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A-12 Shrike

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A-12 Shrike
Type Ground attack
Manufacturer Curtiss
Retired 1942
Primary users United States Army Air Corps
Nationalist Chinese Air Force
Developed from XA-8 Shrike
YA-10 Shrike
Variants YA-14 Shrike

The Curtiss A-12 Shrike was the United States Army Air Corps' first monoplane attack aircraft, and its main attack aircraft through most of the 1930s.

It was developed from advancements of the XA-8 and the experimental YA-10. However, it became obsolete after a short use period, mainly because of fast-improving aviation technology. Twenty A-12 Shrikes were delivered to China in 1936, arming the 27th and the 28th Squadron of the 9th Group, and when the full scale war between Japan and China broke out, they were used. The initial success including the downing of 4 Japanese Aichi Type 94 carrier-based light-bombers on August 15, 1937. However, after deploying in ground support missions in Shanxi, most did notsurvive and the extremely few left were reassigned as training duties.

Some USAAC A-12s were still in service at Hickam Field on December 7, 1941 but saw no combat.

Specifications (A-12A Shrike)

General characteristics



  • Guns:
    • 4× forward-firing .30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns
    • 1× aft-firing .30 in gun
  • Bombs: 488 lb (221 kg)

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Designation sequence

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ms:A-12 Shrike