A-36 Apache Walkaround
dive bomber was the first Army Air Force version of the "Mustang" developed
for Britain in 1940. The A-36 fist flew in Oct. 1942; production of 500
A-36As was completed by March 1943.
Unofficially named "Invaders," A-36As were assigned to the 27th and 86th
Bombardment Groups, later was redesignated as Fighter-Bomber Groups.
In June 1943, the plane went into action from North Africa. During the
Italian campaign, A-36A pilots flew bomber escort and strafing missions as
well as ground support bombing attacks. A-36As also served with the
311th Fighter Bomber Group in India. Dive brakes in the wings gave
greater stability in a dive, but they were sometimes wired closed due to
malfunctions. In 1944, AAF A-36As were replaced by P-51s and P-47s
when experience showed that these high-altitude fighters, equipped with bomb
racks, were more suitable for low-level missions than the A-36As.
The aircraft shown here was obtained in 1971. It was restored by the
148th Fighter-Interceptor Group, Minnesota ANG. It is painted as the
A-36A flown by Capt. Lawrence Dye, 522nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron, in
Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy during WW II. (NMUSAF)
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