The Avenger came about as a replacement for the Douglas Devastator which was considered obsolete in 1939 (but were still used early in the war). The first flight was in 1941 and it was first used in 1942.
The Avengers could carry a wide assortment of torpedoes, depth charges and bombs and were a fairly versatile aircraft. They served in the Pacific and Atlantic.
The Avenger was used in the sinking of both the Yamato and Musashi battleships. They also played a pretty major role in the Battle of Leyte Gulf where U.S. Destroyers, Destroyer Escorts and Escort Carriers chased off a superior Japanese fleet.