USAAF P-38 Lightning List

Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 01 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 02 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 03 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 04 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 05 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 06
Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 07 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 08 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 09 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 10 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 11 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 12
Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 13 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 14 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 15 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 16 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 17 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 18
Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 19 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 20 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 21 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 22 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 23 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 24
Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 25 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 26 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 27 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 28 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 29 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 30
Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 31 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 32 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird as 8AF 78FG82FS MX X ex USAAF 42 26671 33 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird N47DF as 8AF 78FG84FS WZ A ex USAAF 45 49385 01 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird N47DF as 8AF 78FG84FS WZ A ex USAAF 45 49385 02 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird N47DF as 8AF 78FG84FS WZ A ex USAAF 45 49385 03
Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird N47DF as 8AF 78FG84FS WZ A ex USAAF 45 49385 04 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird N47DF as 8AF 78FG84FS WZ A ex USAAF 45 49385 05 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird N47DF as 8AF 78FG84FS WZ A ex USAAF 45 49385 06 Airworthy Republic P 47D Thunderbolt warbird N47DF as 8AF 78FG84FS WZ A ex USAAF 45 49385 07 USAAF 41 5902 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG 1942 01 USAAF 41 5902 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG 1942 03
USAAF 41 5920 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS Wolfpack 32 1942 01 USAAF 41 5927 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG89FS 131 Mitchel Field NY USA 01 USAAF 41 5927 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG89FS 131 Mitchel Field NY USA 02 USAAF 41 5927 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG89FS 131 Mitchel Field NY USA 03 USAAF 41 5927 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG89FS 131 Mitchel Field NY USA 04 USAAF 41 5927 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 80FG Burma Banshee 01
USAAF 41 5935 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 80FG 1942 01 USAAF 41 5937 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG89FS Mitchel Field NY USA 01 USAAF 41 5937 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 80FG 1942 01 USAAF 41 5941 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG89FS Mitchel Field NY USA 01 USAAF 41 5941 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 80FG 1942 02 USAAF 41 5982 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG89FS 139 Mitchel Field NY USA 01
USAAF 41 5982 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG89FS 139 Mitchel Field NY USA 02 USAAF 41 5995 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 13 USAAF 41 5999 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS Wolfpack 24 1942 01 USAAF 41 6001 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS Wolfpack 25 1942 01 USAAF 41 6002 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS Wolfpack 1 Maj Hubert Zemke 1942 01 USAAF 41 6060 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG89FS 150 Mitchel Field NY 1943 01
USAAF 41 6060 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG89FS 150 Mitchel Field NY 1943 02 USAAF 41 6193 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS Wolfpack LM B 1943 01 USAAF 41 6211 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS HV L USAAF 41 6224 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS Wolfpack LM X 1943 01 USAAF 41 6239 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS Wolfpack LM J 1943 01 USAAF 41 6239 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS LM J
USAAF 41 6246 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 78FG83FS (Duxford) Eagles HL F Sweet Pea 01 USAAF 41 6251 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS HV O 01 USAAF 41 6251 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS HV O 02 USAAF 41 6251 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS HV O 03 USAAF 41 6251 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS HV O 04 USAAF 41 6265 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS HV E 05
USAAF 41 6330 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS USAAF 41 6347 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS Wolfpack 1943 01 USAAF 41 6347 Republic P 47B Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS Wolfpack LM O 1943 01 USAAF 41 6347 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS LM O 01 USAAF 41 6347 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS LM O 02 USAAF 41 6394 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS LM M
USAAF 41 6397 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS LM S USAAF 41 6584 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS UN E 01 USAAF 41 6584 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS UN E 02 USAAF 41 6601 Republic P 47C Thunderbolt 15 USAAF 41 6620 Republic P 47 Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS 001 USAAF 41 6620 Republic P 47 Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS 002
USAAF 42 22510 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 348FG342FS Kearby 01 USAAF 42 22510 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 348FG342FS Kearby 02 USAAF 42 22515 P 47D Thunderbolt 352FG 001 USAAF 42 22548 P 47D Thunderbolt 352FG 001 USAAF 42 22632 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 348FG Kearby 01 USAAF 42 22637 P 47D Thunderbolt Art 5AF 348FG341FS Kearby 01
USAAF 42 22684 P 47D Thunderbolt Art 5AF 348FG341FS Kearby 01 USAAF 42 22784 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 355FG357FS 0016 USAAF 42 22903 P 47D Thunderbolt Art 5AF 348FG342FS Kearby 01 USAAF 42 23038 P 47D Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG73FS 28 01 USAAF 42 23289 P 47D Thunderbolt USAAF 42 23297 P 47D Thunderbolt
USAAF 42 24964 P 47D Thunderbolt USAAF 42 25307 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 43 Jerry Jinx II 01 USAAF 42 25327 P 47D Thunderbolt 10AF 14AF 12AF 81FG92FS 01 USAAF 42 25778 P 47D Thunderbolt 48FG493FS I7 M 01 USAAF 42 25834 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 48FG492FS Peggy Jane 01 USAAF 42 25842 P 47D Thunderbolt
USAAF 42 25969 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 361FG376FS E9 D 01 USAAF 42 25984 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 36FG23FS 7U C 01 USAAF 42 26010 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 36FG22FS 3T L Sandy 01 USAAF 42 26010 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 36FG22FS 3T L Sandy 02 USAAF 42 26057 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS UN W USAAF 42 26151 P 47D Thunderbolt
USAAF 42 26258 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS UN T USAAF 42 26261 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 405FG511FS Thunder Monsters K4 S 01 USAAF 42 26272 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 356FG361FS QI M USAAF 42 26414 P 47D Thunderbolt 404FG USAAF 42 26422 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 353FG350FS LH E 01 USAAF 42 26465 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 404FG 4K R Rae Winkton 01
