Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a
World War II
World War II era fighter aircraft
produced by the
United States between 1941 and 1945. Its primary
armament was eight .50-caliber machine guns and in the fighter-bomber
ground-attack role it could carry five-inch rockets or a bomb load of
2,500 pounds (1,103 kg). When fully loaded the P-47 weighed up to
eight tons (tonnes) making it one of the heaviest fighters of the war.
The P-47 was designed around the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800
Double Wasp engine which was also used by two U.S. Navy fighters, the
Grumman F6F Hellcat
Grumman F6F Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair. The Thunderbolt was
effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude
air-to-air combat and ground attack in both the
World War II
World War II European
and Pacific theaters.
The P-47 was one of the main
United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
fighters of World War II, and served with Allied air forces including
France, Britain, and Russia. Mexican and Brazilian squadrons fighting
alongside the U.S. were equipped with the P-47.
The armored cockpit was relatively roomy and comfortable, the bubble
canopy introduced on the P-47D in particular offering good visibility.
A present-day U.S. ground-attack aircraft, the Fairchild Republic A-10
Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47.[Note 1]
1.1 P-43 Lancer / XP-47B
1.2 P-47B, XP-47E, and XP-47F
1.4 P-47D / P-47G and XP-47K / XP-47L
1.4.1 Bubbletop P-47s
1.5 XP-47H / XP-47J
2 Operational history
2.1 US service
2.2 Postwar service
2.3 P-47 in Allied, non-U.S. service
2.4 In Soviet service
2.5 In German service
2.6 In Chinese/Taiwanese service
3 Flying the Thunderbolt
3.1 Aerial warfare
3.2 Ground attack role
6 Surviving aircraft
7 Specifications (P-47D-30 Thunderbolt)
8 In popular culture
9 See also
11 External links
The P-47 Thunderbolt was a design of Georgian immigrant Alexander
Kartveli, and was to replace the
Seversky P-35 that was developed
earlier by Russian immigrant Alexander P. de Seversky.[Note 2] Both
had fled from their homeland to escape the Bolsheviks.[Note 3]
P-43 Lancer / XP-47B
American pre-war fighter
Republic P-43 Lancer
P-47 firing its M2 machine guns during night gunnery
Republic Aviation designed the AP-4 demonstrator powered by a
Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engine with a belly-mounted
turbocharger. While the resulting
Republic P-43 Lancer
Republic 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
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 Luftwaffe
fighters. Republic unsuccessfully attempted to improve the design,
proposing the XP-47A. Kartveli then designed a 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 little in common with the new design, was abandoned.
The XP-47B was of all-metal construction (except for the
fabric-covered tail control surfaces) with elliptical wings, with a
straight leading edge that was slightly swept back. The
air-conditioned cockpit was roomy and the pilot's seat was
comfortable—"like a lounge chair", as one pilot later put it. 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).
A P-47 engine with the cowling removed. Uncompressed air enters
through an intake under the engine, and is carried to the
turbosupercharger behind the pilot via the silver duct at the bottom.
The olive-green pipe returns the compressed air to the engine
Power came from a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp two-row
18-cylinder radial engine producing 2,000 hp
(1,500 kW)—the same engine that would power the prototype
Vought XF4U-1 fighter to just over 400 mph (644 kph) in October
1940—with the Double Wasp on the XP-47B turning a four-bladed
Curtiss Electric constant-speed propeller of 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-legged main landing gear struts were needed to provide ground
clearance for the enormous propeller. To reduce the size and weight of
the main landing gear struts and so that wing-mounted machine guns
could be fitted, each main gear strut was fitted with a mechanism by
which it telescoped out 9 in (23 cm) when extended.
The XP-47B was very heavy compared with contemporary single-engined
fighters, with an empty weight of 9,900 lb (4,490 kg), or
65% more than the YP-43. Kartveli said, "It will be a dinosaur, but it
will be a dinosaur with good proportions." The armament was eight
.50 caliber (12.7 mm) "light-barrel" Browning AN/M2 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. All
eight guns gave the fighter a combined rate of fire of approximately
100 rounds per second.
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 8 August 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, XP-47E, and XP-47F
P-47B-RE 41-5905 assigned to the 56th FG at Teterboro Airport. Note
the windows behind the cockpit and the sliding canopy, an indication
that this was an early production P-47B.
