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  #1  
Old 10th October 2020, 01:58
Felix C Felix C is offline
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AT-6 Texan in attack role in USAAF colors?

Did the Texan every serve in the attack role with USA markings?

I found the pic of FAC use in Korea. I refer to actual ground attack as we read in SE Asia, Congo etc by other nations.
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Old 10th October 2020, 18:45
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: AT-6 Texan in attack role in USAAF colors?

Felix

If you refer to the AT in the AT-6 that letter combination stood for Advanced Trainer.

If the various AT-6 models were ever used in combat by the USAAF seems doubtful. I know a few were in combat areas during the war, but I cannot recall they were ever used during any combat missions.

If you refer to the Korean war, then you have the USAF and not the USAAF to consider.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 11th October 2020, 11:03
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: AT-6 Texan in attack role in USAAF colors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stig Jarlevik View Post
Felix

If you refer to the Korean war, then you have the USAF and not the USAAF to consider.

Cheers
Stig
It is interesting, that the AT-6 designation which most of us understand as the Attack Trainer (Attack, modified use) (Trainer - primary use) - didn't really become formalized until 1962.

See internet paper - linked:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160304...us/system.html


The Texan/Mosquitos in Korea were generally referred to as Mosquitos, Texans or T-6s.

I wonder if these armed T-6s would have had better success against the Po-2/Yak-11 Bed-pan-Charlie attacks. Perhaps the RAAF should have offered some ready-armed Wirraway OTU-trainers. (Wirraway, based on NA-16 trainer - think T-6 with about 200-hp extra.)***


***correcting myself here:
Original NA-16s had either PW Wasp R1340 (550hp) or Wright Whirlwind R975 (420hp). Most early T-6s, SNJs and Harvards R1340s of around 550hp. Wirraways equipped with slightly more powerful R1340 version of 600hp.


The French (and I think, later Portuguese) Texan armed counter-insurgency light-attack aircraft had a T-6G designation. Though, the Portuguese reportedly also used ex-Luftwaffe Harvard IVs (ex-ex-RAF perhaps) in a modified armed capacity.

Interesting points and artwork in this internet source on Portuguese T-6s:
http://worldatwar.net/chandelle/v3/v3n2/portcoin.html
(Not had a chance to verify against T-6 or Portuguese Angola/Mozambique books, so make what you will of that information.)

...geoff
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Last edited by bearoutwest; 11th October 2020 at 11:18. Reason: correcting data
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Old 11th October 2020, 12:00
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: AT-6 Texan in attack role in USAAF colors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bearoutwest View Post
It is interesting, that the AT-6 designation which most of us understand as the Attack Trainer (Attack, modified use) (Trainer - primary use) - didn't really become formalized until 1962.

The Texan/Mosquitos in Korea were generally referred to as Mosquitos, Texans or T-6s.

I wonder if these armed T-6s would have had better success against the Po-2/Yak-11 Bed-pan-Charlie attacks. Perhaps the RAAF should have offered some ready-armed Wirraway OTU-trainers.

geoff
Geoff
You have to differentiate between the various designation systems the USAAF and USAF have had during the years.
With the USAAF the AT designation only stood for Advanced Trainer. When the USAF was formed all trainer prefixes were dropped, so no more AT, BT or PT but just T, hence T-6D, T-6G in the Korean war period.

The basic North American design was very adaptable and it was no surprise really with the number available that it should also be used in Korea.
If you look at the so called LT-6G (Liasion/Trainer) in Korea you can see that they were all equipped with racks to carry loads of various sorts, meaning on those racks you could basically carry any kind of light armament available, gun pods (.30 caliber), rockets (up to 12 x 2.5 inch or four x 5 inch HVAR) and small bombs (4 x 100 Lbs for example). Most of these aircraft were used by the 6147th TACS (Tactical Air Control Squadron) out of Pohang and Taegu.
So yes, the T-6 were used offensively on combat missions in Korea by the USAF!

No, the T-6 would not have been a good "night fighter" in Korea or anywhere else. To fly at night and harass the enemy you "only" have to be a good pilot with a basic night flying skill. However to intercept something which flies at night, you need something far more potent than someone on the ground directing you, you need something within your own aircraft which can detect your enemy! Ergo, you need a radar. The T-6 never had one.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 11th October 2020, 16:07
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: AT-6 Texan in attack role in USAAF colors?