USAAF 42 26465 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 404FG 4K R Rae Winkton 02 USAAF 42 26465 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 404FG 4K R Rae Winkton 03 USAAF 42 26581 P 47D Thunderbolt 353FG350FS LH J Little Princess 01 USAAF 42 26628 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS LM C 01 USAAF 42 26641 P 47D Thunderbolt USAAF 42 26661 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 353FG352FS SX M Miss Illini 01
USAAF 42 26671 P 47D Thunderbolt Color 01 USAAF 42 26707 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 59 Belle   Carol 01 USAAF 42 26707 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 59 Belle   Carol 02 USAAF 42 26707 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 59 Belle   Carol 03 USAAF 42 26756 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 350FG1FS Brazilian 01 USAAF 42 26762 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 350FG1FS Brazilian C1 01
USAAF 42 26805 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG64FS 01 USAAF 42 26805 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG64FS 02 USAAF 42 26820 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG66FS 01 USAAF 42 26919 P 47D Thunderbolt Drawing USAAF 42 26924 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 N 01 USAAF 42 26937 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 Z 01
USAAF 42 27004 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 350FG346FS 01 USAAF 42 27179 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG64FS 33 01 USAAF 42 27179 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG64FS 33 02 USAAF 42 27179 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG64FS 33 03 USAAF 42 27234 P 47D Thunderbolt Wartime Color 404FG USAAF 42 27257 P 47D Thunderbolt Wartime Color 404FG
USAAF 42 27294 P 47D Thunderbolt 57FG66FS 01.JPG USAAF 42 27339 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 78FG82FS Duxford Eagles MX S 01 USAAF 42 27346 P 47D Thunderbolt USAAF 42 27357 P 47D Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG 01 USAAF 42 27387 XP 47N Thunderbolt 01 USAAF 42 27397 P 47D Thunderbolt
USAAF 42 27414 P 47D Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee 01 USAAF 42 27414 P 47D Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee 02 USAAF 42 27432 P 47D Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG91FS 01 USAAF 42 27432 P 47D Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG91FS 02 USAAF 42 27691 P 47D Thunderbolt 7FC SunSetters 15FG78FS Bushmaster 210 01 USAAF 42 27693 P 47D Thunderbolt 7FC SunSetters 15FG78FS Bushmaster 143 01
USAAF 42 27700 P 47D Thunderbolt 7FC SunSetters 15FG78FS Bushmaster 238 01 USAAF 42 27716 P 47D Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee 01 USAAF 42 27822 P 47D Thunderbolt USAAF 42 27884 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 348FG460FS Kearby 01 USAAF 42 27886 P 47D Thunderbolt Art 5AF 348FG342FS Kearby 01 USAAF 42 27899 P 47D Thunderbolt Art 5AF 348FG Kearby 01
USAAF 42 27910 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG 40 Hun Hunter XIV 01 USAAF 42 28011 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 348FG460FS Kearby 01 USAAF 42 28072 P 47D Thunderbolt Art 5AF 348FG340FS Kearby 01 USAAF 42 28152 P 47D Thunderbolt 10AF 01 USAAF 42 28307 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG66FS 33 Lil Aabner 01 USAAF 42 28361 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 358FG366FS IA shot down Aug 15 1944 Argentan France 01
USAAF 42 28382 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS HV S USAAF 42 28473 P 47D Thunderbolt airworthy Palm Springs Museum CA 01 USAAF 42 28473 P 47D Thunderbolt airworthy Palm Springs Museum CA 02 USAAF 42 28473 P 47D Thunderbolt airworthy Palm Springs Museum CA 03 USAAF 42 28473 P 47D Thunderbolt airworthy Palm Springs Museum CA 04 USAAF 42 28473 P 47D Thunderbolt airworthy Palm Springs Museum CA 05
USAAF 42 28473 P 47D Thunderbolt airworthy Palm Springs Museum CA 06 USAAF 42 28473 P 47D Thunderbolt airworthy Palm Springs Museum CA 07 USAAF 42 28533 P 47D Thunderbolt 404FG506FS Tin Hornets 4K V USAAF 42 28572 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG66FS 01 USAAF 42 28573 P 47D Thunderbolt 367FG392FS The Dynamite Gang H5 J USAAF 42 28684 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS 018
USAAF 42 28801 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 362FGHQ Mogins Maulers G8 R 01 USAAF 42 28830 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG395FS Panzer Dusters A7 Y 01 USAAF 42 28838 P 47D Thunderbolt Justbess USAAF 42 28871 P 47D Thunderbolt 404FG USAAF 42 28886 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 371FG405FS BN N 01 USAAF 42 28931 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 48FG493FS 01
USAAF 42 28932 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 365FG388FS C4 T 01 USAAF 42 29002 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG64FS 30 01 USAAF 42 29060 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG 96 01 USAAF 42 29060 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG 96 02 USAAF 42 29060 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG 96 03 USAAF 42 29080 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 35FG40FS 01
USAAF 42 29150 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 405FG511FS K4 D Dottie Mae 00 USAAF 42 29150 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 405FG511FS K4 D Dottie Mae 01 USAAF 42 29150 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 405FG511FS K4 D Dottie Mae 02 USAAF 42 29150 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 405FG511FS K4 D Dottie Mae 03 USAAF 42 29203 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 354FG355FS GQ Q Jan 02 1945 01 USAAF 42 29286 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 J 01
USAAF 42 29286 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 J 02 USAAF 42 29412 P 47D Thunderbolt Drawing 486FS352FG USAAF 42 74680 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 353FG352FS SX W 01 USAAF 42 74750 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS USAAF 42 75037 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS USAAF 42 75071 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS
USAAF 42 75096 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 361FG375FS E2 D 01 USAAF 42 75129 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 495FTG552FTS DQ P 01 USAAF 42 75242 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS 001 USAAF 42 75242 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS 002 USAAF 42 75242 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS 003 USAAF 42 75242 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS 004
USAAF 42 75242 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS 005 USAAF 42 75242 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS 006 USAAF 42 75242 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS 007 USAAF 42 75242 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS 008 USAAF 42 75510 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS Zemkes Wolfpack HV A 01 USAAF 42 75566 P 47D Thunderbolt
USAAF 42 75648 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 48FG494FS 6M C Old C 01 USAAF 42 75783 P 47D Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG19FS 01 USAAF 42 75855 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 65FWASRS Det B 5F A USAAF 42 75939 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 348FG Kearbys 01 USAAF 42 75939 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 348FG Kearbys 02 USAAF 42 76023 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 325FG 15AF 01
USAAF 42 76049 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 348FG Kearbys 01 USAAF 42 76141 P 47D Thunderbolt 353FG350FS LH D 01 USAAF 42 76321 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 353FG350FS LH J 01 USAAF 42 76323 P 47D Thunderbolt 352FG 001 USAAF 42 76405 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 356FG359FS USAAF 42 7870 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS Wolfpack LM R 1943 01
USAAF 42 7870 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG62FS Wolfpack LM R 1943 02 USAAF 42 7946 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS Zemke's Wolfpack UN I crash 01 USAAF 42 8001 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 353FG350FS LH V 01 USAAF 42 8009 P 47D Thunderbolt USAAF 42 8066 P 47D Thunderbolt 348FG340FS Sweetwater Swatter RNZAF Museum 01 USAAF 42 8066 P 47D Thunderbolt 348FG340FS Sweetwater Swatter RNZAF Museum 02
USAAF 42 8077 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 348FG340FS Kearby 12 01 USAAF 42 8369 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS HV E 01 USAAF 42 8400 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 355FG354FS WR  01 USAAF 42 8412 P 47D Thunderbolt 352FG486FS PZ R 01 USAAF 42 8461 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS 01 USAAF 42 8473 P 47D Thunderbolt Drawing 487FS352FG