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
Its sheer size and limited ground-propeller clearance in a
fuselage-level attitude 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 with the
Supermarine Spitfire and Messerschmitt 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 by fitting a rearwards-sliding canopy
that could be jettisoned in an emergency, a pressurized ignition
system, and new all-metal control surfaces. The deficient maintenance
access to the Double Wasp radial on the B-series subtypes 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 on the P-47B, also
required for the early marks of the U.S. Navy's Grumman F4F Wildcat
Grumman F6F Hellcat
Grumman F6F Hellcat 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 led to a few "one off" variants. 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.
In 1942 an example of the potentially 3,000 hp Fairey P-24
Monarch engine along with the
Fairey Battle test bed it was installed
in was shipped to
Wright Field for testing with a view to possible
installation in the P-47. After around 250 hours of test flying of the
P-24 engined Battle at Wright Field, the idea to re-engine the P-47
with the P-24 was abandoned.
Production changes gradually addressed the problems with P-47B, and on
balance, with experience, the
USAAF decided that the P-47 was
worthwhile, and quickly followed the initial order for P-47Bs with
another order for 602 more examples of an improved model, named P-47C,
with the first of this variant delivered in September 1942. The
initial P-47Cs were very similar to the P-47B.
Republic P-47C-2-RE Thunderbolts of the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th
Fighter Group 41-6265 identifiable, 1943.
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 the fifth production
P-47B when it went out of control in a dive on 26 March 1942, and
crashed due to failure of the tail assembly, after fabric-covered tail
surfaces ballooned and ruptured. The introduction of revised
rudder and elevator balance systems and other changes corrected these
Essentially similar to the P-47B, the initial P-47C 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 an 8 in (20 cm) fuselage extension
forward of the cockpit at the firewall to correct center 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 systems, 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. With the use of
pressurized drop tanks, the P-47C was able to extend its range on
missions beginning 30 July 1943.
By the end of 1942, most of the troubles with the P-47 had been worked
out and P-47Cs were sent to England. The 56th FG was sent overseas to
join the Eighth Air Force, whose 4th and 78th Fighter Groups would be
equipped with the Thunderbolt as well.
P-47D / P-47G and XP-47K / XP-47L
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt.
Refinements of the Thunderbolt continued, leading to the P-47D, which
was the most produced version with 12,558 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 first built a total of 110 P-47D-1-RAs, 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, (the P-47D-10 introduced the
R-2800-63, replacing the R-2800-21 seen in previous P-47s) 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. "Wet" (equipped with fuel plumbing) underwing pylons
were introduced to allow a bomb or drop tank pressurized by vented
exhaust air to be carried under each wing, in addition to the belly
tank. Seven 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
75 U.S. gallon(284 l) drop tank: A standardized, all-metal
teardrop-shaped steel tank with a prominent protruding horizontal
seam, initially produced for the P-39 Airacobra, was adapted to the
P-47 beginning 31 August 1943. It was initially carried on the belly
shackle, but was used in pairs in 1944 as underwing tanks, and adopted
as a standard accessory in the US inventory.
108 U.S. gallon (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. gallon (568 l) drop tank: A steel tank first used
as a belly tank 20 February 1944, and an underwing tank 22 May 1944.
215 U.S. gallon (810 l) drop tank: A wide, flat steel tank
developed by VIII Service Command was first used in February 1945.
165 U.S. gallon (625 l) drop tank: This tank, produced by
Lockheed, could be used either as a fuel tank or as a napalm
110 U.S. gallon (416 l) drop tank: This tank was similar in
shape to the 75 gallon drop tank, but was larger. It could also be
used as a napalm container.
8th AF / 361st FG / 376th FG
flown by Capt. John D. Duncan.
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, 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 their paper tanks for
some reason were required to drop them into a designated "dump" area
at their respective fields, resulting in substantial losses of
The P-47D-16, D-20, D-22 and D-23 were similar to the P-47D-15 with
minor improvements in the fuel system, engine subsystems, (the
P-47D-20 introduced the R-2800-59 engine) a jettisonable canopy, and a
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 (152 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. A modification to the main gear legs was installed to extend
the legs via an electric motor (un-extending before retraction) to
accommodate the larger propeller diameter.
