Crosnier, Alain and Nëel, Gilbert - T-6 on North Africa (2004) (printed)
T-6 on North Africa
French Air Force T-6s in flying schools and in combat with EALA's
Alain Crosnier and Gilbert Nëel
This book is a survey of the French Air Force schools and operational units that have used the North American T-6 in North Africa. It is based primarily on the archived documents of the French Air Force Historical Service, as well as on the experience and memories of former personnel who served in this theatre of operations.
A legendary aircraft that served in a troubled but eventful period, more than 900 T-6’s - in their various versions - have been used by the Air Force and Navy between 1951 and 1966. After the World War II, few aircraft were operated in such a large number by France, partly because of its low acquisition cost.
The aircraft could carry 200 kg of offensive payload in addition to a front machine gun, and it quickly became the backbone of the French light support aviation squadrons, the EALA’s. Alain Crosnier and Gilbert Nëel explains that more than twenty of these units will eventually be spread throughout Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, and that at the height of operations in North Africa, it will account for 20% of the Air Force's total air activity.
But it is in Algeria that the network of aerodromes and runways will be the strongest and the T-6 will be their main aircraft for nearly three years. It will also be used in Morocco to train up to 150 student instructors and 300 student pilots per year. The T-6 is rather underpowered and quickly commands respect from its students. If you add some protective armor for the pilot and a little armament for its CAF, close tactical support or counter-insurgency missions, it is all the more important to fly it with care.
Each T-6 unit is reviewed with its stationing post and equipment. An impressive iconography is used to illustrate this.
An interesting subject, well framed and treated in depth.
90 pages - in French