USAAF 42 8477 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 355FG 01 USAAF 42 8487 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS Zemkes Wolfpack UN M 01 USAAF 42 8487 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS Zemkes Wolfpack UN M 02 USAAF 42 8487 P 47D Thunderbolt Color 01 USAAF 42 8487 P 47D Thunderbolt Color 02 USAAF 42 8511 P 47D Thunderbolt 352FG 001
USAAF 42 8545 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 359FG369FS 001 USAAF 42 8634 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 353FG350FS LH X Dove of Peace IV 01 USAAF 43 25335 P 47D Thunderbolt USAAF 43 25372 P 47D Thunderbolt USAAF 43 25429 P 47D Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG19FS 01 USAAF 43 25450 P 47D Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG333FS 01
USAAF 43 25450 P 47D Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG333FS 02 USAAF 43 25463 P 47D Thunderbolt 5AF 348FG Kearbys 01 USAAF 43 25515 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS UN T USAAF 43 25555 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS 019 USAAF 43 25570 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 H 01 USAAF 43 25585 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG63FS UN V
USAAF 43 25623 P 47D Thundebolt Art 5AF 348FG340FS Kearbys 01 USAAF 43 25676 P 47D Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee 01 USAAF 43 46952 P 47D Thunderbolt 18 USAAF 43 46952 XP 47J Thunderbolt USAAF 44 19770 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG61FS 018 USAAF 44 19864 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 36FG22FS 3T W 01
USAAF 44 19870 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 48FG493FS I7 T 01 USAAF 44 20072 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG396FS Thunder Bums C2 L 01 USAAF 44 20072 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 M 01 USAAF 44 20112 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG 66 01 USAAF 44 20118 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 57FG Uncle Toms Cabin 01 USAAF 44 20211 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 36FG22FS 3T S 01
USAAF 44 20211 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 36FG22FS 3T S 02 USAAF 44 20245 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG395FS Panzer Dusters A7 H 01 USAAF 44 20267 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 366FG391FS AB F 01 USAAF 44 20339 P 47D Thunderbolt 350FG1FS Ostriches D3 Lost Apr 13 1945 pilot Santos KIA 01 USAAF 44 20415 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG395FS Panzer Dusters A7 A 01 USAAF 44 20415 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG395FS Panzer Dusters A7 A 02
USAAF 44 20456 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 V 01 USAAF 44 20456 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 V 02 USAAF 44 20571 P 47D Thunderbolt 365FG386FS D5 C 01 USAAF 44 20571 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 365FG386FS D5 C lost May 17 1945 pilot Felker Parachute 01 USAAF 44 20672 P 47D Thunderbolt USAAF 44 20866 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 53 01
USAAF 44 20866 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 53 02 USAAF 44 20866 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 53 03 USAAF 44 21014 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 65 Duration Dotty 01 USAAF 44 21014 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 65 Duration Dotty 02 USAAF 44 21014 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 65 Duration Dotty 03 USAAF 44 21014 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 65 Duration Dotty 04
USAAF 44 21014 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 65 Duration Dotty 05 USAAF 44 21043 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 12AF 57FG65FS Fighting Cocks 67 01 USAAF 44 21175 P 47D Thunderbolt 8AF 56FG 006 USAAF 44 32674 P 47D Thunderbolt 21 USAAF 44 32718 P 47D Thunderbolt Color 05 USAAF 44 32773 P 47D Thunderbolt 01
USAAF 44 32773 P 47D Thunderbolt 03 USAAF 44 32773 P 47D Thunderbolt 406FG USAAF 44 32773 P 47D Thunderbolt 406FG513FS 4P S Big Ass Bird II 02 USAAF 44 32773 P 47D Thunderbolt 406FG513FS 4P S Big Ass Bird II 03 USAAF 44 32773 P 47D Thunderbolt 406FG513FS 4P S Big Ass Bird II 04 USAAF 44 32773 P 47D Thunderbolt Color
USAAF 44 32773 P 47D Thunderbolt Painting USAAF 44 32774 P 47D Thunderbolt 21 USAAF 44 32794 P 47D Thunderbolt 404FG USAAF 44 33045 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 Y 01 USAAF 44 33045 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 Y 02 USAAF 44 33178 P 47D Thunderbolt 9AF 368FG397FS Jabo Angels D3 N 01
USAAF 44 33204 P 47D Thunderbolt 486FG 007 USAAF 44 33267 P 47D Thunderbolt Color 1 USAAF 44 33491 P 47D Thunderbolt 404FG 001 USAAF 44 33524 P 47D Thunderbolt 8L A USAAF 44 33579 P 47D Thunderbolt Color 404FG USAAF 44 33721 P 47D Thunderbolt Mexican AF 201FS 18 01
USAAF 44 87980 P 47N Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG333FS 01 USAAF 44 87996 P 47N Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG333FS 01 USAAF 44 87996 P 47N Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG333FS 02 USAAF 44 87996 P 47N Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG333FS 03 Warbird 44 89444 USAAF 44 88043 P 47N Thunderbolt 7AF 318FG333FS 01 USAAF 44 88335 P 47N Thunderbolt 01
USAAF 44 88576 P 47N Thunderbolt USAAF 44 88576 P 47N Thunderbolt 01 USAAF 44 88576 P 47N Thunderbolt USA 01 USAAF 44 88576 P 47N Thunderbolt USA 02 USAAF 44 88583 P 47N Thunderbolt 16 USAAF 44 88589 P 47N Thunderbolt USA 01
USAAF 44 88797 P 47N Thunderbolt USAAF 44 89444 P 47N Thunderbolt 01 USAAF 44 89444 P 47N Thunderbolt 02 USAAF 44 89444 P 47N Thunderbolt 03 USAAF 44 90368 P 47D Thunderbolt 01 USAAF 44 90386 P 47D Thunderbolt 14
USAAF 44 90447 P 47D Thunderbolt Color 02 USAAF 44 90447 P 47D Thunderbolt Color ILH USAAF 45 49181 P 47D Thunderbolt 01 USAAF 45 49295 P 47D Thunderbolt Museum RAF USAAF 45 49355 P 47D Thunderbolt 12AF 325FG 15AF USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 01
USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 02 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 03 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 04 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 05 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 06 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 07
USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 08 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 09 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 10 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 11 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 12 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 13
USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 14 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 15 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 16 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG88FS Burma Banshee Nagaghuli Airfield Adair collection 17 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 01 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 02
USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 03 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 04 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 05 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 06 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 07 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 08
USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 09 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 10 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 11 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 12 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 13 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 14
USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 15 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 16 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 17 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 18 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 19 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 20
USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 21 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 22 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 23 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 24 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 25 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 26
USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 27 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 28 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 29 USAAF P 47 Thunderbolt 10AF 80FG Burma Banshee Adair collection 30

