AT-6D Texan

Manufacturer:  North American Aviation
Model:  AT-6D Texan
Role:  Advanced Trainer
Year of Manufacture:  1944
Construction Number:  88-17477
USAAF Serial Number:  42-85696
Civil Registration Number:  N85696

Model Background:

The AT-6 Texan was used as an advanced training aircraft by the USAAF, USAF, US Navy, and US Marine Corps.  The Navy and Marine Corps referred to this aircraft as SNJ.  It was also used in many other countries as a training aircraft.

The Texan would have been the last trainer aircraft that a 1940s era pilot would fly before graduating to a figher aircraft or being sent to multi-engine school to learn how to fly bombers and transports.  The T-6 is equipped with retractable main landing gear, a variable pitched propellor, flaps, and a hydraulic system.

History of this Aircraft:

Military History
Built at NA Dallas, TX, to AAF contract AC-29317 with 24 volt system and 600 hp P & W R-1340-AN-1, at an average unit cost of $17,992.00, one of 2604 aircraft in AAF block 42-85653/85767; North American construction numbers block NA 88-17484/17598;  North American sequence block No. 8422/8530.  The first AT-6D was delivered to the AAF on 22 July 1943.

The airplane is restored to represent how it was painted and equipped from August 22, 1944 through January 6, 1946.

11 Aug 1944 Aircraft completed by North American in Dallas, TX.
19 Aug 1944 Aircraft accepted by the US Army Air Force.
22 Aug 1944 Received by and assigned to Craig Field, Selma, AL with an aircraft total time of 4 hours and 50 minutes.  Under control of 2138th Army Air Force Base Unit, Section C (Air Training Command). 2138th AAFBU was assigned to Craig Field from 1 May 1944 to 15 December 1945.

Section C of the 2138th Bas Unit was comprised of North American AT-6D aircraft set up for Instrument Training only.  hey were equipped with instrument flying hoods in the rear cockpit for teaching students the basics of instrument flying.  These aircraft were placarded against aerobatic maneuvers to prevent damaging the instrument gyros.  As a dedicated Instrument Trainer, this aircraft was not equipped with guns.  It was identified as an Instrument Trainer by its red cowling, red vertical tail and rudder, and red diagonal wing stripes.

This aircraft originally came from the NAA factory with a low Pressure Demand-Type oxygen System which remained in the aircraft until January 7, 1946 when the oxygen system was completely removed in compliance with Technical Order 01-601F-47 (dated August 14, 1945).

13 Feb 1946 Transferred from 44th AAFBU Sq. C also at Craig Field, Alabama to 2225th AAFFTCBU at Moody Field in Georgia. Aircraft total time 1120 hours and 55 minutes.
14 Feb 1946 Received by 2225th AAFFTCBU at Moody Field in Georgia.
8 Mar 1946 Transferred to 76th AAF BU at Langley Field in Virginia.
11 Mar 1946 Received by 76th AAF BU at Langley Field in Virginia.
1 May 1946 Langley Field, Virginia 76th AAF BU re-designated 304th AAFBU.
18 Aug 1946 Transferred from 304th AAFBU at Langley Field, Virginia to 313th Maintenance Squadron at Bergstrom Field.
23 Aug 1946 Received by 313th Maintenance Squadron at Bergstrom Field. Total time is 1587 hours and 45 minutes.
1 Mar 1946 Received by Maintenance Squardron at Pope AF Base, North Carolina. Total time is 1752 hours.
1948 AT-6’s are re-designated T-6 by the Air Force
c. 1951 Assigned to Headquarters Squadron, Langley AFB, VA, Tactical Air Command, with 47th Air Base Group (which was assigned to Langley from 12 March 1951 to 21 March 1952).
29 July 1951 42-85696 was involved in a taxi accident at Langley Air Force Base.  Flown by Matthew J. Bosowski
c. 1953 Assigned to Langley AFB, VA, Tactical Air Command, with 405th Air Base Group (which was assigned to Langley from 10 April 1953 to 8 October 1957).
04 Sept 1953 42-85696 was ground looped during landing at Langley Air Force Base.  Flown by Richard W. Boose.
12 Nov 1953 42-85696 arrives at Davis Monthan Air Force Base for Indefinite Storage. Total time is 2483 hours.
5 Nov 1954 42-85696 declared surplus
Civilian History
26 June 1957 Sold at Norton AFB, San Bernadino, CA, Air Material Command, San Bernadino Air Material Area, for $800.12.
22 Aug 1957 Certificate of Airworthiness Issued.
1 August 1957 42-85696 is granted the civil registration of N2864D.
28 October 1964 N2864D is sold to Robert Miles of Sacramento, California for $1500.00.
28 September 1968 N2864D is sold to Ben Harrison of Seattle, Washington.
Late 1968 to summer 1975 Ben Harrison conducts a major restoration of the aircraft.  After more than 4,500 hours of work, the airplane returns to the sky in August 1975 in the colors of a Navy SNJ-3 instrument trainer.
2 May 1979 N2864D is sold to William Lamberton of Mercer Island, Washington.
11 October 1986 N2864D is sold to John Meyer of Seattle, Washington.
Winter 1987 A long gradual restoration begins that will ultimately return the aircraft to its factory condition.
March 2002 N2864D is sold to John Meyer’s friend Gary Allen and the restoration continues.
25 Febrary 2006 Gary takes his first flight in his newly re-registered N85696.
July 2008 N85696 was awarded “Best T-6” by EAA Warbirds of America for the 2008 AirVenture.
August 2008 N85696 is sold to A & M Flight Services LLC of Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
May 2015 N85696 was placed on long term loan to WOTN

Many thanks to Tom Lymburn for helping compile this history.