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors, and not by Grumman, who designed the aircraft but manufactured it as the TBF. However, writing the full designation of “Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors TBM Avenger” every time one names the aircraft is such a mouthful that most people truncate it simply to “Grumman TBM” as convenient shorthand. While it may frustrate some, and for that I’m sorry, only the ignorant will fail to understand what is actually meant.

  2. I am planning on being there to help in any way needed, thanks again for speaking at our Squadron 4 Banquet, it was an inspiring evening to say the least, I visited the Arizona Memorial and was moved to tears, I can imagine how you felt as you flew over her.


  4. I working with a friend from Amboy that knows a 92yr old resident there that flew these back in WWII. Trying to get him down here at this event! Stuart Talked to him also so if any ??’s talk to him about it

  5. This is a great way to share some of the history that children would love to see. Of course, we adults love it too! Thank you.

  6. Had a great seat for most of the weekend watching these war planes and a few jets flying around the Illinois Valley! The ONLY thing I would say was missing was a grand finally flyover with all the planes and jets. I do understand that this might not have been feasible, but it would have really made it special.

  7. Hope to see another show like this in the future at the Duncan field in the near future. Many thanks to everyone involved!!

  8. This was a great event. My wife met a gentleman who flew as a radioman in the Avenger. She was thrilled to hear him talk about his experiences. It was very entertaining to walk through all the exhibits. I too hope to see all this again in Peru, Illinois.

  9. Joe,
    I own and fly TBM 85460 FEWTBM LLC. The video I watched
    of the fly in was real nice. My plane is still set up as a water bomber.No matter my friends really like to see and hear me fly.
    Let me know when another fly in happens.


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