The AT-6 advanced trainer was one of the most widely used aircraft in history. Evolving from the BC-1 basic combat trainer ordered in 1937, 19,757 Texans were built between 1938 and 1945. The AAF procured 10,057 AT-6s; others went to the Navy as SNJs and to more than 30 Allied nations. Production continued in Canada until 1954. Japan acquired a license to build the BC-1 in 1939. The Japanese Navy procured 176 for use as intermediate trainers designated Kyushu K10W1. The Allied code name was "Oak".
Most AAF fighter pilots trained in AT-6s prior to graduation from flying school. Many of the Spitfire and Hurricane pilots in the Battle of Britain trained in Canada in "Harvards," the British version of the AT-6. To comply with pre-war neutrality laws, U.S. built Harvards were flown north to the border and were pushed across.
During WW-II American T-6's served mostly as trainers, but foreign versions did see combat. An Australian derivative called the "Wirraway" was credited with downing a Japanese Zero.
In 1948, Texans still in USAF service were redesignated as T-6s when the AT, BT and PT aircraft designations were abandoned.
To meet an urgent need for close air support of ground forces in the Korean War, the LT-6G was developed specifically for forward air control. It could be fitted with up to twelve underwing target-marking rockets. Originally, T-6s equipped a US Tactical Control Squadron, which operated with the call-sign "Mosquito". The "Mosquito" nickname became associated with both the TCS and with the T-6 aircraft.
The ROK Air Force possessed T-6s at the start of the Korean War, and they quickly went into action dropping hand grenades and locally-produced bombs on advancing North Korean troops. These bombs lasted only a few days, and US aircraft began flying combat missions. The ROK Air Force acquired additional T-6s during the war and used them extensively for training new pilots.
The T-6 based in our hangar is the Navy version known as the SNJ-4. The aircraft is owned by the CAF. It came off the assembly line in 1943. Its operational history is currently being investigated.
Mfg Date: 1943
Span: 42 ft. 0 in.
Length: 26 ft. 6 in.
Height: 10 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 5617 lbs loaded
Armament: None, however some AT-6s used for gunnery/bombing training.
Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340 of 600 hp., air-cooled (Our museum has a separate exhibit of a cut-away example of this engine.)
Serial Number: 88-13517
Maximum speed: 212 mph.
Cruising speed: 145 mph.
Range: 770 miles
Service Ceiling: 22,320 ft