North American A-36

Inspired by the success of the German Ju-87, the Army ordered a dive bomber variant of the Mustang, the A-36. This had slatted dive brakes, a V-1710-87 engine, and extra .50-cal wing guns.

The 27th BG (Light) (later the 27th FBG) took the A-36 into combat in North Africa, and with the 86th BG, later helped counter German attempts to overrun the Allied beachhead at Salerno during the invasion of mainland Italy. The 27th phased out its A-36s in early 1944, followed by the 86th that summer. In the CBI, the 528th FBS of the 311th FBG operated the A-36 against Japanese forces in Burma.

The A-36 has been kitted in 1/48 by Accurate Miniatures, and in 1/32 scale by Hobbycraft Models.

Bibliography: Ad for B.F. Goodrich, with artwork showing a flight of A-36s attacking a bridge Aviation December 1943 p.159

Photo: a severely battered A-36 (that was surely subsequently written off) following a mission over Italy Aviation News June 26, 1944 p.20

Photos (2): A-36 N251A Air Classics December 1981 p.58

Dick Clark "Wings of the Apache" Scale Aviation Modeller International December 2013 Building the Italeri (accurate Miniatures) 1/48 kit

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