North American T-6 "Texan" / SNJ / "Harvard"
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deaftom, e-mail, 07.11.2016 23:26

Bob Keller, you must have been in the same pilot-training class (52-B) as my late father, Roger D. Harrington! I'd love to see any photographs you might have of the T-6Gs you flew, as I want to build a model of my dad's "first" aircraft type.


Scott Urban, e-mail, 04.02.2016 20:59

1944 SNJ-5 BuNo 43745 - Any of you Naval and Marine Aviators check your log books. I would love to hear from you if you flew my SNJ. It spent most of its time in Pensacola & Corpus (1944 to 1958). It is currently kept in Richland, WA.


Al Brown, e-mail, 16.01.2016 18:13

If the Bob Keller is the one stationed in the 449th FIS in Fairbanks, Ak I would like to hear from him, a great guy. My phone is 828-696-9014


TC Dahlgren, e-mail, 14.03.2015 16:13

My advanced training was in a twin engine Cessna so I didn't get to fly the T-6 until later. "Later" was after a combat tour in an 8th AF B-24. The Army Air Corps' amazing assignment methods kicked in and I found myself at a T-6 instructor school at Waco, Texas. in 1945. Going from big to little was difficult enough without having to fly it from the back seat. Not surprisingly, I never instructed hour one but logged a lot of hours in the "6" - in the front seat. Great airplane! However, one had to "fly" it and it was not all that forgiving of pilot error. I have the T-6 pilot's manual. Wish I had a T-6.


Russ Dyer, e-mail, 07.03.2015 18:49

Pensacola Pre-Flight Class 20-53. Then about 180 SNJ hours
at Whiting, Saufley, Barin and Corry Fields. Enjoyed every minute of the time. This was the basis for the next twenty years of flying a variety of USMC fixed wing prop and jet and helicpters. Semper Fi


Bob Keller, e-mail, 15.02.2015 05:51

I was in class 52-B as a Cadet. We did our entire basic and advanced training in the yellow T-6.


Bob Keller, e-mail, 15.02.2015 05:46

I went thriugh basic and advanced Air Force pilot training in this wonderful aircraft. James Connely and Reese AFB's. After ground looping this plane on my first solo at macgregor Field, Waco Texas, i had the greatest check ride that any Cadet ever had. The experience made me a better and safer pilot. My instructor told me "mister there are two kinds of T-6 pilots, those who have ground looped this plane and those that are going to gound loop it. I have 220 wonderful hours in this aircraft.


Dr Richard Dexter Olson, e-mail, 04.02.2015 22:23

I flew basic training at, Whiting, Saufley, Barin, & Corey fields from Dec 53 [class 35-53 in Preflight at NAS Pensacola] thru Aug 54; what a GREAT airplane, enjoyed every minute of it; would love hearing from anyone who was in my class or anyone who went through flight training at the same time. I remember VERY WELL, Sgt Seif, & SGT McDaniel, who were the DIs in charge of us in preflight at Pensacola; they had us scared silly & "whipped" us into shape in record time.


Reed Carr, e-mail, 21.01.2015 04:04

I flew the SNJ at Barin Field, Foley, AL in early 1957. It was the 3rd trainer for me, having started in the T-34 at Whiting,1956, the T-28 at Corry, then Saufley, and on to Barin, 1957. As I was headed for Helo's they didn't let us do much but fly a lot of formation flights, no Gunnery nor CQ, for which I was sad.


Don Wohlers USMC, e-mail, 17.03.2014 22:31

Having come from a small country town in NE, then via boot camp in San Diego, I was in awe. I was in class 22-54. Soloed the SNJ on Sept 15th at Correy. Yes Correy as we were a small class and did not go to Whiting. When I went through boot camp, three of us qualified for the NAVCAD program. When I got to Pensacola we were told to look to our left and then our right and in so many years, one would be dead. Of the three of us that came to Pensacola, I am the only one that lived thru to the end. At Baron, I was taking off and my engine started to backfire and I stayed on the ground but ran off the end of the runway. I believe it was rwy 4. Remember that was early 1955. Where I went off and down in a ditch, it was the only place that the SNJ would fit and not hit a cement block and flip. Problem? They had just change plugs and someone had not turned them all the way in and some came out as they had just been started in the hole. I got my wings on 11/10/55. The SNJ is the love of my many a/c that I have flown in my 40 years of flying. I retired from the airlines with 28,000 hours in 1994. All because of the NAVCAD program and the SNJ (super navy jet)


Bob Marshall, e-mail, 05.02.2014 03:44

I noticed my E-Mail Addres in the following posting was in error It should be:
bobandmuriel@comcast.net


Bob Marshall, e-mail, 04.02.2014 20:25

After graduation from Pensacola 1944 I was assigned Advanced Instructor at Ellyson and Whiting Field. Here is a quote that many people did not realize. If you could fly the SNJ you could fly any single engine plane in the Navy:
*1--- Pilot Training Remarks from The Smithsonian magazine November 2003. Article Crash Junkie page 11:

Americas rush to transform itself into an air power after Pearl Harbor took a greater toll in lives than most people realize. About 15,000 air-men died in training mishaps in the primitive, often-difficult-to-fly aircraft of the area, roughly about a quarter of those actually killed in combat. It wasnt combat, says Fuller, but is was the cost of keeping America free. "Overall Navy flight statistics for 1945 are available and the numbers are impressive. That year, 15.5-million hours were flown. More than 13,000 major accidents occurred; half resulted in destroyed aircraft. The more than 3,000 fatalities were at the rate of 20.5 per 100,000 hours flown" e.g. "Bloddy Barin" NAS Pensacola.


Granpa, e-mail, 11.01.2014 00:45

It would be nice if we were told how much horsepower this plane has.


Harold Haskins, e-mail, 15.11.2013 00:36

Flew the SNJ at Pensacola in basic 4/53 to 1/54 . Six
carrier landings . Solo, precision stage. aerobatics,
formation, gunnery, instruments before moving on to Corpus
Christi for all weather flight and advanced. Great trainer!


Alfred J. D'Amario, e-mail, 19.08.2013 04:28

In class 51H, I flew the t-6D for about 30 hours at Goodfellow AFB, Texas and then transitioned into the T-6G, the Yellow Peril. We heard stories of student crashes in the G model at other bases, with no known cause except "pilot error". Practicing spins (solo) in a G model, I encountered a problem but recovered. After repeating the spin and encountering the same problem, and recovering, I asked my instructor to ride with me to see what the problem was. On that flight, we entered a spin (intentionally) and the rudder and elevator controls locked together. It took all the strength of both of us to free the controls and recover. After landing, it was found that the rudder and elevator controls could lock together in a spin, making recovery difficult or impossible. The problem was corrected and no farther crashes were reported. I continued on with about another 110 hours in the T-6 at Goodfellow. Then, I went to Craig AFB for advanced training and got another 70 hours in the T-6G. I had no problems but my instructor forgot to lock the tail wheel and ground-looped his airplane one day. All of that was in 1951.
I never flew the T-6 again until 2009. I was 79 years old and got a one hour flight in a War Bird T-6 at Kissimmee, Florida. At that age I wasn't too sure how I would respond to aerobatics. Knowing I was a retired Air Force pilot, the pilot gave me the stick right after takeoff. In the hour that followed, I flew that Terrible Texan through rolls and loops with no problem at all. I handled 3 Gs with no problem
The T-6 was a great airplane, subject to ground-loops if you weren't careful, but otherwise a delight to fly.