Brazilian P-47 after impact with chimney; the pilot managed to land
Even with two Republic plants rolling out the P-47, the U.S. Army Air
Forces still were 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. The Curtiss
plant experienced serious problems and delays in producing
Thunderbolts, and the 354 Curtiss-built fighters were relegated to
stateside 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, essentially to
provide a trainer variant. 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).
Republic XP-47K (42-8702)
All the P-47s produced 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
type of canopy was fitted in the field to many North American P-51
Mustangs, and to a handful of P-47Ds. 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 of the P-47D-25 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 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 vertical
stabilizer extension in the form of a fin running from the vertical
stabilizer to just behind the radio aerial. The fin fillet was often
retrofitted in the field to earlier P-47D bubble-top variants. The
P-47D-40 also featured provisions for 10 "zero length" 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
XP-47H / XP-47J
Republic made several attempts to further improve the P-47D:
Two XP-47Hs were converted. They were major reworkings of existing
razorback P-47Ds to accommodate a Chrysler IV-2220-11 liquid-cooled
16-cylinder inverted vee engine. The plane reached 490 mph in
level flight, but, with the end of the war, it never saw
production.[better source needed]
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 a completely new aircraft fitted with a tight-cowled Pratt
& Whitney R-2800-57 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 by Republic test
pilot Mike Ritchie. Less than a year later it flew into the aviation
history books marking a new milestone for speed.[page needed]
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
on August 4, 1944 at 34,500 feet over a course in Farmingdale, New
York, piloted by Mike Ritchie. Ritchie's achievement was not
exceeded until August 21, 1989, when
Lyle Shelton piloted Rare Bear, a
highly modified Grumman F8F Bearcat, and set a new official FAI record
at 523.586 mph.
The P-47M was a more conservative attempt to come up with a
higher-performance ("Sprint") version of the Thunderbolt, designed to
chase V-1 flying bombs, done, in part, by reducing armament from eight
.50-caliber Colt-Browning M2 machine guns to six. In September
1944, four P-47D-27-RE airframes (42-27385/27388) were modified into
prototype YP-47Ms by fitting the R-2800-57 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 133 (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. In the end, it was simply errors made by the
R-2800-57 model engine's manufacturers which led to these issues with
the P-47M. By the time the bugs were worked out, the war in
nearly over. However, P-47Ms still destroyed 15 enemy aircraft in
aerial combat, normal results for any fighter type in March–May 1945
when aerial encounters with the
Luftwaffe were rare. The entire
production total of 130 P-47Ms were delivered to the 56th Fighter
Group, and were responsible for all seven 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.
Republic P-47N-5 in three ship formation.
The P-47N was the last Thunderbolt variant to be produced. It was
designed as an escort fighter for the Boeing 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. gallon (190 l) fuel tanks. The
third YP-47M prototype (42-27387) was fitted with this wing and became
the YP-47N; its designation was later changed to XP-47N. This
redesigned aircraft first flew in July 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 R-2800-57 engine, and later used the upgraded
R-2800-73 or -77. A total of 1,816 were built. The very last
Thunderbolt to be built, a P-47N-25, rolled off the production line in
At the end of production, a Thunderbolt cost $83,000 in 1945 U.S.
dollars. A total of 15,636 Thunderbolts of all types were built.
By the end of 1942, P-47Cs were sent to England for combat operations.
The initial Thunderbolt flyers, 56th Fighter Group, was sent overseas
to join the 8th Air Force. As the P-47 Thunderbolt worked up to
operational status, it gained a nickname: the "Jug" (because its
profile was similar to that of a common milk jug of the time).[Note 4]
Two Fighter Groups already stationing in England began introducing the
Jugs in January 1943: the Spitfire-flying 4th Fighter Group, a unit
built around a core of experienced American pilots who had flown in
Eagle Squadrons prior to the US entry in the war; and the 78th
Fighter Group, formerly flying P-38 Lightnings.
P-47 pilot Lt Col Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski, 56th Fighter Group,
leading ace of the 8th Air Force
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.
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 (against a Focke-Wulf Fw
By mid-1943, the Jug was also in service with the
12th Air Force
12th Air Force in
Italy and against the Japanese in the Pacific, with the 348th Fighter
Group flying missions out of Port Moresby, New Guinea. By 1944, the
Thunderbolt was in combat with the
USAAF in all its operational
theaters except Alaska.
