A-36 Apache Walkaround


The A-36A 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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