USS Wasp Vet Gets Ride In TBM 70 Years Later

The Illinois Valley NewsTribune has the story of a 93-year old WWII vet who got to re-live his glory days last Saturday, courtesy of warbird owner Brad Deckert.

Deckert, who owns an authentic TBM Avenger WWII torpedo bomber, took US Navy vet Bob Hartman for a flight around the Illinois Valley Regional Airport last Saturday. This wasn’t the first time Hartman had flown in an Avenger: he served as a radioman/gunner on TBMs 70 years ago, including a stint on the USS Wasp (CV-7).

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Bob occupied the “middle seat” of the Avenger for this flight, affording him an excellent view compared to his old “office”, down in the bottom rear of the aircraft. Hartman’s son Jeff sat there in his father’s old position during the flight.

This article at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum explains just how important Hartman’s role as radioman was.



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