Ratch, e-mail, 15.08.2013 09:27

Also flew the G model at Greenville and Willy Air Patch. Went to Korea in the T-6 as the last truce started. We had a mixture of former P 51 pilots and young new 2nd Lts' relieving each other on patrol each day. This exchange often turn into mini dog fights for a few minutes. I learned more about fighter tactics from those old pros that year then I did in the rest of my career.


Julio Torres, e-mail, 10.07.2013 20:15

Great memories of my training on T-6G at the Venezuelan Air Force Academy 1958-59 The aircraft (E-98) I flew on my first solo I see it almost every day as it was placed at the roof of the Transport Museum of Caracas, located at one of the main avenues of the city


Julio Torres, e-mail, 10.07.2013 20:15

Great memories of my training on T-6G at the Venezuelan Air Force Academy 1958-59 The aircraft (E-98) I flew on my first solo I see it almost every day as it was placed at the roof of the Transport Museum of Caracas, located at one of the main avenues of the city


LT. COL. JCK STOLLY, e-mail, 26.02.2013 00:27

I WAS AN AVIATION CADET IN 1948-49 IN CLASS 49=B MUCH TO OUR SHOCK ,IN JUNE 1948, WE WERE TOLD THAT WE WERE GOING LEARN TO FLY IN THE T-6. WE WERE ABOUT THE SECOND POST WAR CLASS IN THE NEW AIR FORCE. AFTER 8 MONTHS IN THE T=6 WE WENT ON TO ADVANCED FLYING THE F-51 MUSTANG, F-80 AND THE B-25, ALL AS CADETS. 49-B GOT THEIR WINGS AND COMMISSIONS ON 1 JULY, 1949.


Bill Smith, e-mail, 10.01.2013 22:13

This wonderful aircraft will always have a spot in my heart for being so forgivable! I cut my infant flying teeth on this wonderful bird. I'll never forget the acrobatics, the crosswind landings, and the open cockpit with the air flowing around the cockpit. My very first carrier landing was with this machine. I have no idea how we did it, but this one gave me my initiation into carrier flight ops. You've not lived until you've had a deck run with this bird. Great memories!


Chuck, e-mail, 10.11.2012 20:53

My Father trained in an "SNJ" at Corpus Christy TX. In 1943. Later he would become an Aircraft Carrier Pilot and Ace, with the F6F-3.


Leo Simons, e-mail, 26.08.2012 02:31

Primary Training at Bartow Air Base.USAF pilot training Class 54F. Instructor Howard S.Goodman. My instructor flew bombers in Europe during the was. He was simply the best and got me to graduate with flying grades above average on the T6G-Harvard. The best training aircraft ever. I think. Even instrument flying on the T6 - needle,ball and airspeed was fun. Aerobatics not easy but great, What an airplane.


Zippo, 25.08.2012 03:14

The T-6 it was an a famous aircraft. Least, a three quarters of all pilots of most air forces have a flow. In the advanced countries it was used like primary trainer, or adavanced trainer, in the Third World countries was used like advanced trainer or low-cost fighter. It entered servie in 1935 but in 1990 still in flight with other air forces. In the words of varios pilots, they are tell that the aircraft its manoureable, easy to flew and dont need a costfull manteinance.


Tamara Majkrzak, e-mail, 15.08.2012 07:45

Not sure what aircraft my dad was qualified on but he completed carrier qualifaication 9/18/1953 on Barin Field, Folry, Alabama. Just wanted to submit to see if anyone knew him. Frank Reese Pound Jr. from Cocoa, Fla. He passed away March 26, 2012...found old photo of this event.


Frank Smith, e-mail, 27.07.2012 03:24

Class 55H at Spence AB, Moultre, Ga. Flew PA-18 and T-6. Instructor was David Spears. Once you were trained to land a T-6, you could handle any airplane on landing. Great thing about Spence was the president of Hawthorn School Aviation, Beverly "Bevo" Howard who put on an air show for every graduating class. If you are not familiar with Him. look him up...you'll be impressed.


Joe West, e-mail, 26.06.2012 00:40

Blieve it or not!100 combat missions in the T-6 IN Korea.as airborneForward airController{Mosquito.} with 32 smoke rockets and lots of radio gear.DFC, Air Medal,2 oak leaf clusters.


Jack Sullivan, e-mail, 17.06.2012 19:31

Brings back fond memeories of yesterday. I was an instucto at Barin Field in 1945 and 1946 and flew over 1,000 hours in the SNJ. Taught combat flying and loved it. Durin Korea I flew F2h-2 Banshees and used to pray for migs to show up so I could go to work. In Viet Nam I headed the greatest AIMD the Navy ever had and for any of you readers that attempted, or trapped in the Catapult my maintenance crew built in the O'Club a t Cubi drop me a line Sully


R Thaiss, e-mail, 08.03.2012 05:20

In 1936 North American developed the BT-9 whuch had the same profile as the AT-6 excep that the landing gears were fixed.


Adrienne Camfield, e-mail, 05.03.2012 02:28

Any idea what a 1946 T6 Texan Trainer looked like? I need the original art if at all possible.


Frank Russell, e-mail, 12.01.2012 09:46

I trained on Harvards and instructed on them without having any mechanical failures.A really great aircaft and a joy to fly!


Ralph Alshouse, e-mail, 30.11.2011 02:05

In mid 1943 the Navy was still building Whiting field near NAS Pensacola. We were flying SNJs and learning fast. We used the short runways while the Navy was extending them. Still remember a fellow cadet had engine trouble taking off, he plowed into a bull dozer and exploded, trapped in his plane with a open mic. It made all of us think much better after that.


J. Yates, e-mail, 20.10.2011 22:38

My Dad (Pappy Yates)was a T-6 mechanic at Foster Field & Matagorda Island during WWII. His picture is in the AAF musuem in Victoria.


Rick Smith, e-mail, 21.09.2011 19:26

I flew both the T-6D and G (class 52-D).
My memory of the D model is not a good one. We had 3 deaths due to no spin recovery. It was grounded until they discovered the cause.
On the D model, in order to taxi, you had to push the stick forward to disengage the pin that held the tailwheel in place. Turns out the pin was sticking and the pilots could not push the stick forward to recover from the spin. All the pins were inspected and routinely lubricated and checked after that.
However, the T-6 was a fun aircraft. I used to get red eyes from inverted spin recoveries. I blew several hay stacks over on a low level flight and the farmer got my tail number. Fortunately, my instructor (Capt. Robert E. Lee) told the stage commander that he had assigned me a low level mission. I spent several weeks working with the farmer stacking hay as a result. Capt. Lee got a fifth of scotch.


J. William Love, Jr., e-mail, 28.07.2011 10:31

I flew the T-6 in basic training Class 52-B at Greenville AFB MS. Great memories. I had a great instructor named Mr. Lucie. Fortunately, he was a very patient man. Most of our instructors were local area crop dusters, and really good pilots. Any other members of the 52-B class out there?