One of several gun harmonization schemes used on the P-47. This one
converged the eight guns into a point at about 1,100 ft
Luftwaffe ace Heinz Bäer said that the P-47 "could absorb an
astounding amount of lead [from shooting at it] and had to be handled
very carefully". Although the
North American P-51 Mustang
North American 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. 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 677.5 air victories and 311 ground kills, at the cost
of 128 aircraft.
Francis S. Gabreski
Francis S. Gabreski scored 28
Robert S. Johnson
Robert S. 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.[Note 5] 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.
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.
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, also
known as "Holy Moses"). From
D-Day until VE day, Thunderbolt pilots
claimed to have destroyed 86,000 railroad cars, 9,000 locomotives,
6,000 armored fighting vehicles, and 68,000 trucks.
With the end of World War II, orders for 5,934 were cancelled. The
P-47 continued serving with the
U.S. Army Air Forces
U.S. Army Air Forces through 1947, the
Strategic Air Command
Strategic Air Command from 1946 through 1947, the active duty
United States Air Force until 1949, and with the Air National Guard
until 1953, receiving the designation F-47 in 1948.
P-47s served as spotters for rescue aircraft such as the OA-10
Catalina and Boeing B-17H. In 1950, P-47 Thunderbolts were used to
suppress the declaration of independence in
Puerto Rico by
nationalists during the Jayuya Uprising.
The P-47 was not deployed to Korea for the Korean War. The North
American P-51 Mustang was used by the USAF, mainly in the close air
support role. Since the Mustang was more vulnerable to being shot
down, (and many were lost to anti-aircraft fire), some former P-47
pilots suggested the more durable Thunderbolt should have been sent to
Korea. However, the P-51D was available in greater numbers in the USAF
and ANG inventories.
Due to continued postwar service with U.S. military and foreign
operators, a number of P-47s have survived to the present day, and a
few are still flying.
Cuban Air Force
Cuban Air Force took delivery of 29 ex-USAF airframes and spares.
By the late 1950s the P-47 was considered obsolete but were well
suited for COIN tasks. Some fought Castro's rebellion.[citation
P-47 in Allied, non-U.S. service
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Republic Thunderbolt Mark I
Brazilian P-47 pilot during World War II
Brazilian P-47s in
World War II
World War II carried the Senta a Pua! squadron
badge, along with the national insignia of
Brazil painted over the
USAAF's star and bar.
P-47D "Kathie" with 75-gallon drop tank buzzes the airfield at Bodney,
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 adapted their Thunderbolts for ground attack, a task
for which the type was well suited. 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
South East Asia Command from India. Operations
with army support (operating as "cab ranks" to be called in when
needed), attacks on enemy airfields and lines of communication, and
escort sorties. They proved devastating in tandem with Spitfires
during the Japanese breakout attempt at the Sittang Bend in the final
months of the war. The Thunderbolts were armed with three 500 lb
(227 kg) bombs or, in some cases, British "60 pound"
RP-3 rocket projectiles. Long range fuel tanks gave
five hours of endurance. Thunderbolts flew escort for RAF Liberators
in the bombing of Rangoon. Thunderbolts remained in RAF service until
October 1946. Post-war RAF Thunderbolts were used in support of the
Dutch attempts to reassert control of Batavia. Those squadrons not
disbanded outright after the war re-equipped with British-built
aircraft such as the Hawker Tempest.
During the Italian campaign, the "1º Grupo de Caça da Força Aérea
Brazilian Air Force
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
From March 1945 to the end of the war in the Pacific—as
declared war on the Axis on May 22, 1942—the Mexican Escuadrón
Aéreo 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
French Air Force
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
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 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.