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

  • Role: Fighter-bomber
  • Manufacturer: Republic Aviation
  • Designer: Alexander Kartveli
  • First flight: 6 May 1941
  • Introduced: 1942
  • Status: Retired 1966, Peruvian Air Force
  • Primary users: United States Army Air Force, Soviet Air Force, Royal Air Force
  • Produced: 1940-May 1944
  • Number built: 15,678
  • Unit cost: US$85,000 in 1945 ($1.1 million in today's dollars)
  • Variants: Republic XP-72

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, also known as the ‘Jug,’ was the biggest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single piston engine. It was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and also served with other Allied air forces. The P-47 was effective in air combat but proved especially adept at ground attack. It had eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded the P-47 could weigh up to eight tons. A modern-day counterpart in that role, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47.

Development
The P-47 Thunderbolt was the product of Russian immigrant Alexander de Seversky and Georgian immigrant Alexander Kartveli, who had left their homelands to escape the Bolsheviks.

In 1939, Republic Aviation designed the AP-4 demonstrator powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engine with a belly-mounted turbocharger. While the resulting P-43 Lancer was in limited production, Republic had been working on an improved P-44 Rocket with a more powerful engine, as well as on a fighter designated the AP-10. The latter was a lightweight aircraft powered by the Allison V-1710 liquid-cooled V-12 engine and armed with eight .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns. The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) backed the project and gave it the designation XP-47.

As the war in Europe escalated in spring 1940, Republic and the USAAC concluded that the XP-44 and the XP-47 were inferior to the German fighters. Republic unsuccessfully attempted to improve the design, proposing the XP-47A. Alexander Kartveli subsequently came up with an all-new and much larger fighter which was offered to the USAAC in June 1940. The Air Corps ordered a prototype in September, to be designated the XP-47B. The XP-47A, which had almost nothing in common with the new design, was abandoned.

The XP-47B was all-metal construction (except for fabric-covered tail control surfaces) with elliptical wings, with a straight leading edge that was slightly swept back. The cockpit was roomy and the pilot's seat was comfortable -- ‘like a lounge chair’, as one pilot later put it. The pilot was provided with every convenience, including cabin air conditioning. The canopy doors hinged upward. Main and auxiliary self-sealing fuel tanks were placed under the cockpit, giving a total fuel capacity of 305 U.S. gal (1,155 l).

Power came from a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp two-row 18-cylinder radial engine producing 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) and turning a four-bladed Curtiss Electric constant-speed propeller 146 in (3.7 m) in diameter. The loss of the AP-4 prototype to an engine fire ended Kartveli's experiments with tight-fitting cowlings, so the engine was placed in a broad cowling that opened at the front in a ‘horse collar’-shaped ellipse. The cowling admitted cooling air for the engine, left and right oil coolers, and the turbosupercharger intercooler system. The engine exhaust gases were routed into a pair of wastegate-equipped pipes that ran along each side of the cockpit to drive the turbosupercharger turbine at the bottom of the fuselage about halfway between cockpit and tail. At full power, the pipes glowed red at their forward ends and the turbine spun at 21,300 rpm. The complicated turbosupercharger system with its ductwork gave the XP-47B a deep fuselage, and the wings had to be mounted in a relatively high position. This was problematic since long landing gear were needed to provide ground clearance for the propeller. To reduce the size and weight of the long landing gear and so that wing-mounted machine guns could be fitted, each main gear strut was fitted with an ingenious mechanism by which it telescoped out 9 in (23 cm) when extended.

The XP-47B was a very large aircraft for its time with an empty weight of 9,900 lb (4,490 kg), or 65 percent more than the YP-43. Kartveli is said to have remarked, ‘It will be a dinosaur, but it will be a dinosaur with good proportions.’ The armament consisted of eight 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, four in each wing. The guns were staggered to allow feeding from side-by-side ammunition boxes, each with a 350-round capacity. Although the British already possessed eight-gun fighters in the form of the Hurricane and the Spitfire and the 12-gun Hawker Typhoon, these used the smaller 0.303 in (7.7 mm) guns.

The XP-47B first flew on 6 May 1941 with Lowry P. Brabham at the controls. Although there were minor problems, such as some cockpit smoke that turned out to be due to an oil drip, the aircraft proved impressive in its first trials. It was eventually lost in an accident on August 8, 1942, but before that mishap the prototype had achieved a level speed of 412 mph (663 km/h) at 25,800 ft (7,864 m) altitude, and had demonstrated a climb from sea level to 15,000 ft (4,600 m) altitude in five minutes.

P-47B / P-47C / XP-47E / XP-47F

The XP-47B gave the newly reorganized United States Army Air Forces cause for both optimism and apprehension. While possessing good performance and firepower, the XP-47B had its share of teething problems:

* Its sheer size and limited ground-propeller clearance made for challenging takeoffs which required long runways - the pilot had to hold the tail low until considerable speed was attained on the initial run.
* The sideways-opening canopy covers had a tendency to jam.
* The multiple-gun installation, with its tight fit and cramped ammunition-belt tracks, experienced jamming problems, especially during and after hard maneuvering.
* Maneuverability was less than desired when compared to the Supermarine Spitfire and Bf-109.
* The ignition system arced at high altitude.
* Access to the rear engine accessory pad was difficult due to the short engine mount used.
* At high altitude the ailerons ‘snatched and froze’.
* At high speeds the control loads were deemed excessive.

Republic addressed the problems with a sliding canopy that could be jettisoned in an emergency, a pressurized ignition system, and new all-metal control surfaces (improved engine-accessory access had to wait until the P-47C introduced a new engine mount). While the engineers worked frantically to get their ‘dinosaur’ to fly right, the USAAF ordered 171 P-47Bs. An engineering prototype P-47B was delivered in December 1941, with a production prototype following in March 1942, and the first production model provided in May. Republic continued to improve the design as P-47Bs were produced, and although all P-47Bs had the sliding canopy and the new General Electric turbosupercharger regulator for the R-2800-21 engine, features such as all-metal control surfaces were not standard at first. A modification unique to the P-47B was the radio mast behind the cockpit that was slanted forward to maintain the originally designed antenna wire length in spite of the new sliding canopy.

The P-47B not only led to the P-47C but to a few other ‘one off’ variants. A single reconnaissance variant designated RP-47B was built. In September 1942, the 171st and last P-47B (41-6065) was also used as a test platform under the designation XP-47E to evaluate the R-2800-59 engine, a pressurized cockpit with a hinged canopy and, eventually, a new Hamilton Standard propeller. The plans for production were cancelled after increased emphasis on low-level operations over Europe. Another P-47B was later fitted with a new laminar flow wing in search of higher performance and redesignated XP-47F.

Operational history
Initial deliveries of the Thunderbolt to the USAAF were to the 56th Fighter Group, which was also on Long Island. The 56th served as an operational evaluation unit for the new fighter. Teething problems continued. A Republic test pilot was killed in an early production P-47B when it went out of control in a dive, and crashes occurred due to failure of the tail assembly. The introduction of revised rudder and elevator balance systems and other changes corrected these problems. In spite of the problems, the USAAF was interested enough to order an additional 602 examples of the refined P-47C, with the first of the variant delivered in September 1942.