Walt downs, e-mail, 04.07.2011 22:13

I was stationed at Barin from school in Memphis. 1953-54. Worked in no.4 hangar in air to air gunnery,welcomed flight time in Jbird to observe tow. Liberty in Foley at the American Leagon hall dances friday nights. Still remember it well Looking for bruce Bergner for 50 years.


Walt downs, e-mail, 04.07.2011 22:06

I was stationed at Barin from school in Memphis. 1953-54. Worked in no.4 hangar in air to air gunnery,welcomed flight time in Jbird to observe tow. Liberty in Foley at the American Leagon hall dances friday nights. Still remember it well Looking for bruce Bergner for 50 years.


Paul Huston, e-mail, 24.06.2011 03:22

My father was an "old guy" when he joined the Navy in 1942 at the age of 21. He had two years of college and a pilot's license so the Navy comissioned him and he ended up in Corpus Chisti for a while as an instructor. He told me stories of taking the cadets out over the Gulf of Mexico, getting them lost and teaching them to find their way back, of dive bombing and strafing, air to air target pratice, aerobatics and everything else required to survive the war. I think he always hoped he had done something along the way to give them the edge that would make them come back home and I know he wondered what happened to them after he sent them on. He told some serious stories, and you could tell he cared deeply about his time there, but most of the stories were light hearted or funny and tended to show that these guys formed friendships that would last forever. He loved his Navy days, stayed in the reserves and served during Korea and then left the Navy as he had found a job flying for American Airlines in 1951. He flew the N3N, N2S, and variants of them, the SNVs, SNJ,s and lots of other types as well as many multi-engine aircraft. His service in the Navy gave him valuable skills that made him a successful airline pilot and provider for his family. To all of you who have served, I owe a debt of gratitude as you have stood up for our nation at times when others didn't care.
Any of you ever strafe Padre Island, by any chance? Or have any of you trimmed it slightly nose up and tried to see how close they could get their prop tips to the wave tops? No way! Military pilots obey all the rules and regulations! Right? And about those relief tubes.....yes they would freeze up. Dad said it shocked his straight laced parents when they found out that's how you were supposed to relieve your self on long flights.
FLY NAVY!


William McMorrow, e-mail, 27.05.2011 16:14

Would someone know of any books written about Hondo Airfield, circa early fifties? My father, a Colonel,USAF (Ret.) trained there and claims he saw such a book but can now not recall where it was he saw it.

Any help in this matter would be most appreciated! Thank you.


Capt. Fred Wicknick, USMCR, e-mail, 15.05.2011 11:39

I was a NAVCAD, class 48-53 and my training experience was similar to CDR. Glendenning below. Preflight at Mainside, Pensacola was a dream, with every weekend spent with buddy cadets on the white sands of Barranca Beach and in the blue green gulf waters. Many that didn't make it through training were DORs that decided flying wasn't for them.

We had some foreign cadets with us. Most notably French cadets that were headed for Viet Nam flying Corsairs. We didn't realize that the SNJ was a lot of aircraft in which to train.

Most of the training was not much more difficult then learning how to drive a car. The most challenging for me was instrument flying trying to follow a radio signal into a station. Instruction was made relatively easy and straightforward by the excellent - and tough - instructors. Each step was a thrill. The first solo flight when we landed in the mile square grass field, the instructor got out and told me, "Take it around and don't forget to come back for me." Then the thrill of the first solo join up and formation flying. I did manage to hit the sleeve in air to air gunnery. Then in combat training being told to fix the throttle setting and don't move it - and then having my instructor on my six o'clock in no time.

Carrier qualification training was memorable because of the great food we were served all during that time. Those of us that were left by that time in 48-53 all qualified on board the USS Monterey with our six landings.

The SNJ will always have a place in my heart, because it was as if it were my passage into manhood. There will never be a thrill like that of my first solo flight, playing among the clouds with that ultimate feeling of freedom and accomplishment.


Capt. Fred Wicknick, USMCR, e-mail, 15.05.2011 11:32

I was a NAVCAD, class 48-53 and my training experience was similar to CDR. Glendenning below. Preflight at Mainside, Pensacola was a dream, with every weekend spent with buddy cadets on the white sands of Barranca Beach and in the blue green gulf waters. Many that didn't make it through training were DORs that decided flying wasn't for them.

We had some foreign cadets with us. Most notably French cadets that were headed for Viet Nam flying Corsairs. We didn't realize that the SNJ was a lot of aircraft in which to train.

Most of the training was not much more difficult then learning how to drive a car. The most challenging for me was instrument flying trying to follow a radio signal into a station. Instruction was made relatively easy and straightforward by the excellent - and tough - instructors. Each step was a thrill. The first solo flight when we landed in the mile square grass field, the instructor got out and told me, "Take it around and don't forget to come back for me." Then the thrill of the first solo join up and formation flying. I did manage to hit the sleeve in air to air gunnery. Then in combat training being told to fix the throttle setting and don't move it - and then having my instructor on my six o'clock in no time.

Carrier qualification training was memorable because of the great food we were served all during that time. Those of us that were left by that time in 48-53 all qualified on board the USS Monterey with our six landings.

The SNJ will always have a place in my heart, because it was as if it were my passage into manhood. There will never be a thrill like that of my first solo flight, playing among the clouds with that ultimate feeling of freedom and accomplishment.


Robert L. Henderson, e-mail, 15.05.2011 01:49

I'll be forever greatful for the flight instruction I received at Bartow Air Base. Joe Sturgess, and Dick Steed were two great instructors. I was a member of class 54-L, and owe my flighting career in civilian life to that training.


Jose M.Zambrano, e-mail, 10.05.2011 04:51

One of the best planes in the world as advance Trainer in his era....talking about military Schools,in my country we proudly flew it for many years,and all generations of Pilots don,t forget it!!we start in Stearman as Primary Training then Texan AT-6,Trojan T-28,T-33..Viva Mexico!!


Col Mark D. Cook, e-mail, 03.05.2011 01:50

One of the funiest things I've ever heard was a cadets write-up at Willie Field in 1952. We were flying the Terrible 6 in advanced training, prior to entering the F-80 jet era. One cadet shoved the throttle forward and the prop malfunction, I guess it stayed in flat pitch, so he wasn't going anywhere! In true 'super hot pilot' cadet fashion, he wrote in the book 'RUNS LIKE HELL BUT WON'T FLY'


John A. Emerson, e-mail, 20.04.2011 17:25

Don't forget, the SNJ (with a tail hook) was a great carrier plane. I qualified aboard USS Monterry in June,1951.


Axel V. Duch, e-mail, 19.04.2011 03:08

I was a cadet at Goodfellow AFB Class 52-D and had the pleasure of laning in a calichi pit off the end of runway 17. ( I think it was called 17?). On take-off the engine quit at around 100 ft. and the only place to land was straight ahead. My instructor in the back seat took over and when we hit the bumpy, uneven surface the wings were ripped off and I departed the aircraft through the windscreen with my seat and all. I actually don't remember it all. A month in the hospital, and a sore back ever. Years later I became a commercial pilot and when people ask me what my favourite airplane was I invariably have to say that the T-6 was most certainly one of them.


