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P-47 Thunderbolt

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

Along with the P-51 Mustang, the P-47 Thunderbolt earned itself a legendary reputation in World War II. Although it possessed adequate range and firepower to do well in the bomber escort role, where "The Jug" really excelled was as a ground attack aircraft. Fast and extremely tough, the Thunderbolt was a stable gun platform and was deadly with rockets and bombs at low level as well. It was powered by a 2,535 HP Pratt & Whitney R-2800 59W Double Wasp radial engine with a supercharger and was capable of 433 mph. It had enormous offensive punch with its eight .50 caliber machine guns in the wings. The P-47 was the mount of many of America's highest scoring aces including Francis Gabreski and Robert S. Johnson. 15,683 Thunderbolts were produced during the war years of all variants -- far more than any other American fighter. The Thunderbolt pictured here with an unknown G.I. was flown by Lt. French E. Johnson of the 313th Fighter Squadron -- part of the 9th Air Force's 50th Fighter Group. Named "My Devotion", the plane is adorned with an elaborate pinup-style nose art.


Sources: Donald, David, Ed. American Warplanes Of WWII. Westport CT: AIRtime Publishing, Inc., 1995.