Beginning in January 1943, Thunderbolt fighters were sent to the joint Army Air Forces-civilian Millville Airport in Millville, New Jersey in order to train civilian and military pilots.

P-47C
Essentially similar to the P-47B, the initial P-47Cs featured strengthened all-metal control surfaces, an upgraded GE turbosupercharger regulator and a short vertical radio mast. After the initial manufacture of a block of 57 P-47Cs, production moved to the P-47C-1, which had a 13 in (33 cm) fuselage extension forward of the cockpit at the firewall to correct centre of gravity problems, ease engine maintenance and allow installation of a new engine mount. There were a number of other changes, such as revised exhausts for the oil coolers, and fixes to brakes, undercarriage and electrical system as well as a redesigned rudder and elevator balance. The 55 P-47C-1s were followed by 128 P-47C-2s which introduced a centerline hardpoint with under-fuselage shackles for either a 500 lb (227 kg) bomb or a 200 U.S. gal (758 l, 167 Imp gal) fuel tank that conformed to the underside of the fuselage. The main production P-47C sub-variant was the P-47C-5 which introduced a new whip antenna and the R-2800-59 engine with water-methanol injection with a war emergency power rating of 2,300 hp (1,716 kW). With the use of pressurized drop tanks, the P-47C was able to extend its range on missions beginning 30 July 1943.

The P-47C was sent to England for combat operations in late 1942. The 56th FG was sent overseas to join the 8th Air Force, whose 4th and 78th Fighter Groups were soon to be equipped with the Thunderbolts. The 4th Fighter Group was built around a core of experienced American pilots, volunteers who had served with the British Royal Air Force (RAF) during 1941-43 in the Eagle Squadrons and who flew the Spitfire until January 1943. The 78th FG, formerly a P-38 group, also began conversion to the P-47 in January 1943.

The first P-47 combat mission took place 10 March 1943 when the 4th FG took their aircraft on a fighter sweep over France. The mission was a failure due to radio malfunctions. All P-47s were refitted with British radios, and missions resumed 8 April. The first P-47 air combat took place 15 April with Major Don Blakeslee of the 4th FG scoring the Thunderbolt's first air victory. On 17 August, P-47s performed their first large-scale escort missions, providing B-17 bombers with both penetration and withdrawal support of the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission, and claiming 19 kills against three losses.

By the summer of 1943, the Jug was also in service with the 12th Air Force in Italy, and it was fighting against the Japanese in the Pacific with the 348th Fighter Group flying escort missions out of Brisbane, Australia.

P-47D / P-47G / XP-47K / XP-47L
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, nicknamed ‘Jug;’ during World War II, the P-47 served in every active combat theater and with many Allied air forces.

Refinements of the Thunderbolt continued, leading to the P-47D, of which 12,602 were built. The ‘D’ model actually consisted of a series of evolving production blocks, the last of which were visibly different from the first.

The first P-47Ds were actually the same as P-47Cs. Republic could not produce Thunderbolts fast enough at its Farmingdale plant on Long Island, so a new plant was built at Evansville, Indiana. The Evansville plant built a total of 110 P-47Ds, which were completely identical to P-47C-2s. Farmingdale aircraft were identified by the ‘-RE’ suffix after the block number, while Evansville aircraft were given the ‘-RA’ suffix.

The P-47D-1 through P-47D-6, the P-47D-10, and the P-47D-11 successively incorporated changes such as the addition of more engine cooling flaps around the back of the cowl to reduce the engine overheating problems that had been seen in the field. Engines and engine subsystems saw refinement, as did the fuel, oil and hydraulic systems. Additional armor protection was also added for the pilot.

The P-47D-15 was produced in response to requests by combat units for increased range. The internal fuel capacity was increased to 375 U.S. gal (1,421 l) and the bomb racks under the wings were made ‘wet’ (equipped with fuel plumbing) to allow a jettisonable drop tank pressurized by vented exhaust air to be carried under each wing, in addition to the belly tank. Five different auxiliary tanks were fitted to the Thunderbolt during its career:

* 200 U.S. gallon (758 l) ferry tank, a conformal tub-shaped jettisonable tank made of paper, which barely cleared the ground on grass airfields, was used as an interim measure between 30 July and 31 August 1943;
* 75 U.S. gal (284 l) drop tank, a teardrop-shaped steel tank produced for the P-39 Airacobra, was adapted to the P-47 beginning 31 August 1943, initially carried on a belly shackle but used in pairs in 1944 as underwing tanks;
* 108 U.S gal (409 l) drop tank, a cylindrical paper tank of British design and manufacture, used as a belly tank beginning in September 1943 and a wing tank in April 1944;
* 150 U.S. gal (568 l) drop tank, a steel tank first used as a belly 20 February 1944, and an underwing tank 22 May 1944;
* 215 U.S. gal (810 l) belly tank, a wide, flat steel tank developed by VIII Service Command that allowed performance-degrading wing pylons to be removed, was first used in February 1945.

The tanks made of plastic-impregnated (laminated) paper could not store fuel for an extended period of time, but they worked quite well for the time it took to fly a single mission. These tanks were cheaper, lighter in weight, and were useless to the enemy if recovered after being dropped — not only did they break apart, but they did not provide the enemy with any reusable materials that could be scavenged for their own war effort. With the increased fuel capacity, the P-47 was now able to perform escort missions deep into enemy territory. A drawback to their use was that fighters could not land with the tanks in place because of the hazard of rupture and explosion. Fighters recalled from a mission or that did not jettison for some reason were required to drop paper tanks into a designated ‘dump’ area at their respective fields, resulting in substantial losses of aviation fuel.

The P-47D-16, D-20, D-22 and D-23 were similar to the P-47D-15 with minor improvements in fuel system, engine subsystems, a jettisonable canopy, and bulletproof windshield. Beginning with the block 22 aircraft, the original narrow-chorded Curtiss propeller was replaced by propellers with larger blades, the Evansville plant switching to a new Curtiss propeller with a diameter of 13 ft (3.96 m) and the Long Island plant using a Hamilton Standard propeller with a diameter of 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m). With the bigger propellers having barely 6 in ( mm) of ground clearance, Thunderbolt pilots had to learn to be careful on takeoffs to keep the tail down until they obtained adequate ground clearance, and on landings to flare the aircraft properly. Failure to do so damaged both the propeller and the runway.

