They Used Rocket Tubes On the A-36A

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1st Lieutenant
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
It seems that the rockets launched by tubes were very popular in the CBI, used on P-40, B-25, and A-36A.
Screenshot 2022-12-21 at 16-27-04 North American A-36 Mustang _ USAAF _ USN Library _ Forums -...png
The 4.5in rockets may not have been popular in areas with strong fighter and AA defenses.
The triple tubes had a fair amount of drag and weight varied, there were plastic tubes, Steel tubes and magnesium tubes. The tubes could be dropped but since even the plastic ones were supposed to used up to 5 times and manual describes cleaning procedures for each type of tube.
Target effect was close to 105 howitzer round or about 1/3 that of the British 3in 60lb warhead rocket so perhaps they didn't thing it as good for the performance penalty?
The Japanese AAA in the CBI was pretty limited. River crossings and towns were the only place where you would see any realistic deployment.

The air operations were focused elsewhere for the most part.
Those were not Bazookas, although the 8th AF did try attaching real Bazookas to the tail of some B-17's. The tube fired aircraft rockets were M-8's. The 5 Inch HVAR was developed for use by the USN and the first USAAF use of it, fired by P-47D's, in support of the Normandy operation, used 5 inch rockets borrowed from the USN. One author concluded that the HVAR must have not been very effective since they only used them for a short time, but that was because they ran out of them.
In the 1970s, our senior CAP sq was treated with a B&W movie taken of the AVGs remaining P-40 Tomahawks using the rocket tubes, 3 per wing, strafing practice targets. Our guest was an AVG member and these were his movies. I have always wondered if the movies have survived.
It seems that the rockets launched by tubes were very popular in the CBI, used on P-40, B-25, and A-36A.
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Since the RAF in the MTO used six A-36As, and removed the nose guns, had this been one of them in this photo, from the same perspective, two other unique features of the A-36A stand out. Since you cannot see the serial number, nor the dive brakes, the two features particular to the A-36A Mustang were the wide lens in the left wing's landing/taxi lights (2 lights behind that lens) and the spear-like pitot probe protruding from the leading edge of the right wing (all other Mustangs had an"L-shaped" one protruding from the underside of the right wing).

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