Airplanes in My Novels: the North American A-27

Two_North_American_A-27s_intercepted_from_order_from_Siam_on_Nichols_FieldThis airplane is a real footnote to history. The A-27 is a light attack version of the North American AT-6 trainer, with a slightly more powerful (785 hp) engine and equipped with four .30-cal. machine guns and bomb racks.

In October of 1940 ten of these airplanes were enroute to the Royal Siamese Air Force. The crates containing the airplanes were impounded in Manila to keep them out of the hands of the Japanese.

This is the airplane Jack Davis and Boyd Wagner fly in the opening chapters of Everything We Had. The picture attribution in Wikimedia Commons further states that these A-27s were assigned to the 17th Pursuit Squadron, commanded at the time by 1st Lieutenant Boyd D. “Buzz” Wagner.

The picture itself is worth studying. The location is Nichols Field in the Philippines before December 7, 1941. In the background one can make out what appear to be two above-ground storage tanks, probably for aviation fuel, which do not appear to have any sort of protection from aerial attack. The hangar next to the fuel tanks is relatively small. A mechanic works on the A-27 in the background without any overhead protection from the sun.

This is just one of dozens of photographs I studied in preparation for writing Everything We Had and other stories in the series.



Photo attribution: USAF public domain photo, transferred from Wikimedia Commons



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