“The Pilot Maker” was the name the North American T-6 Texan earned over the years.
With over 17,000 produced in several versions these planes trained countless
thousands of would-be pilots from every corner of the world. This little plane had a 58-
year career in military service from 1938 until 1996 when the South African Air Force
became the last air force in the world to retire their T-6. Even after most military retired
the plane hundreds if not thousands of them found a new life in civilian service.
In 1942 the Columbus Army Flying School was established. From 1946 until 1950 the
base was inactive but between 1951 and 1955 it re-opened and graduated 7,412 new
pilots. T-6G Texan 49-3477 MSN 168-611 was delivered to the USAF on July 12, 1951.
In August 1951 the aircraft served with the 3302nd Pilot Training School until July 1952
when it was sent to the 3301st PTS in Columbus. In November 1953 the aircraft was put
into storage and eventually sold to the Royal Hellenic Air Force in 1958.