John Irwin, e-mail, 04.04.2011 16:56

I also started out in the T-6 at Malden, MO. I was in 53-D and, after cutting a tendon in my hand, washed back to 53-E and graduated with them. My instructors were Daniel Matuysiewicz and Nax Dean at Malden. I also flew the T-6 at Goodfellow in San Angelo in Basic and then to T-33 transition at James Connally in Waco. I ended up at Perrin in Sherman, TX as a T-33 and F-86D instructor. I later flew C-119 and C-123 in the Reserves.


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John E.Mosley, e-mail, 09.03.2011 17:13

Just wondering if any of the navy pilots reading this ever flew snj5 buno-51686. Now N913D.51686 was stationed at several bases including pensacola,and corpus christy. This is truly a great airplane and a joy to fly.


Brian Scott, e-mail, 14.01.2011 04:35

I trained on Harvards at RAF Weyburn in 1943. Flew them in England in 1944. Flew them again in Burma 1946 with the Comm Sqdn after WWII. Joined the RCAF in 1952 and flew them again, ended up instructing on them for almost four years and have a total of 2,015.35 hours on the best of all training aircraft.


CDR Jim Glendenning, e-mail, 02.01.2011 21:24

Learned to fly in the SNJ at North Whiting Field near Milton, Florida in 1955. Formation and night flying at Saufley Field. Bombing, gunnery and carquals at Baron Field, near Foley, Alabama. Then completed basic instruments and more night flying at Correy Field in Pensacola. Left Pensacola for Advanced Flight Training in March 1956.

191 hours in the SNJ and especially loved doing acrobatics and spins. Quite an airplane for beginning students to master. Most of my instrcutors were super good guys who were teachers with patience and the ability to teach me to do the maneuvers. My 38 years as a professional aviator are due, in no small part, to their skills.


sunil k motwani, e-mail, 04.12.2010 18:53

please send the details about war planes
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SUNIL MOTWANI, e-mail, 04.12.2010 18:51

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sunil motwani


Carl E Odom, e-mail, 25.11.2010 02:42

Erasmus (Raz) Fowler was in NROTC and I AFROTC. Raz stalled out on base while turning for final to a flattop at Pensy.
Raz was one of the smarter guys. I was not. I cannot understand why he let that happen. I made my share of stupid mistakes but never one even close to that.

At Bartow, Navy reserve Corsair pilot showed us how to cheat on a flight landing stage contest without getting caught. We won hands down.

On our final T6 flight Joe took each of us 4 on a farewell, very memorable flight. He had me point it to Daytona whereupon he took it. So about 2" above the waves, sea spray in our faces, we went to Vero and turned toward Bartow. Swamps along the way. He began a barrel role just above the treetops. At the upsidedown point he said, "Damn, Odom, my stick came out. Will you take it?"

The 13 months I spent at BAB and BYT is when my life peaked.
Haven't had so much fun since.

We who got to fly the T6 were extremely fortunate. Nothing in the world like it.


Carl E Odom, e-mail, 25.11.2010 02:23

Bartow 54D and 55F (washed back a class due to ear infection).

About the T6, nobody mentions the thrill of open cockpit flying. Lots of T6 memories and that is one of the best for me.

Here are some instructors I had or knew: Joe Sturgess (he changed the course of my life), Mr. Dow, Kendall, Cox (who did his damndess to wash everybody, especially me. One's first name was Dick but I can't recall his last. It's been a long time ago.

Was the Sundown still there in your day? Behind it was a beautiful orange grove. Vacationed there 20 years later and saw that both the Sundown and orange grove had become parking lots.

Carl Odom
Hattiesburg, Mississippi


Capt. J. Gonalves, e-mail, 12.11.2010 14:44

I took my basic flight training in 1968 in the Portuguese Air Force and this fellow was my plane. Later when I was in Angola I flew two of the T6 from South Africa Air Force from Cuito to Luanda, a formation of 12 planes following a DC3. Great fun.


Olaf, e-mail, 07.11.2010 10:21

The South African Air Force flew a large number of the Harvards well into the 1990's, as basic trainers. Nobody got to fly a Mirage without going through basic flying in a tail-dragger! When the first REAL air show was held in Pretoria in 1995, the closing display consisted of a whole bunch of Harvards flying over the air base in a "75" formation, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the SA Air Force. (2nd oldest Air Force in the world, right after the Royal Air Force!)

Back in about 1976, I was servicing equipment at the Flying Training School at Dunottar, some 70 km east of Pretoria. It was winter, and there was a fallow corn field right next to the runway. One of the student pilots goofed and put the plane down in the ploughed-up field, and promptly ground-looped it. Everything disappeared in a cloud of red dust. After a couple of minutes the rookie and the instructor came out through the cloud of dust, unharmed. A tractor was dispatched to tow the plane back to the hangar, where it was cleaned up and it was back in the air the next day! That wooden-framed, metal-skinned fuselage was tougher than one might imagine!


Phil Stromowsky, e-mail, 05.11.2010 03:47

We flew the well worn T6's at Malden, MO in Air Force pilot class 56Q. It was an enjoyable challenge; no ground loops!


PAUL R S KALLMEYER, e-mail, 26.10.2010 23:02

I loved the T-6! I took basic at Malden, MO in 53B at contract Air Force Flight School. My instructor was Carl Edmison, a great guy and instructor. I was last to solo as his five students were chosen alphabetically. So after 18 hours believe it or not,he turned me loose. On my first instructional flight I made the takeoff with his vocal instruction from the back seat. After I soloed, I was a confirmed air bear. We did our grass strip practice flights out of a small field where final approach was over a corn field with strong thermals, so the
final was steep and our radio comments were always relative to "kinda rough
over the corn field today!" We were flying the G model and my fun flights were up over Sikeston, MO to 10K altitude when I would kick the bird into a
13 turn spin or so. Our first night cross country round robin was to Paducha,
KY, where I got my first taste of vertigo as the lights on the ground and the
stars blended together on that dark night. I quickly learned to trust my instruments.
After Malden I transferred to Goodfellow AFB at San Angelo, TX for advanced and instrument training in the G. Getting checked out there I had a nervous
Lt. Luigi Nyswander who used to take his dog up in the back seat! He was very nervous with students and flew with the rear canopy open and his scarf
streaming out in the slip stream! Anyhow Luigi told me I was not coordinated
in my turns and refused to check me out. So I was given to a check pilot who
passed me immediately with the comment Luigi would rather tool around in
his Jaguar with his dog than fly with students! We were doing the double 180
patterns to make us tigers. Well some guy flying a buddy rides in the front seat while a student flew under the hood tried to show he was a tiger and would pull many Gs on the break pitch out to land. One day, a real tiger did a
very tight pitchout on the break and popped many rivets on both wings! We
all got a lecture on pitchout safety! Another time. the pitchout was into the
windward side and another tiger did not allow enough room for the final turn
and snap rolled on final which turned out to be his and his rear seat buddy's
final turn! They were both killed! I was returning to land and as I turned final they were just cleaning up the wreck. That week class 53A quit flight school en masse! While there we sometimes landed so our taxi back to the ramp was cross country over the grass infield, so we loved to "air taxi" in the three
point position to test our skills. I really enjoyed the Texan. From Goodbuddy
I went to Webb AFB, Big Spring, TX, into another bird I enjoyed- the Lockheed T-33. But that's another long story!


Bob Murray, e-mail, 22.10.2010 01:24

I took my basic flight training at Pensacola, Fla. in 1953 flying the SNJ Taxan. It was a great plane and fun to fly.


