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By Dan Hagedorn, Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd

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It was fonnerly--NC16864 (c/n 4010) and had been delivered in January (NARA 181-B) immortal AT-6/Texan/Harvard series being assigned AM serial "20". This was followed on 4 March 1938 by procurement of two very similar NA-16-2As (c/n 42-692 and -693) which were to become serials "21" and "22" in AM service. All three of these prized aircraft were to survive in service as late as June 1957 and one of them, refurbished and repainted in pre-World War Two Honduran scheme, was the centrepiece at the FAH's 50th anniversary celebrations - a very rara avis indeed.

An aerobatics team was formed with these in the late 1950s, bearing a vivid red/white/blue colour scheme, and known as "Los Machitos". F-51s served in varying numbers with the FAG until 1974. Armas also gained control of it single Republic F-47N Thunderbolt, flown by the mercenary Jerry DeLarm, a curious hold-over from the CIA invasion force which brought him to power, although the aircraft never bore FAG markings - or any others - until passing back to Nicaragua in exchange for a Mustang. The F-47N resided in Guatemala, nominally under FAG (but really Armas') control through December 1955, and was an ever-present symbol of the forces that had brought him to power.

30-calibre machine gun installed in a fairing above the lower wing root on each side of the fuselage and a trio of A-3 bomb racks being mounted under the centre section. The Model 40s were also modified for military purposes, but had guns placed in small lower wing blisters firing forward. As such, both the Model 95s and 40s were flown as single seaters. Several were also equipped with radios and very large antennae aft of the cockpit. Concurrent with the purchase of the ex-US airline Boeings, Honduras had purchased 12 Vickers and four Lewis machine guns, as well as two 100-lb, eight 5O-lb and ten 25-lb tear gas bombs with which to "militarise" the new equipment!

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