Even with two Republic plants rolling out the P-47, the USAAF still was not getting as many Thunderbolts as they wanted, consequently, an arrangement was made with Curtiss to build the aircraft under license in a plant in Buffalo, New York. Most of the Curtiss Thunderbolts were intended for use in advanced flight training. The Curtiss aircraft were all designated P-47G, and a ‘-CU’ suffix was used to distinguish them from other production. The first P-47G was completely identical to the P-47C, the P-47G-1 was identical to the P-47C-1, while the following P-47G-5, P-47G-10, and P-47G-15 sub-variants were comparable to the P-47D-1, P-47D-5 and P-47D-10 respectively. Two P-47G-15s were built with the cockpit extended forward to just before the leading edge of the wing to provide tandem seating, designated TP-47G. The second crew position was accommodated by substituting a much smaller main fuel tank. The ‘Doublebolt’ did not go into production but similar modifications were made in the field to older P-47s, which were then used as squadron ‘hacks’ (miscellaneous utility aircraft). Curtiss built a total of 354 P-47Gs.

All the P-47s to this point had a ‘razorback’ canopy configuration with a tall fuselage spine behind the pilot which resulted in poor visibility to the rear. The British also had this problem with their fighter aircraft, and had devised the bulged ‘Malcolm hood’ canopy for the Spitfire as an initial solution. This was fitted in the field to many North American P-51 Mustangs, and to a handful of P-47Ds (and far more on P-47Bs and P-47Cs). However, the British then came up with a much better solution, devising an all-round vision ‘bubble’ canopy for the Hawker Typhoon. USAAF officials liked the bubble canopy, and quickly adapted it to American fighters, including the P-51 and the Thunderbolt. The first P-47 with a bubble canopy was a modified P-47D-5 completed in the summer of 1943 and redesignated XP-47K. Another older P-47D was modified to provide an internal fuel capacity of 370 U.S. gal (1,402 l) and given the designation XP-47L. The bubble canopy and increased fuel capacity were then rolled into production together, resulting in the block 25 P-47D (rather than a new variant designation). First deliveries to combat groups began in May 1944.

It was followed by similar bubble-top variants, including the P-47D-26, D-27, D-28 and D-30. Improvements added in this series included engine refinements, more internal fuel capacity, and the addition of dive recovery flaps. Cutting down the rear fuselage to accommodate the bubble canopy produced yaw instability, and the P-47D-40 introduced a dorsal fin extension in the form of a narrow triangle running from the vertical tailplane to the radio aerial. The fin fillet was retrofitted in the field to earlier P-47D bubble-top variants. The P-47D-40 also featured provisions for ten ‘zero length’ stub launchers for 5 in (127 mm) High velocity aircraft rockets (HVARs), as well as the new K-14 computing gunsight. This was a license-built copy of the British Ferranti GGS Mark IID computing gyroscopic sight which allowed the pilot to dial in target wingspan and range, and would then move the gunsight reticle to compensate for the required deflection.

The bubbletop P-47s were nicknamed ‘Superbolts’ by combat pilots in the field.

XP-47H / XP-47J
Republic made several attempts to further improve the P-47D:

Two XP-47Hs were built. They were major reworkings of existing razorback P-47Ds to accommodate a Chrysler IV-2220-11 water-cooled 16-cylinder inverted vee engine. However, such large inline engines did not prove to be especially effective.
XP-47J

The XP-47J began as a November 1942 request to Republic for a high-performance version of the Thunderbolt using a lighter airframe and an uprated engine with water injection and fan cooling. Kartveli designed an aircraft fitted with a tight-cowled Pratt & Whitney R-2800-57(C) with a war emergency rating of 2,800 hp (2,090 kW), reduced armament of six 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, a new and lighter wing, and many other changes. The only XP-47J was first flown in late November 1943. When fitted with a GE CH-5 turbosupercharger, the XP-47J achieved a top speed of 505 mph (440 kn, 813 km/h) in level flight in August 1944, making it one of the fastest piston engine fighters ever built. However, by that time Republic had moved on to a new concept, the XP-72.

P-47M
The P-47M was a more conservative attempt to come up with a higher-performance (‘Sprint’) version of the Thunderbolt, seeking parity with the newly introduced German jet aircraft and V-1 flying bombs. Four P-47D-27-RE airframes (s/n 42-27385 / 42-27388) were modified into prototype YP-47Ms by fitting the R-2800-57(C) engine and the GE CH-5 turbo-supercharger, a combination which could produce 2,800 hp (2,089 kW) at 32,500 ft (9,900 m) when using Wartime Emergency Power (water injection). Air brakes were added to the wing's lower surfaces to allow braking after a dive onto its prey. The YP-47M had a top speed of 473 mph (410 kn, 761 km/h) and it was put into limited production with 130 (sufficient for one group) built. However, the type suffered serious teething problems in the field due to the highly-tuned engine. Engines were unable to reach operating temperatures and power settings and frequently failed in early flights from a variety of causes: ignition harnesses cracked at high altitudes, severing electrical connections between the magneto and distributor, and carburetor valve diaphragms also failed. Persistent oil tank ruptures in replacement engines were found to be the result of inadequate protection against salt-water corrosion during transshipment. By the time the bugs were worked out, the war in Europe was nearly over. The entire total of 130 P-47Ms were delivered to the 56th Fighter Group, and were responsible for all four of that group's jet shoot-downs. Twelve were lost in operational crashes with the 56th Group resulting in 11 deaths, two after VE Day, and two (44-21134 on 13 April 1945 and 44-21230 on 16 April 1945) were shot down in combat, both by ground fire.

The second YP-47M (of the batch of four converted P-47Ds) was later fitted with new wings and served as the prototype for the P-47N.

P-47N
The P-47N was the last Thunderbolt variant to be produced. It was designed as an escort fighter for the B-29 Superfortress bombers flying raids on the Japanese home islands. Increased internal fuel capacity and drop tanks had done much to extend the Thunderbolt's range during its evolution, and the only other way to expand the fuel capacity was to put fuel tanks into the wings. Thus, a new wing was designed with two 50 U.S. gal (190 l) fuel tanks. The second YP-47M with this wing flew in September 1944. The redesign proved successful in extending range to about 2,000 mi (3,200 km), and the squared-off wingtips improved the roll rate. The P-47N entered mass production with the uprated R-2800-77(C) engine, with a total of 1,816 built. The very last Thunderbolt to be built, a P-47N-25, rolled off the production line in October 1945. Thousands more had been on order, but production was halted with the end of the war in August. At the end of production, a Thunderbolt cost $83,000 in 1945 U.S. dollars.

Postwar service
The USAF Strategic Air Command had P-47 Thunderbolts in service from 1946 through 1947.

The P-47 served with the Army Air Forces (United States Air Force after 1947) until 1949, and with the Air National Guard until 1953, receiving the designation F-47 in 1948. P-47s also served as spotters for rescue aircraft such as the OA-10 Catalina and Boeing B-17H.

The F-51 Mustang was used by the USAF during the Korean War, mainly in the close air support role. The F-47 was not deployed to Korea. Since the Mustang was more vulnerable to being shot down, (and many were lost due to anti-aircraft fire), some former F-47 pilots have suggested the more durable Thunderbolt should have been sent to Korea; however the F-51D was available in greater numbers in the USAF and ANG inventories.