Bob Murray, e-mail, 22.10.2010 01:24

I took my basic flight training at Pensacola, Fla. in 1953 flying the SNJ Taxan. It was a great plane and fun to fly.


JOHN L. KRILL, e-mail, 18.10.2010 23:00

At the age of 21, I was hired by California Eastern Airways as an Instructor Pilot in the T-6D, based at Columbus AFB, Miss. I had students in Classes, 52-D, H, 53-D,H and 54-M. I also served as an instructor pilot in the Air Force re-call program, which requalified WW-II pilots upon return to active duty. I accumulated 2500 hours in the T-6D and T6-G models. I had the distinction of serving with many outstanding fellow instructors, too many to name in this article.


Walter Knott, e-mail, 17.10.2010 19:06

We used both the Markk2A and the 4 in the RCAF in the 50's and early 60's Iwas an instructor for some 4 plus years and we had many NATO students who had difficulty with the language on the ground, but in the air it was a nightmare. I recall one student, a big guy who would panic at the top of a loop and stall the bloody thing everytime. I finally had to shout that I would main him if he didn't relax, and of course that didn't help. He was so strong I couldn't overpower him from the back seat and finally we had to chop him as he would have been a threat to himself, and this was after he had gone solo.. A sad business. But the reality was that if you fly a Harvard then you could fly anything...and I believe that to this day to be true.


Chuck Purcell, e-mail, 13.10.2010 06:09

I trained in the SNJ at Corpus Christi,Texas long time ago I was a good taining plane


George Jones, e-mail, 04.10.2010 01:46

Im sure many remember the relief tube clipped under the front seat. It was a rubber funnel on the end of a rubber tube that attached to a connection in the belly that led to a venturi mounted outside in the slipstream . Few used it unless they really had on a cross country where you could unbuckle the belts and harness and slide forward to aim into the downward tilted funnel. otherwise you got a lap full. When it worked well it sucked away the urine. There were a couple of problem areas. Mud wasps would plug up the venturi causing an overflow at the funnel. When so obstructed urine would stagnate in the tube to be released during inverted maneuvers showering the pilot. The urinal odor in one plane was traced to a tube detached from the venturi emptying directly into the belly.

Minor in the scheme of things, but an annoyance when its happening to you. A simple solution was to limit coffee and fluids before a long flight.


George Jones, e-mail, 29.09.2010 01:17

I have a couple of stories. Went through Navy flight training in the SNJ at Pensacola in 1950. Our class had several French Aeronautique-Navale cadets with whom we became fast friends. Does anyone remembers the solo formation training flights with the instructor observing from another plane and yelling at us on the radio to, Get right in there!, close it up!, close it up!, 10 feet down and 10 feet back. The trick was to sense the relative motion toward or away from the plane ahead of you soon enough so that only small power corrections would maintain distance. At first the power corrections were sloppy, too much or too little too late. Afternoon turbulence over the Gulf of Mexico didnt make it any easier. Well it happened, too much too late and the tail of a plane flown by a French cadet got shredded, but the shredder made it back with a badly vibrating engine, and the shredee was able to get out and parachute into the water as the SNJ disappeared with a big splash into the Gulf. I didnt see it happen, but we broke formation and watched a rescue boat fish him out. He said it all happened so fast he wasnt scared, but remembered pulling the rip cord, floating down, and the routine we learned in the swimming pool for unbuckling the harness and inflating the Mae West. He still had the rip cord. and a great story to tell.

Im sure that was not the only time that happened. Maybe someone remembers other tails getting chewed up.


Jim Kelm, e-mail, 27.09.2010 22:11

I flew the "6" at Bartow AB, FL in class 57-I. We were the last class in the AF to fly it, surrounded by T-28s & T-34s. (They couldn't figure out why we never taxi'd straight ahead like they did.) I remember on one of my first solos, the wind had changed direction as I was coming back to land. I was flying around trying to remember how to enter the pattern for the new runway. I happened to check 6 & saw five other T-6s in trail with me going everywhere I went. Little did they know !! Memories also include snap rolls, point rolls, instrument takeoffs under the hood, aural nulls, tossing out the roll of TP at 5,000' & seeing which of us solo students would be the last to cut it before it hit the ground, & many other great times. I was fortunate to be selected to fly the last AF training flight in the T-6 on graduation day in August, 1956. What a bird !!!


Dick Allen, e-mail, 22.09.2010 17:52

I was in the first class, 45-B, to fly the AT-6 in "Basic" flying school @ Shaw field, Sumter, SC. It was a big transition from a Stearman to this airplane. I loved flying this airplane in both Basic and Advanced schools. I graduated in April 1945. We also flew the P-40 in Advanced at Napire Field, Dothan Alabama.


Bob, e-mail, 10.09.2010 17:26

Class 55A, LAST class to go on to T-6 Instructor School at Craig AFB, AL. Went on to fly almost 1000 hours (total) in the Harvard Mk IV with NATO pilots and the new German Air Force in Germany. Have flown quite a few different types, but still love the "Texan". And I did get my allocated wing tip. Another story.


Joe LaBerg, e-mail, 27.08.2010 23:08

I flew the T6G at Bartow Air Base Fla, in Hornet Class 54N, Hank. Loved that airplane too. The T34s came in a short time later.


Dick Suter, e-mail, 27.08.2010 01:13

Flew the Texan at Bainbridge with a real horses-ass instructor. Then to Reese, Enid next for B-26 advanced.
Then to Kimpo (K-14) in the 6148th Tac Control Squadron (Mosquitos). Ended up with a little more than a thousand hours in a really great airplane.


Joseph Curry, e-mail, 24.08.2010 22:18

finally found an old picture of our cadet class, 50 G, at Perrin. It is in front of the C-47. If anyone wishes a copy, em me.


Bob Hamblin, e-mail, 21.08.2010 23:06

Flew the T-6 in AF Class 56 Lima at Hondo, TX. Had an instuctor that taught me to land tail wheel first and then bang the main gear and stay on the ground. Quite a plane to fly.


Joe Storey, e-mail, 11.08.2010 06:13

In the summer of 1953 I was a new primary flight instructor at Whiting Field flying Navy SNJ's. One particular day I was giving a check ride, first doing high work and then down for landing practice at an outlying grass field. This field had a line of telephone poles along one side. The prevailing wind dictated a final approach over those poles and wires.
On one approach, the student got too low, but I thought we were OK. Just as we came up on the wires something caused us to drop like a rock. I hit full throttle, took control just as the plane shook,shuddered. but kept flying! After we had gone about half-way across the field, again the plane shook and shuddered. Apparently we had just caught the wires, pulling them off the whole line of poles before they parted.(leaving about 1500 feet of wire hanging on the plane). To make the story short, I finally got back to Whiting, was cleared to touch down on the second half of the runway(to allow for all the wires hanging off the wheels)
After landing uneventfully, the SNJ was found to have suffered absolutely no damage!The wires had somehow missed the prop and caught the oleo struts. (I kept this story secret for a long time).


