North American A-36A Mustang

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Also nicknamed the "Apache” or “Invader," the A-36A dive bomber was the first US Army Air Forces version of the Mustang, officially developed for Britain in 1940. The first A-36 flew in September 1942, and North American Aviation completed production of 500 A-36As in March 1943.

Assigned to the 27th and 86th Bombardment Groups (Dive), the A-36A first saw action over the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria in June 1943. 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.  In 1944, bomb rack equipped P-51s and P-47s replaced the A-36A when experience showed that these high-altitude fighters were more suitable for low-level missions than the A-36As.

 

The Museum’s A-36A was donated by Charles P. Doyle of Rosemount, Minnesota and was restored by members of the Minnesota Air National Guard.  It is marked to represent the A-36A flown by Capt Lawrence Dye, a pilot of the 522nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron, during combat in North Africa and Italy.


TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns; 1,000 lbs of bombs externally
Engine: Allison V-1710 of 1,325 hp
Maximum speed: 365 mph
Cruising speed: 250 mph
Range: 550 miles
Ceiling: 25,100 ft.
Span: 37 ft.
Length: 32 ft. 3 in.
Height: 12 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 10,000 lbs. loaded
Serial number: 42-83665

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