The North American T-6 Texan prepared pilots for combat, earning the “pilot maker.” The Texan served as a basic combat trainer throughout World War II and beyond. The original AT-6 Texans differed little from subsequent versions, which saw increased fuel capacity, stronger, lighter frames constructed of light alloys, and a steerable tail-wheel. More than 17,000 airframes were designed to the Texan standards. North American’s rapid production of the T-6 Texan coincided with the increased wartime production in the United States.

By 1940, the required flight hours for combat pilots was cut to just 200 during a shortened seven month training period. Of those hours, 75 were logged in the AT-6.

U. S. Navy pilots flew the trainer airplane extensively, under the SNJ designation, the most common of these being the SNJ-4, SNJ-5 and SNJ-6. U. S. Air Force and U. S. Naval forces in the Korean War modified the Texan under the LT-6G designation and employed it in battlefield surveillance.