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Thunderbolt aircraft in flight, circa Feb-Jun 1943

Caption   Thunderbolt aircraft in flight, circa Feb-Jun 1943 ww2dbase
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P-47 Thunderbolt   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 7 Sep 2006

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1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
6 Feb 2011 03:58:24 PM


The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt could put a
staggering amout of lead into a target with its eight fifty caliber machine guns.
A single burst was enough to down most German aircraft.
15,683 were built 13,000 in a 45 month period, 2/3 went overseas, 5,222 were lost to action, 1,722 lost to non-combat,and in 2 1/2 years destroyed 12,000 enemy aircraft in the air, and on the ground.

After World War II the Thunderbolt continued
to serve with the USAAF, and with the new
USAF after it became a seperate service in 1947.
The F-47 did not serve in Korea, due to a
shortage of spare parts, and other logistical
The ground-attack mission was taken over by the North American F-51 Mustang. The F-47 Thunderbolt,that old warrior didn't die, she just fadded away, by the jet age.
The F-47 as it was designated was phased out of USAF inventory in the late 1940s, but was passed on to the Air National Guard and served with some ANG Squadrons until 1955!


The surviving F-47s were passed on to many
countries in Latin America, and other U.S.
Allies and even neutral countries.
One of the last countries in Latin America to retire its F-47s was Peru in 1966.
Today surviving Thunderbolts are in Museums and private collections, and fly at air shows throughout the USA.


How tough was the Jug, Robert S. Johnson of the 9th FS, 48TH FG, USAAF 1943 describes a dogfight with Focke-Wulf Fw 190s.
Date June 1943 Johnsons Thunderbolt was jumped by Fw 190s after the fight Johnson made an emergency landing, and walked away from his P-47.
He counted twenty one, 20mm cannon holes in the wings and fuselage, smaller caliber holes
were over one hundred hits, the cockpit armor plate stopped three, 20mm cannon shells, with five holes in the prop the Jug got him home, but the P-47 was never going to fly again.


The Germans captured P-47s and used them for test and evaluation, and were impressed with its rugged construction and firepower.

2./Versuchsverband Ob.d.L and other German units like Sond. AuFkl. St.103 flew reconnaissance missions over England and tested the Thunderbolt against German fighter, to develop better tactics.

Recommended Reading:

P-47 Thunderbolt at War
By Cory Graff

P-47 Thunderbolt Aces of the 8th Air Force
Available through Amazon.com


Fighter Squadron (1948) Color Starring
Edmond O'Brien and Robert Stack.
P-51s double for Bf 109s, great flying shots the State of Michigan doubles for Germany.
The film is loosely based on the 4th FG, that flew combat from April 1943 to
March 1944, and coverted to P-51 Mustangs.
Fighter Squadron, another Great Aviation Film. If you look at the Officers Sleeping
Quarters, its the same room as shown in the 1950 Humphrey Bogart film Chain Lightining.

Best wishes
2. Bill says:
8 Feb 2011 03:16:43 PM


Well, Troxell what will it be, the easy way or the hard way. The hard way, the only way for Matt Brennan...(Humphrey Bogart).

Chain Lightining was a 1950 Aviation film
that had jets breaking the sound barrier,
aircraft with rocket/jet engine power plants breaking parachutes, G-suits and escape pods that were later used on the General Dynamics F-111.


The Willis JA-3 was created from a derelict Bell Aircraft P-39 Airacobra fuselage that was reworked for the taxi and deployed the
drag parachute.
The aircraft of tomorrow were accurately predicted. Its a "B" aviation film, but I like it.

Recently the Willis JA-3 fiberglass model
was auctioned for $2,000.
Filming was shot at Muroc Army Air Field now Edwards Air Force Base, California USA.

The film is still avialable on VHS, and came out in 1992, but I don't know about any DVD releases.
I've even watched the movie in German, the
title is called "Des Teufels Pilot"
Feiner film, danke furs Zeigen...

World War II ushered in a new age, the age of the jet aircraft and space exploration.
I'm going to logoff, its been a great day,
going to watch "Chain Lightining and Fighter Squadron".

Once again I thank the editor/ww2db for this allowance.

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