The type was provided to many Latin American air forces some of which operated it into the 1960s. Small numbers of P-47s were also provided to China, Iran, Turkey and Yugoslavia.

A total of 15,686 Thunderbolts of all types were built, making it one of the most heavily produced fighter aircraft in history. A number of P-47s have survived to the present day, and a few are still flying.

Flying the Thunderbolt

Aerial warfare
Initial response to the P-47 praised its dive speed and high-altitude performance, while criticizing its turning performance and rate of climb (particularly at low altitudes). Commenting on the P-47's size, British pilots joked that a Thunderbolt pilot could defend himself from a Luftwaffe fighter by running around and hiding in the fuselage. Some British assumed the American P-47 nickname ‘Jug’ was short for ‘Juggernaut’ and began using the longer word as an alternate nickname. Another nickname that was used for the Thunderbolt was ‘T-bolt’.

The turbosupercharger in the P-47 gave the powerplant its maximum power at 27,000 ft (8,230 m), and in the thin air above 30,000 ft (9,144 m), the Thunderbolt became comparatively fast and nimble relative to other aircraft.

One early P-47 squadron, the 4th Fighter Group, was composed mainly of pilots who had previously flown the British Supermarine Spitfire, and were not complimentary to their new plane. One Thunderbolt pilot compared it to flying a bathtub around the sky. When his unit (4th Fighter Group) was equipped with Thunderbolts, ace Don Blakeslee said, referring to the P-47's vaunted ability to dive on its prey, ‘It ought to be able to dive. It certainly can't climb.’ (Blakeslee's early-model P-47C had not been fitted with the new paddle-blade propeller). The 4th Fighter Group's commander hated the plane, and his prejudices filtered down to the group's pilots; the 4th had the fewest kills of any of the first three P-47 squadrons in Europe.

The P-47's initial success in combat was primarily due to tactics, using rolls (the P-47 had an excellent roll rate) and energy-saving dive and zoom climbs from high altitude to outmaneuver German fighters. No German piston-engined plane could out-dive the Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt was the fastest-diving American aircraft of the war — it could reach speeds of 550 mph (480 kn, 885 km/h). Major Robert S. ‘Bob’ Johnson described the experience of diving the big fighter by writing, ‘the Thunderbolt howled and ran for the earth’. Some P-47 pilots claimed to have broken the sound barrier, but later research revealed that due to the pressure buildup inside the pitot tube at high speeds, airspeed readings became unpredictably exaggerated.

The arrival of the new Curtiss paddle-blade propeller significantly increased climb rate at lower altitudes, and came as a shock to German pilots who had resorted to steep climbs to evade pursuit by the P-47. Other positive attributes included the P-47's ruggedness; it could sustain a large amount of damage and still be able to get its pilot back to base. With eight .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, the P-47 did not lack for firepower. German aircraft caught in a well-aimed burst tended to fly apart from the impact of so many armor-piercing projectiles.

Although the P-51 Mustang replaced the P-47 in the long-range escort role in Europe, the Thunderbolt still ended the war with 3,752 air-to-air kills claimed in over 746,000 sorties of all types, at the cost of 3,499 P-47s to all causes in combat. In Europe in the critical first three months of 1944, when the German aircraft industry and Berlin were heavily attacked, the P-47 shot down more German fighters than did the P-51 (570 out of 873), and shot down approximately 900 of the 1,983 claimed during the first six months of 1944. In Europe, Thunderbolts flew more sorties (423,435) than P-51s, P-38s and P-40s combined.

By the end of the war, the 56th FG was the only 8th Air Force unit still flying the P-47, by preference, instead of the P-51. The unit claimed 665.5 air victories and 311 ground kills, at the cost of 128 aircraft. Lieutenant Colonel Francis S. Gabreski scored 31 victories, including three ground kills, Captain Bob Johnson scored 27 (with one unconfirmed probable kill leading to some giving his tally as 28), and 56th FG Commanding Officer Colonel Hubert Zemke scored 17.75 kills. Despite being the sole remaining P-47 group in the 8th Air Force, the 56th FG remained its top-scoring group in aerial victories throughout the war.

In the Pacific, Colonel Neel E. Kearby of the 5th Air Force destroyed 22 Japanese aircraft and was awarded the Medal of Honor for an action in which he downed six enemy fighters on a single mission. He was shot down and killed over Biak in March 1944.

Ground attack role
By 1944, the Thunderbolt was in combat with the USAAF in all its operational theaters, except the Battle of the Aleutian Islands. With increases in fuel capacity as the type was refined, the range of escort missions over Europe steadily increased until the P-47 was able to accompany bombers in raids all the way into Germany. On the way back from the raids, pilots shot up ground targets of opportunity, and also used belly shackles to carry bombs on short-range missions, which led to the realization that the P-47 could perform a dual-function on escort missions as a fighter-bomber. Even with its complicated turbosupercharger system, its sturdy airframe and tough radial engine could absorb a lot of damage and still return home. Some pilots readily chose to belly-land their burning Thunderbolts rather than risk bailing out; there are instances of P-47s crash-landing after being shot down, hitting trees and causing impacts severe enough to snap off wings, tail, and engine, while the pilot escaped with few or no injuries.

The P-47 gradually became the USAAF's best fighter-bomber, normally carrying 500 lb (227 kg) bombs, M8 4.5 in (115 mm) or 5 in (127 mm) High velocity aircraft rockets (HVARs, or Holy Moses). From the invasion of Europe on 6 June, 1944 to VE day on 7 May, 1945, the Thunderbolt units claimed destroyed: 86,000 railway cars, 9,000 locomotives, 6,000 armoured fighting vehicles, and 68,000 trucks.

The Thunderbolt's eight .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns could inflict heavy damage on lightly armored targets. In a ground attack role, the .50 in (12.7 mm) armor-piercing (AP), armor-piercing incendiary (API), and armor-piercing incendiary tracer (APIT) ammunition proved useful in penetrating thin-skinned and lightly armored German vehicles and exploding their fuel tanks, as well as damaging some types of enemy armored fighting vehicles (AFVs). The dreaded cry of Achtung! Jabos! (fighter-bombers) regularly erupted from German armored columns as the P-47 flights got to work. While the AP projectiles from the .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns could not penetrate the front, side, or turret armor of enemy tanks, it could sometimes penetrate the engine grilles and exhaust system of the German Pzkpf Mk IV or Pzkpf V (Panther), disabling the vehicle. The Mk IV had 10-12 mm top and bottom hull armor and the Panther had top and bottom hull armor made of 16 mm thick plate, while the .50 in (12.7 mm) AP/API round could completely perforate ⅞in (22 mm) face-hardened steel plate at 300 ft (91 m) and ¾ in (19 mm) at 1,640 ft (500 m). Additionally, .50 in (12.7 mm) bullets fired against German medium tanks traveling on paved roads tended to ricochet upwards, hitting the tank on its thinly-armored underside, sometimes richoceting inside the crew compartment or penetrating the engine compartment and setting the vehicle ablaze. The .50 in (12.7 mm) guns were ineffective against heavy German tanks such as the Tiger, which required the use of 500 lb bombs or 4.5 in (115 mm) or 5 in (127 mm) rockets.