Pete Mesmer, e-mail, 14.06.2010 04:12

I never flew the T-6 in the military. My first experience with this bird was back in the sixties. My brother and I had found 5 SNJ's on one of the ramps at McArthur Airport up on Long Island. When we inquired about them, we were told that "tie down rent" had not been paid for some time and the ramp operator was going to push them in to the woods with a bulldozer. If we wanted one we could have it for 500 bucks. We went thru all the log books and picked the one with the lowest time. When we got it back to our ramp, we found the airplane needed a lot of "TLC". All the manuals came with the airplane so I began by reading the print off them. Within a year, we had all the control surfaces re-covered and had the engine running in top shape. As I recall, it had about 500 hours on it. I had stripped all the many coats of navy paint looking for any sign of fatigue or cracks. This lightened the airpland considerably and also reduced the drag. New tires and brakes were added. We thought we were ready to fly when the FAA told us the prop was too short. We found one in Pennsylvania in an old barn full of old T-6 parts. The guys name was Chris Stoltsfus and he let us have a "like new" prop for 600 bucks. Every piece of metal that was held with a screw was removed and the belly of the fuselage was cleaned spotless. We intended to do aerobtics with this bird and we didn't need dirt in our faces when turned upside down. Finally, we were ready to fly but we still had one problem. The tower at McArthur required two way radio contact and we had no radio. Not to worry___ the tower closed at 10 pm and went off the air. We waited and tossed a coin for who would be in the front seat. My brother kept winning. I think he was cheating, but no matter. He was already working for Eastern Airlines and had more experience than I had. We fired up and taxied out to R/W 6. With no intercom, there was virtually no communication between front and rear. I was busy making notes of pressures and temps. Full run-up and mag check____ that old engine sounded soooo sweet. Fred did a 360* turn to check for any possible traffic, lined up on the centerline and poured the coal to it. Neither one of us had ever flown a T-6 before, so this was an exciting moment. The landing lights were on and I thought___ WOW!!___ we're lighting up the whole airport! It didn't take long to realize we had a generator overvoltage. The takeoff was very smooth, flaps and gear retracted ok. We flew around Long Island for about an hour and headed back to the field. So far so good. The airplane handled like a gem. On final approach, flaps, gear down, tailwheel locked, landing lights_____ woops_____ both lights blew out. The generator overvoltage had taken its toll. The landing was without incident and we taxied back to our ramp. What a night!! we were, to say the least, ecstatic. I didn't take much to fix the overvoltge problem We still had to go thru an FAA inspection to get certified for an "N" number. When I went in to the FAA office at Zahns airport in Amityville, it became quite clear that the FAA did not want civilians flying these airplanes. The inspector was a former navy pilot and had flown the T-6. He wanted to know just how much I knew about the airplane. By the time we were thru, he had given me a complete oral exam. He soon discovered that I knew more about the airplane than he did. Even so, he refused to give me a certificate. He had one excuse after another for not giving me one. Finally, he told me he would give me a green light if we could find an experienced "TEST PILOT" to put the airplane thru its paces. He figured he had me, but he didn't know that I was a control tower operator at Republic Aviation and knew all the "test pilots" personally. While at work, I checked with all the guys to see if anyone had any T-6 time. One of our civilian test pilots, Lyle Monkton, said he had time in the airplane, but it was a long time ago. He agreed if I would give him a complete cockpit checkout and our checklists were in order. Well, he flew the airplane once around the pattern, landed and wrote "great airplane" in the logbook. The FAA had to relent and N-3630F was born. Everyone on the field was taking bets as to how long we would survive. First they gave us a week, then a month and on and on. Everyone was convinced this ole bird would eventually kill one or both of us. The airplane was hardly ever "right side up". As long as you kept positive Gs on the bird, oil and fuel pressure would remain up. I even did my own spin test. The FAA made us put a placard in the cockpit which said "INTENTIONAL SPINS PROHIBITED". I looked up the regulation specific to that placard and it said the placard could be removed if it could be demonstrated that the aircraft would recover within one turn after applying normal spin recovery technique. (nuetralize the stick and full opposite rudder). I proceeded off the south shore of Long Island, over the water, to ...


Arunesh Prasad, e-mail, 04.05.2010 18:45

I was fortunate to have trained on this wonderful aircraft as a cadet in the Indian Air Force in early 1963. Later I trained on it as an Instructor pilot at the Air Force Flying Instructors School and went on to train new IAF pilots on the Harvard through their Intermediate phase of training. While I moved on to advanced training I continued flying this aircraft at Bangalore where we had two aircraft at our base. This is one aircraft, no pilot, who has had even one ride on it can ever forget. Unfortunately we have no Harvards flying in India anymore. I also flew the C-47 in the Himalayas and Canberra Bombers with the IAF. Ended up as an airline pilot flying B707, Airbus 310 and 747-200/300 and 400 series aircraft. Unfortunately we have no Harvards flying in India anymore and look forward to a ride on one in the US when I visit this year. Anyone willing to oblige? I will be in the Chicago area. Happy landings guys....


Tony, e-mail, 11.04.2010 09:08

I LOVE the stories you guys tell. Please find my email address and send me more stories. I want to collect them and keep them going. Mail me at toniferous2000@yahoo.com and tell me all of your stories. give me your name, of course but i wont need any other personal info. My grandfather was an artillery guy in the ETO during WW2 and I remember all his stories. Help me tell your story, too. Korea, 'Nam, whatever. I just wanna hear it. lemme have it. just send me an email with the subject "war stories" I am NOT a pro. I will make no money from this. learning your history is simply my passion.
Oh...and the t-6 was AWESOME...until you turned it over and it ran outta gas because it couldn't pick up fuel inverted. but it is beautiful in all its variants...SNJ, Harvard, Texan, Etc. were there any other variants?


NH Rackley, e-mail, 29.03.2010 21:38

'Theee' pilot's airplane. I flew it in Norway at the invitation of Anders Saether 1980-1983 before the Scandanavian Historical Flight really got off to it's current multi-aircraft status. It made a pilot out of you because you have to anticipate your moves with aircraft energy and lift vice engine power.


Chris, e-mail, 28.03.2010 20:37

This is a response to :Martin Stahl, stahlsturgis(@)aol.com, 21.08.2007
The T-6 Texan was modified to look like A6M Zeros, FW-190's and even the P-47 for use in various war movies such as Tora!Tora!Tora! and A bridge Too Far.


I read you're post and now I remember that the Commemorative Air Force (formally the Confederate Air Force) had a Texan modified to look like a Zero, I went to their webpage, and they say it's en route to Japan. Any way I would just like to say that this is a truly amazing aircraft.


Chris Stallings, e-mail, 19.03.2010 05:20

I appreciate everyone of you who have served in our military and "earned your wings" in the Pilot Maker. I earned my Private Pilot's license in the T-6G at 17 years old in 2003. My flight instructor owned the airplane, and I don't know if he was brave enough or dumb enough to let me fly it. Hardest part was finding a check pilot who was qualified to check me out. North American produced some great airplanes.


Joseph Curry, e-mail, 17.03.2010 06:17

Class 50 G Perrin. 3rd hr in one when I was told to make an instrument take off, sheesh. I still have no idea why I didn't take out several runway lights. I must have bounced just right between them My Instructor had both feet on the cross bar with a cigar and was laughing his cottin pickin butt off while I was still wondering what had happened. sigh.

Incidentally, is anyone left from 50 G Perrin? If so contact me.