In Soviet service
The U.S. sent 203 P-47Ds to the Soviet Union. In mid-1943, the
Soviet high command showed an interest in the P-47B. Three
P-47D-10-REs were ferried to the
Soviet Air Forces
Soviet Air Forces (VVS) via Alaska in
March 1944. Two of them were tested in April–May 1944. Test pilot
Aleksey N. Grinchik noted the spacious cockpit with good ventilation
and a good all-around view. He found it easy to fly, and stable upon
take-off and landing, but it showed excessive rolling stability and
poor directional stability. Soviet engineers disassembled the third
aircraft to examine its construction. They appreciated the high
production standards and rational design well-suited to mass
production, and the high reliability of the hard-hitting Browning
machine guns. With its high service ceiling, the P-47 was superior to
fighters operating on the Eastern front, yielding a higher speed above
30,000 feet (9,000 m). The Yakovlev Yak-9, Lavochkin La-5FN,
Messerschmitt Bf 109G and Focke-Wulf Fw 190A outperformed the early
model P-47 at low and medium altitude, where the P-47 had poor
acceleration and performed aerobatics rather reluctantly. In mid-1944,
200 P-47D-22-REs and P-47D-27-REs were ferried to the USSR via Iraq
and Iran. Many were sent to training units. Less than half reached
operational units, and they were rarely used in combat. The
fighters were assigned to high-altitude air defense over major cities
in rear areas. Unlike their Western counterparts, the VVS made little
use of the P-47 as a ground attack aircraft, depending instead on
their own widely produced—with 36,183 examples built during the
war—special-purpose, armored ground-attack aircraft, the Ilyushin
Il-2. At the end of the war, Soviet units held 188 P-47s.
In German service
Luftwaffe operated at least one captured P-47. In poor weather on
7 November 1943 while flying a P-47D-2-RA on a bomber escort mission,
2nd Lt. William E. Roach of 358th Squadron, 355th Fighter Group made
an emergency landing on a German airfield. Roach was imprisoned at
Stalag Luft I. The Thunderbolt was given German markings.
T9+LK was probably used for several reconnaissance missions over
England just before the
D-Day invasion. It was recaptured in
Göttingen in 1944 when the Germans were forced to make a rapid
withdrawal to Bad Wörishofen.
T9+FK was the second of two P-47s used by 2/Versuchsverband Ob.d.L. In
May 1945 it was recaptured at Bad Wörishofen.
YF+U is the Ex-358 FS plane. It was used in a Nazi propaganda film.
Later was received the code 7+9 while under evaluation at Rechlin
testing ground and used at demonstrations of the Zirkus
In Chinese/Taiwanese service
After World War II, the
Chinese Nationalist Air Force received 102
P-47Ds used during the Chinese Civil War. The Chinese Communists
captured five P-47Ds from the
Chinese Nationalist forces. In 1948, the
Chinese Nationalists employed 70 P-47Ds and 42 P-47Ns brought to
Taiwan in 1952. P-47s were used extensively in aerial clashes over the
Taiwan Strait between Nationalist and Communist aircraft.
Flying the Thunderbolt
USAAF P-47D "Razorback" configuration.
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-to-medium altitudes). 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 remained comparatively fast and nimble
relative to other aircraft.
The P-47 first saw action with the 4th Fighter Group. The Group's
pilots were mainly drawn from the three British
Eagle Squadrons who
had previously flown the British
Supermarine Spitfire Mark V, a much
smaller and much more slender aircraft. At first they viewed their new
fighter with misgivings. It was huge; the British pilots joked that a
Thunderbolt pilot could defend himself from a
Luftwaffe fighter by
running around and hiding in the fuselage. Optimized for high altitude
work, the Thunderbolt had 5 feet (1.5 m) more wingspan, a quarter
more wing area, about four times the fuselage volume, and nearly twice
the weight of a Spitfire V. 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 P-47, 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 U.S. ace Jim Goodson, who had flown Spitfires with the RAF and
flew a P-47 in 1943, at first shared the skepticism of other pilots
for their "seven-ton milk-bottles". But Goodson learned to appreciate
the P-47's potential: "There were many U.S. pilots who preferred the
P-47 to anything else: they do not agree that the (Fw) 190 held an
overall edge against it."
RAF Thunderbolt Mk.II readying for a sortie over Burma. January 1945
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. Both the Bf 109 and Fw 190 could, like the Spitfire,
out-turn and out-climb the early model P-47s at low-to-medium
altitude. Once paddle blade propellers were added to the P-47 in early
1944, climb performance improved significantly. The Thunderbolt
was the fastest-diving American aircraft of the war—it could reach
speeds of 550 mph (480 kn, 885 km/h).
