View Full Version : Motorweek TBM Avenger Clip

03-19-2018, 10:58 PM
I recently found this clip from an old episode of Motorweek featuring Jack Kosko and the first Avenger he restored. I met Jack about 3 years and change later when him and his group were working on their second TBM Avenger. That Avenger is now "Doris Mae" with the Commemorative Air Force's Capital Wing down in Culpeper, VA. I joined the CAF and followed the bird down Culpeper after Jack shut his hangar down at the end of 2016. He passed last May. Jack was truly one of a kind. This clip gives you a bit of a "taste" of the man he was.


Jack was also one heck of a car guy. At one point, he had 21 cars in his collection. His prize was a '26 Daimler sports car and a '30 Rolls Royce. There is still an incomplete '51 Daimler Sports Special in his garage, along with a mid-60s Jaguar 420.

I consider myself so incredibly fortunate to have known him.

03-20-2018, 07:40 AM
Working with aircraft restoration guys is a privilege - and honor - of my life. We're currently finishing up a Warthog, a DC-3, and the only Burnelli CB-Y in existence. Those guys do a fantastic job, and really care about "getting it right". Even guys familiar with Fifi (B-29) say our B-29 is the best restored superfort anywhere.

You are so fortunate to have Jack Kosko in your life's experience.

Tom M.

03-20-2018, 09:05 AM
My Dad flew in a TBF Avenger in the Pacific, had the same office as Bill. Dad is confined to a wheelchair, suffers from dementia and lives in a healthcare facility. For the last several years a brother or two and I take him to a local Fly In, car and tractor show at Oconto, WI. In 2016 an Avenger flew into the show. We wheeled him around the plane and over to his office door so he could tell us about it. Wasn't long before Dad had attracted quite a crowd, he spent the next hour plus answering questions about himself and the airplane. Brother and I wandered off and let Dad have his day. The owner/pilot and his wife removed the door and had Dad sign it. It was a good day for an old man, there aren't very many for him. He was exhausted but very pleased.



03-20-2018, 11:37 PM
That's Brad Deckert's TBM. Brad is a true gentleman. Him and Charlie Cartledge - who won the Grand Champion at Oshkosh in 2014 with his Avenger are both very dedicated to keeping all Avengers flying. They obtained Forest Protection Limited's (the last major operator of Avengers in the tanker and spray roles) entire inventory of spares, some 100,000 pounds worth of parts, IIRC. Brad hosts as gathering of Avengers in Peru, Illinois each year. Last year, the weather conspired against them and only 7 showed up, but they have 19 Avengers showing up this year.

What squadron / ship did your father fly in / off of?

03-21-2018, 08:56 AM
The Deckerts are very nice people, Jane spent a lot of time talking with Dad, which he enjoyed very much. Dad arrived in the Pacific very late in the war. He flew mostly sub patrol and trained for low level missions to attack the Japanese home islands. He spent time aboard several CVE carriers: Kalinin Bay, Corregidor, Bogue. He was also at Marpi Point. Avengers were used as slurry or retardant bombers, three were stationed in Missoula, MT. so we used to see them flying quite often during fire season. The Forest Service later banned the use of single engine bombers, it was probably an issue of payload because unlike some later aircraft the wings didn't come off and kill the crew. I also saw a B17 and a PB4Y2 used as slurry bombers.

03-21-2018, 10:17 PM
The work the CVE pilots did was oft overlooked. It may have not been glamorous, but it was essential. Some of the ships your Dad served on were quite famous: Kalinin Bay was part of "Taffy 3" in the Battle Off Samar during the larger Leyte Gulf battle. She absorbed 15 direct hits from Japanese heavy-caliber shells, but survived with only 5 killed and 55 wounded. She would take a glancing blow from a kamikaze later in the day. After repairs from the Samar battle, she did not see further combat for the remainder of the war, being assigned to an aircraft transport ship. Bogue was a celebrated U-Boat killer in the Atlantic, and had been transferred to the Pacific to continue its anti-submarine prowess.