For heavily-armored targets, P-47 pilots frequently carried two 500 lb (227 kg) bombs, using skip bombing techniques for difficult targets (skipping bombs into railroad tunnels to destroy hidden enemy locomotives or tanks was a favorite tactic); Tunnel-busting became a fine art. When pilots spotted a train entering a tunnel, they skipped bombs into both ends to seal the train inside, then bombed the tunnel itself. Near Canisy, France, a locomotive was shredded until it looked like a steel broom. A near miss was sufficient to knock a tank on its side, blow off a track or turret, or cause serious damage to tracks, suspension, and turret mechanisms, frequently causing the vehicle to be abandoned by its crew. The adoption of the triple-tube rocket launcher with M8 high-explosive 4.5 in (110 mm) rockets (with an explosive force similar to a 105 mm artillery shell), significantly increased the P-47's ground attack capability. Late in the war, the P-47 was retrofitted with more powerful 5 in (130 mm) HVAR rockets.

P-47 in non-U.S. service
P-47s were operated by several Allied air arms during World War II. The RAF received 240 razorback P-47Ds which they designated ‘Thunderbolt Mark I’, and 590 bubbletop P-47D-25s, designated ‘Thunderbolt Mark IIs’. With no need for another high-altitude fighter, the RAF adopted their Thunderbolts for ground attack. Once the Thunderbolts were cleared for use in 1944, they were used against the Japanese in Burma by 16 RAF squadrons of the South East Asia Command from India. Operations were army support (operating as ‘cab ranks’ to be called in when needed), attacks on enemy airfields and lines of communication, and escort sorties. The Thunderbolts were armed with three 500 lb (227 kg) bombs or, in some cases, British ‘60 pound’ (27 kg) RP-3 rocket projectiles. Long range fuel tanks gave five hours of endurance. Thunderbolts remained in RAF service until October 1946; those squadrons not disbanded outright after the war re-equipped with British-built aircraft.

During the Italian campaign, the ‘1º Grupo de Caça da Força Aérea Brasilira’ (Brazilian Air Force 1st Fighter Squadron) flew a total of 48 P-47Ds in combat (of a total of 67 received, 19 of which were backup aircraft). This unit flew a total of 445 missions from November 1944 to May 1945 over northern Italy and Central Europe, with 15 P-47s lost to German flak and five pilots being killed in action. In the early 1980s, this unit was awarded the ‘Presidential Unit Citation’ by the American government in recognition for its achievements in World War II.

From March 1945 to the end of the war in the Pacific, the Mexican Escuadron Aereo de Pelea 201 (201st Fighter Squadron) operated P-47Ds as part of the U.S. 5th Air Force in the Philippines. In 791 sorties against Japanese forces, the 201st lost no pilots or aircraft to enemy action.

The French Air Force received 446 P-47Ds from 1943. These aircraft saw extensive action in France and Germany and again in the 1950s during the Algerian War of Independence.

After World War II, the Italian Air Force (AMI) received 75 P-47D-25s (sent to 5˚ Stormo, and 99 to the 51˚). These machines were delivered between 1947 and 1950. However, they were not well liked, as the Italian pilots were used to much lighter aircraft and found the controls too heavy. Nevertheless, the stability, payload and high speed were appreciated. Most importantly, the P-47 served as an excellent transition platform to heavier jet fighters, including the F-84 Thunderjet, starting in 1953.

The Soviet Union also received 203 P-47Ds. The fighters were assigned to high-altitude air defense over major cities in rear areas. Unlike their Western counterparts, the Soviet Air Force made no notable use of the P-47 as a ground attack aircraft, depending instead on the P-39, P-63 and their own widely-produced special-purpose ground-attack aircraft, the Ilyushin Il-2.

Operators
Bolivia: Bolivian Air Force (post-war)
Brazil: Brazilian Expeditionary Force * 1st Brazilian Fighter Group, 1944-1954
Chile: Chilean Air Force
Republic of China: Republic of China Air Force
Colombia: Colombian Air Force (post-war)
Cuba: Cuban Air Force (post-war)
Dominican Republic: Dominican Air Force (post war)
Ecuador: Ecuadorian Air Force (post war)
El Salvador: Air Force of El Salvador
France: Free French Air Force and French Air Force
Germany: Luftwaffe (captured)
Honduras: Honduran Air Force (post-war)
Iran: Imperial Iranian Air Force (post-war)
Italy: Italian Air Force (post-war)
Mexico: Mexican Air Force * Escuadrón 201
Nicaragua: Nicaraguan Air Force (post-war)
Peru: Peruvian Air Force (post-war) (56 aircraft) (July 1947 - June 1966)
Philippines: Philippines Air Force
Portugal: Portuguese Air Force (post-war)
Soviet Union: Soviet Air Force
Turkey: Turkish Air Force (post-war) (1948)
United Kingdom: Royal air Force
United States: United States Army Air Force and United States Air Force
Venezuela: Venezuelan Air Force
Yugoslavia: SFR Yugoslav Air Force (post-war) (133 aircraft) (1952)

Survivors
Republic P-47 survivors
A large number of surviving airframes exist in flyable condition as well as in museum collections worldwide.

Specifications (P-47D Thunderbolt)
P-47D ‘Kathie’ with 75-gallon drop tank buzzes the airfield at Bodney, England.

General characteristics
* Crew: One
* Length: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
* Wingspan: 40 ft 9 in (12.42 m)
* Height: 14 ft 8 in (4.47 m)
* Wing area: 300 ft² (27.87 m²)
* Empty weight: 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)
* Loaded weight: 17,500 lb (7,938 kg)
* Max takeoff weight: 17,500 lb (7,938 kg)
* Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59 twin-row radial engine, 2,535 hp (1,890 kW)

Performance
* Maximum speed: 433 mph at 30,000 ft (697 km/h at 9,145 m)
* Range: 800 mi combat, 1,800 mi ferry (1,290 km / 2,900 km)
* Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,100 m)
* Rate of climb: 3,120 ft/min (15.9 m/s)
* Wing loading: 58.3 lb/ft² (284.8 kg/m²)
* Power/mass: 0.14 hp/lb (238 W/kg)

Armament
* 8 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns
* Up to 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) of bombs
* 10 × 5 in (127 mm) unguided rockets

Web Reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-47_Thunderbolt

 


This webpage was updated 25th November 2012

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