Hello Stig,

I don't disagree with you. Only commenting that the AT-6 (for Attack Trainer) only officially came in to use post-1962. (The website I pointed people toward - readily says AT = Advanced Trainer, in earlier USAAC/USAAF use.)

In terms of combating the slow Po-2, not much got the upper hand. A B-26 Invader (WW2 A-26 type) scored a Po-2 by walking the fire from 8x (or 10-12x) forward firing 50-calibre mg through the biplane. This was at night without radar, so by coincidence right-place/right-time rather than good planning. A radar-equipped F-94 Starfire chased a Po-2 and stalled when it opened fire with it guns - the F-94 crashed. A USN F4U-5N radar equipped Corsair, land based detachment has the most success, and had the only USN-operated ace in Korea, but from memory 4 of his 5 kills were against the faster Yak-11 two-seater advanced trainer nuisance bomber types.

...geoff
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Last edited by bearoutwest; 11th October 2020 at 16:07. Reason: too many line spaces
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Old 11th October 2020, 16:54
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: AT-6 Texan in attack role in USAAF colors?

Indeed Geoff

However, I am very sure few T-6 remained in use by 1962 (if any!) and if so were never called AT-6 by any of the US users

I have a final retirement date by the USAF of all their T-6 as 17 Sep 1956 at Bartow AFB in Florida, but I cannot say 100% that was just for training or it really was the last one out.

US Navy reportedly retired their last SNJ on 14 March 1958 at Barrin Field, Alabama.

The last T-6 in US service that I know of was used by 35th Air Rescue Squadron (a Civil Air Patrol unit) in the "1960s". Unfortunateley I don't know who they belonged to....

Small aircraft (drones etc) are still very difficult to intercept even in daytime.
That, however, is outside my main interest and we are already straying from the subject.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 10th October 2020, 19:15
Felix C Felix C is offline
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Re: AT-6 Texan in attack role in USAAF colors?

thanks. Meant to write USAF as well. In a rush. I read were US pilots were believed to have flown close air support missions in SE Asia in in the early years during the adviser only era.
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Old 10th October 2020, 19:58
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: AT-6 Texan in attack role in USAAF colors?

For what it is worth, there is a link about the Texans here which mentions the examples you already given and includes the use by the USAF as FAC in Korea. However, in the same paragraph about FAC use in Korea, it says:

"They were also flown for air rescues and leaflet-dropping missions. Several were used as interceptors against the North Koreans, who were flying Soviet-made Polikarpov PO-2 night raiders. "

https://www.historynet.com/north-ame...texan-name.htm


Here is another article about night fighting in Korea with no mention of using Texans, so ?????...

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...ica-they-24626


I suspect if Texans were used they had no successes.
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Old 11th October 2020, 16:45
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: AT-6 Texan in attack role in USAAF colors?

A little here as well:https://www.t6harvard.com/harvard-wa...arvard-combat/


Regards,
Leendert
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Old 11th October 2020, 19:57
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: AT-6 Texan in attack role in USAAF colors?

I found a reference to the "night fighter" mission for the T-6. See pdf page 87 on this link: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a476873.pdf

"Bedcheck Charlie" was the name for the Polikarpov Po-2.

"It’s not well known that, in addition to our work at close air support, we had
an air-to-air mission! The enemy had a vintage, fabric-covered biplane we called
Bedcheck Charlie. He had a nasty habit of sneaking in at night and dropping
grenades on the F–86s at Kimpo, outside of Seoul. Flying low and slow, with a
low radar cross section, he was a real challenge to our air defense jets: indeed,
instead of “out-flying” the jets, Charlie “under-flew” them! The Mosquitoes
answered this challenge by slinging two .30-cal machines guns under the wings and
taking up nighttime alert at Kimpo. Of course, everyone was salivating to become
a fighter ace by shooting down Bedchecks! I drew this duty a couple of times, and,
although I didn’t have any victories, it was always a kick to taxi into the alert area
of Kimpo, park our T–6s next to these F–86s, and tell the F–86 pilot sitting on
alert there, “Okay, guys, go get a good night’s sleep. We’ll take it from here!”
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