Kingman Army Air Field:
& Sales-Storage Depot No. 41
Typical Douglas A-24:
The A-24 Banshee was the Army's olive drab version of the Navy's blue SBD divebomber (Hero of Midway) and although nearly 1000 of the USAAF's tailhook-less attack aircraft were built by Douglas' El Segundo & Tulsa plants, their war trials proved less than adequate for the Army's needs, so most of them were either modified into Naval configuration, redesignated to serve in non-combat roles or Lend-Leased to other nations.
~ Interestingly, several SBDs seen in today's museums are actually former Army A-24s.
RA-24B-1-DT #42-54288 is the only known example of its kind at Kingman (sent there in April of 1946) and consequently ties with one other plane as the rarest of the various types there.
This BANSHEE remained Stateside throughout the War and the reason it being singled and sent to Kingman is yet another mystery that may never be solved.
And because there was little demand for this obsolete model or its 1200 horsepower Wright Cyclone R-1820-60 (the latest B-17G was equipped with the -97, also with 1200 hp), she was most likely towed across the field to the Blade after being drained of her fluids and stripped of her engine, then chopped-up and melted-down without any fanfare whatsoever.
Rare and tiny as it was at Kingman, the odds are extremely slim of there being any parts from this RA-24 in the
Depot 41 Museum Collection
HOWEVER, hundreds of pounds of miscellaneous aircraft aluminum, including these eight containers
have yet to be examined for part numbers, so if anything does remain from this dive bomber, it'll have the Douglas SBD coding. More on this story as it unfolds...
Below is a Wartime display showing the dozens of components, large and small, needed to install the Arresting Gear on an A-24 in order to ready it for carrier duty (Compare the Kingman plane's pneumatic tail tire to its solid rubber replacement - the latter necessary for slamming onto ship decks that were made of teak):
photo credits this page:
William T. Larkins,
Douglas/Boeing Photo Archives,
Depot 41 Photo Archive
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