Ted Chapman, e-mail, 05.02.2010 01:10

In 1943 I first flew the SNJ at Barin Field while in Pensacola, Fl. This was our first training with retractable gear after flying Vultee "vibraters" at Whiting. This was a versitile, very maneuverable, fun to fly plane. It is no wonder that so many are still flying today. I am jealous of you guys that own one.


Tom Langhout, e-mail, 30.01.2010 05:17

I was a V5 Class 2B45 at Pensacola NAS in Feb 1945 - flew SNV Vultee Vibrators at Elyson Field,then flew the SNJ (Instrument flight training)at Whiting Field. Got my Wings of Gold & Ensign Bar after finishing advanced training in SNB2C A/C at Corey Field. I will never forget one "Unusual attitude" under the hood recovery on a SNJ flight at Whiting Field - the routine - first level your wings then stop the altimeter - I got the wings level but unknowingly I was upside down - ended up pulling thru the 1/2 loop and tried to stop the altimeter - (almost did stop it) - but it sure took a lot of forward stick pressure. Flying the SNJ in the Volunteer Reserves after WWII at Port Columbus in Columbus, Ohio was great in 1946 and 1947 when many veterans returned to college - some great memories from long ago. Flew PBYs out of Bronson Field Seaplane base at Perdido Bay and then PB4Y1 and PB4Y2s at NAS Hutchinson, KS.
Yes, I well remember the tracks for our feet in those SNJs.


Jack Guest, e-mail, 28.01.2010 21:16

I took my basic training in Cornell Chipmonks at Cap de Madelaine in Quebec in 1943. All of my fellow classmates were posted to western Canada to train on mutti engines. Though my marks were very good my name was missing and I thought I had flunked. One of the guys said " you lucky ....., you got the only posting to Borden". He was right, I had been posted to #1 SFTS Camp Borden north of Toronto to train on Harvards, the Canadian AT6...It was a great aircraft, I graduated in May 1944 as a Pilot Officer. As a staff pilot, and subsequent tranfer to the RCNFAA (Navy) I accumulated about 800 hours in this aircraft. If anyone should be reading this who was alive during that period, my nickname was Beau...


Verne Lietz, e-mail, 28.01.2010 05:28

Started flying the T-6 in 1949, class 50G, at Connally AFB, Waco, Texas, ended up after B-25 multi engine training as a basic instructor at Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo. 651 hours in the T-6 C,D, and G. Most memorable flight: student was having trouble with climbing turns on instruments in a T6G, so we got to 11,300 feet, then time to return to base. Told him to do a three turn spin and recover while still on instruments. He over corrected, spun the other way. Did another, same result. After third or fourth failure to come out we were getting down, so I said,"I've got it." My recovery attempt didn't work either, though I'd never had any problem previously or afterward. By then we were getting pretty low so I said, "Pop the (instrument) hood and if it doesn't come out, bail out." My next attempt worked, but we came out the bottom with about 300 feet to spare and somewhere around red line, pulled 6 Gs. My legs ached for about the next two hours. That summer we lost 7 planes,7 students and 4 instructors. A tech rep came from North American to give us a pep talk. Eventually there were no more accidents. Only one was ever accounted for, a Belgian student who a witness saw doing rudder controlled stalls, got into a dive and pulled the wings off. For my 60th birthday my kids hired a plane and pilot to give me a half hour ride. After about 10 minutes it seemed as though it hadn't been a day since the last previous flight. It was a great and rugged plane, just needed careful control on both take-off and landing. One of my buddies ground looped both left and right on his last flight during basic training and got both wing tips. The only one I damaged was from allowing a student to run a wing over an unlit boundary marker on a very dark night.


Verne Lietz, e-mail, 28.01.2010 05:22

Started flying the T-6 in 1949, class 50G, at Connally AFB, Waco, Texas, ended up after B-25 multi engine training as a basic instructor at Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo. 651 hours in the T-6 C,D, and G. Most memorable flight: student was having trouble with climbing turns on instruments in a T6G, so we got to 11,300 feet, then time to return to base. Told him to do a three turn spin and recover while still on instruments. He over corrected, spun the other way. Did another, same result. After third or fourth failure to come out we were getting down, so I said,"I've got it." My recovery attempt didn't work either, though I'd never had any problem previously or afterward. By then we were getting pretty low so I said, "Pop the (instrument) hood and if it doesn't come out, bail out." My next attempt worked, but we came out the bottom with about 300 feet to spare and somewhere around red line, pulled 6 Gs. My legs ached for about the next two hours. That summer we lost 7 planes,7 students and 4 instructors. A tech rep came from North American to give us a pep talk. Eventually there were no more accidents. Only one was ever accounted for, a Belgian student who a witness saw doing rudder controlled stalls, got into a dive and pulled the wings off. For my 60th birthday my kids hired a plane and pilot to give me a half hour ride. After about 10 minutes it seemed as though it hadn't been a day since the last previous flight. It was a great and rugged plane, just needed careful control on both take-off and landing. One of my buddies ground looped both left and right on his last flight during basic training and got both wing tips. The only one I damaged was from allowing a student to run a wing over an unlit boundary marker on a very dark night.


Dennis Simpson, e-mail, 22.01.2010 02:22

I was the owner of SNJ 5-B, N3689F.From 1973 to 1980,
I put 501 HR's on a nice SNJ.


Dick Cottle, e-mail, 31.12.2009 21:35

Preflight at Malden MO in spring of '55. Apologies to the barge traffic at Cpe Girardo. It was early 'night owl' training for later duty in Nam.


Jim Hall, e-mail, 23.12.2009 02:59

I flew AT6 Harvard Mk2's and Mk4's for total 7 years, (1961 to 1968), out of Calgary Alberta, Canada.
Harvards were just released from the RCAF and the company I flew for part time got a contract flying Hail-Suppression and purchased 4 MK2's and 3 years later upgraded to MK4's. The Harvard was strongly built and best suited for the turbulence associated with CB's that we flew close to while seeding.
Of the various aircraft I flew, I found the Harvard was the most challenging and fun to fly. One must be on top of it from start of taxi, to shut down at the end of the flight. If it got away from you on the ground, you were in for a ride of your life. (I speak from experience).
The batteries were old and we were continuously hand cranking them to get them started.
Aerobatics were part of the checkout and occasionally did them over the years to maintain our proficiency. Turbulence that we experienced would roll the aircraft and rather than fight it, just continue the roll.
The MK2's had rear seats removed and replaced with a gas tank. My longest flight was 6 hrs, 30 min. Thank heaven for the relief (pee) tube between your legs.
Our seeding pattern was a 50 mile track crawl, between slow flight and cruise, from west to east across the Province, following the forming and building of Thunderstorms.
The experience I acquired on the Harvard will never be forgotten and maybe some day write down my stories. I wonder if while sitting inside an AT6 today, if my memorized (RCAF) checklists would all come back to mind?
Jim Hall


Sam Herron, e-mail, 03.12.2009 00:18

I flew the T-6G for 119:50 hours at Columbus MS in Class 54-0. I had logged 20:10 hours in the PA-18, so could only log enough for a total of 140:00 in Primary.