Some P-47 pilots claimed to have broken the sound barrier, but later
research revealed that because of the pressure buildup inside the
pitot tube at high speeds, airspeed readings became unpredictably
exaggerated. But German pilots gradually learned to avoid diving away
from a Thunderbolt. Kurt Bühligen, a high-scoring German fighter ace
with 112 victories, recalled:
The P-47 was very heavy, too heavy for some maneuvers. We would see it
coming from behind, and pull up fast and the P-47 couldn't follow and
we came around and got on its tail in this way.
The arrival of the new Curtiss paddle blade propeller significantly
increased climb rate at lower altitudes, and came as a surprise 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.[Note 6] With eight .50 in (12.7 mm)
machine guns, the P-47 carried more firepower than other
single-engined American fighters. P-47 pilots claimed 20 Luftwaffe
Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighters and four
Arado Ar 234
Arado Ar 234 jet bombers in
In the Pacific, Colonel
Neel E. Kearby
Neel E. Kearby of the
Fifth Air Force
Fifth Air Force claimed
22 Japanese aircraft and was awarded the
Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor for an action
in which he downed six enemy fighters on a single mission. He was shot
down and killed over
Wewak in March 1944.
Ground attack role
Republic P-47D-40-RE 44-90386 in flight firing rockets
The P-47 proved to be a formidable fighter-bomber due to its good
armament, heavy bomb load and ability to survive enemy fire. The
Thunderbolt's eight .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns were capable against
lightly armored targets, although less so than cannon-armed aircraft
of the day. In a ground attack role, the 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 occasionally damaging some types of enemy armored fighting
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 trains was a favorite
tactic). The adoption of the triple-tube M10 rocket launcher
with M8 high-explosive 4.5 in (110 mm) rockets (each with an
explosive force similar to a 105 mm artillery shell)—much as
Hawker Typhoon gained when first fitted with its own two
quartets of underwing
RP-3 rockets for the same
purposes—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.
Mexican P-47D Thunderbolt over the Philippines.
A French Armée de l'air Republic P-47D Thunderbolt of Escadron de
Chasse 3/3 "Ardennes".
Two P-47 Thunderbolts of IIAF over Tehran.
Bolivian Air Force
Bolivian Air Force (post-war)
Brazilian Expeditionary Force, Brazilian Air Force
85 units 1st Brazilian Fighter Group, 1944–1954
Chilean Air Force
Republic of China
China Air Force
People's Republic of China
Colombian Air Force
Colombian Air Force (1947–1957)
Cuban Air Force
Cuban Air Force (post-war)
Dominican Air Force
Dominican Air Force (1952–1957)
Ecuadorian Air Force
Ecuadorian Air Force (1947–1959)
Free French Air Force
French Air Force
Guatemalan Air Force
Imperial Iranian Air Force
Imperial Iranian Air Force – 50 delivered 1948
Italian Air Force
Italian Air Force – 100 received 1950
Mexican Expeditionary Air Force
Fuerza Aerea de
Nicaragua (provided by the CIA post 1954 action in
Peruvian Air Force
Peruvian Air Force (56 aircraft, July 1947 – 1963)
Air Force of the Polish Army
Air Force of the Polish Army (7-8 aircraft, operated from 1944
Portuguese Air Force
Portuguese Air Force (post-war)
Soviet Air Force
Turkish Air Force
Turkish Air Force – operated 180 P-47Ds from 1948 and 1954.