Jock Williams, e-mail, 08.04.2009 00:06

I didn't train in the Harvard myself -we in the RCAF had the Tutor by that time -but I got the chance to "check out" about a dozen pilots of various experience levels at the Canadian Warplane Heritage in Hamilton Canada in about 1999.
By then,almost all of my students were tricycle gear pilots -even those who had flown the Harvard previously -and I was delighted that the lowest time guy of all -my own son Paul -who was an experienced Tiger Moth pilot was head and shoulders better than the rest although he had a fraction of their flying time. The reason? He had no "theory of his own" -and therefore did exactly as his instructor (and father) told him! I learned a lot during that process -and was pleased to introduce him to this classic but demanding aircraft. Many would say that the Harvard/Texan won WW2 in the air. It would be hard to debate!

Jock Williams


Bill Harrison, e-mail, 07.03.2009 09:23

First SNJ flight on 29 April 1949 out of S. Whiting field. Instructor was Currie. Soloed 14 June 1949. Instructor was Hudspith. Completed 6 landings in the J aboard USS Cabot (CVL 28), in Pensacola Bay, on 23 February 1950. Bureau No. 51863. Shipboard Navy photographer took picture after last landing. Just like graduating from HS. A really sweet little plane. Very stable, very forgiving. Wish I had one now to fly around in. Regards, wph


robert kirkpatrick, e-mail, 16.08.2008 21:32

Flew the Harvard at #2SFTS,RCAF Uplands, Ontario. Feb 1943 - May 1943.142 hrs. Great a/c. Going upside down brought many suprises from the a/c belly but a convenient way to occasionally retrieve something inadvertently dropped there.


Fritz Bott, e-mail, 14.08.2008 21:47

Learned to fly in the SNJ at South Whiting Field in 1955. Loved the aircraft, particularly after I had enough practice taxiing, doing S-turns down the taxiways. Did my 6 carrier qualifications after FCLPs at Barin Field in 1956. It is still a great aircraft.


Hank Hoey, Lt.Col USAF Ret, e-mail, 12.08.2008 00:20

Loved the T-6. First airplane I ever flew at Bartow AB, FL.. for 6 mos. Class 53-G (the last class to start out in the T-6) then on to Vance AFB, OK. with 40 hrs in T-28 and then up to north stage and the B-25. I don't understand Weathersbee's comment about not flying B-25 in Class 52-B at Reese AB, TX. I loved the B-25, only thing, a noisy cockpit. Would give anything to fly one again.


Mike G, e-mail, 14.07.2008 17:28

Just read all the entries on this page and loved the history lesson from the guys who flew the T-6 in the 40's and 50's. I own one today, have about 300 hours in it, and it is still a sweet airplane. To answer the previous notes:
1) Yes - there are still tracks for your feet behind the rudder pedals, and if you drop anything - it still goes to the bottom of the fuselage!
2) Still fun to fly information - 50 of these great airplanes will converge in Dubuque, Iowa on July 24th, 2008, for 4 days of intense formation practice and to celebrate the 70th year of this great airplane. Then we will all fly up to Oshkosh for the big airshow.
3) Last I hear, there are about 400 still airworthy and flying.
Still a great aircraft!


Marv Garerison, e-mail, 20.06.2008 05:45

The SNJ was my primary trainer at Pensacola. My log book indicates I flew it 222 hours. It was the first aircraft that I took aboard ship. I have the same number of take offs and landings.


Jim Bo, e-mail, 17.06.2008 17:22

How about a word from the boys who kept them flying>>>.


Jim Bo, e-mail, 17.06.2008 17:21

How about a word from the boys who kept them flying>>>.


Fred Burton, e-mail, 13.06.2008 00:17

AD3 worked the flight line at NAAS Barin Field, Foley Alabama. Kenny "Snake" Stabler was the Foley High School Quarterback at the time. At Barin from May 56 - Sept 57. Had approx 200 to 250 SNJs (Bombing, Carrier Landing and Gunnery Training)and 8 Beechcraft (Cross country Training). Eligible for 1/2 Flight Skins per mo. so took back seat hops in Instructor Aircraft. Did touch and go's on USS Siapan and USS Antietam. Towed the sleeve while NavCads tried to shoot it. That's a scarey thought! And bombed targets in the swamps inland to the Gulf. Took a cross country hop to Montago Bay, Jamaca with two Marine Instructors. Had engine problems. Corrected while pilots went to town. Brought back 20+ cases of "medicinal" Rum "properly" weight distributed in the seats and throughout the aircraft. Got back to Barin Field and guess what -- Admiral's Inspection -- Base compliment lined up on runways. Tower not allowing any aircraft to land. Went to Mainside and stayed out at the end of the taxiway until radioed that inspection was over. Flew back to Barin was greeted by a happy bunch of "Stevedors." I think they were from the BOQ but, I won't tell! I was appropriately reimbursed for my efforts on behalf of the "Cold War." Or should I say "a chilled 1/2 case of Puerto Rican Rum." Back to the SNJ! Needless to say, from that day forward I earned my monthly skins flying with two great Marine Pilots - Semper Fi!!!


Ace Avakian, e-mail, 07.06.2008 03:06

'Spent many hours flying day and night formation, aerobatics, cross country day and night and graduated class 44G at Luke...then to the P40, etc. A beautiful airplane on the ground and in the air. Many pleasant memories in this sweet airplane!


Stanley M. Weathersbee, e-mail, 26.05.2008 06:06

I was in USAF Pilot Training Class 52-B. We took basic in the T-6. In the first 3 months of advance training at Reese AFB in Lubbock, Texas,we flew the T-6 instead of the T-28 because the T-28 was grounded for modification. We were then scheduled to fly the B-25 for the last phase of our flying training, but the Air Force decided they did not need multi-engine pilots and we finished our year of pilot training in the T-6. I wonder if any other USAF pilot training classes received their wings by flying only one aircraft. Let me know


Frank Hogarty, e-mail, 03.05.2008 20:58

My first love as a trainer. I am really PO'd with the USAF for naming the Rayethon training wheeled, kerosene burning aircraft a T-6.


5894, 29.04.2008 01:59

Does anyone remember the T6 had no cockpit floor? The ones I flew had two heel tracks leading from the seat to under the rudder pedals. You always had your flashlight tied to your flight suit because if you dropped anything it was gone down to the bottom of the fuselage.


Joe Haas, e-mail, 29.04.2008 01:49

Flew this sturdy T6G at Graham AB for a fun 120 hours. 1st day after solo found a guy to do acrobatics with. Wonderful feeling upside down and all that stuff. When I landed my instructor was waiting for me. My wing man had been the USAF Commander of Graham, so we went to his office like a good cadet. He wanted to know where I had flown the T6 before and why I hadn't put it down on my info sheet. Told him this was my first time in the T6 and just loved the aircraft and chance to fly it in Cadets. Graduated #3 in the class.


Bill Commor, e-mail, 23.04.2008 00:24

My first six carrier landings were made in SNJ buno.#51857 12 Aug.'54. Anyone know the whereabouts of this a/c today?
Bill


Joe Edone, e-mail, 05.04.2008 21:57

My first six carrier landings were made in the SNJ in 1954.


Martin Stahl, e-mail, 21.08.2007 07:48

The T-6 Texan was modified to look like A6M Zeros, FW-190's and even the P-47 for use in various war movies such as Tora!Tora!Tora! and A bridge Too Far.




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