Royal Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
Venezuelan Air Force
Yugoslav Air Force (150 aircraft, 1952)
Table of P-47 variants
Prototype; cancelled during construction
Prototype; cancelled during construction
Total XP-47, XP-47A
40-3052 (serial number transferred from abortive XP-47A)
Prototype; R-2800-21 engine
R-2800-21 engine; modified metal-covered ailerons; trim tabs; sliding
canopy; windshield defroster; 41-5938 converted to XP-47F with larger
laminar flow wing; 41-6065 converted to XP-47E with pressurized
cockpit and hinged canopy
R-2800-21 engine; strengthened tail surfaces
R-2800-21 engine; eight-inch extension added to fuselage forward of
R-2800-21 engine; belly shackle provided for bomb or fuel tank
R-2800-21 engine; new radio, instruments, and antenna; cockpit heater
R-2800-21 engine; nearly identical to P-47C-2-RE; additional cowl
flaps and pilot armor
R-2800-21 engine; the first variant of the P-47 built at Republic's
new factory in Evansville, Indiana; identical to P-47D-1-RE
R-2800-21 engine; turbocharger shroud removed
R-2800-21 engine; identical to P-47D-2-RE
R-2800-21 engine; minor upgrade to D-2-RA
R-2800-21 engine; Evansville-built P-47D-5-RE
R-2800-21 engine; used
General Electric C-21 supercharger and had
provision for water injection; belly shackle for bomb or fuel tank
reintroduced and was standard on all P-47s from then on; 42-8702
fitted with bubble canopy and redesigned XP-47K
R-2800-21 engine; minor changes to electrical system
New R-2800-63 engine and changes to water injection system
R-2800-63 engine; contained all features introduced between the D-5
and D-10; water injection linked to throttle lever
R-2800-63 engine; identical to P-47D-11-RE
R-2800-63 engine; first model of P-47 with underwing pylons; stronger
R-2800-63 engine; 42-23297 and 42-23298 converted to XP-47H with
Chrysler IV-2220-11 inverted-vee engines; identical to P-47D-15-RE
R-2800-63 engine; minor changes to fuel system
R-2800-63 engine; identical to P-47D-16-RE
New R-2800-59 engine; modified underwing pylons; 42-76614 fitted with
increased fuel capacity and bubble canopy as XP-47L
R-2800-59 engine; identical to P-47D-20-RE
R-2800-59 engine; changes to water injection system
Identical to P-47D-21-RE
R-2800-59 engine; Farmingdale factory switched to Hamilton Standard
R-2800-59 engine; Evansville factory switched to Curtiss Electric
R-2800-59 engine; bubble canopy; fuel capacity increased from 305 to
R-2800-59 engine; identical to P-47D-25-RE
R-2800-59 engine; improved water injection system
R-2800-59 engine; Farmingdale factory switched to Curtiss Electric
paddle-bladed propeller; radio compass added
R-2800-59 engine; Identical to P-47D-28-RE
R-2800-59 engine; Dive brakes added under wings
R-2800-59 engine; Identical to P-47D-30-RE
R-2800-59 engine; Dorsal fin added to vertical stabilizer
P-47Gs were built by Curtiss and used for stateside training; the
P-47G-CU was identical to the P-47C-RE
Identical to P-47C-1-RE
Identical to P-47D-1-RE
Identical to P-47D-5-RE
Identical to P-47D-10-RE; two converted to TP-47G trainer variant
Lightweight prototype; newly-built airframe; reduced armament
High-speed variant using R-2800-57 engine designed to combat German
jet and rocket-powered aircraft
Long-range variant designed for service in the Pacific Theater;
R-2800-57 engine; larger wings with squared-off tips; increased fuel
capacity; automation of some engine controls
R-2800-57 engine; "zero-length" stubs for 5-inch rockets; autopilot
R-2800-73 or -77 engine; new bomb rack and gunsight; autopilot not
fitted to this model
R-2800-73 or -77 engine; backup fuel system added
R-2800-73 or -77 engine; strengthened wings and more automation of
engine control systems
R-2800-73 or -77 engine; the final P-47Ns, and hence the final P-47s,
were built by the Evansville factory
Total, all types
Main article: List of surviving Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Specifications (P-47D-30 Thunderbolt)
P-47N technical drawing
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 (4,535 kg)
Loaded weight: 12,731 lb (5,774.48 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 17,500 lb (7,938 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59B twin-row radial
engine, 2,600 hp (1,938 kW)
Maximum speed: 433 mph at 29,000 ft (697 km/h at 8,839 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: 3,180 ft/min (16.15 m/s)
Wing loading: 42.43 lb/ft2 (207 kg/m2)
Power/mass: 0.204 hp/lb (335 W/kg)
8 × .50 in (12.7 mm)
M2 Browning machine guns (3400 rounds)
Up to 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) of bombs
10 × 5 in (127 mm) unguided rockets
In popular culture
Main article: Aircraft in fiction § P-47 Thunderbolt
P-47 Thunderbolt 42-25068 at Duxford Air Show, 2012
Broadcast radio interviews of several wartime P-47 pilots appear on
the CD audiobook
USAAF at War 1942–45, including an account by
Lieutenant J.K. Dowling of ground support operations around Cherbourg
in June 1944, and a group of four pilots from the 362nd Fighter Wing
(Ninth Air Force) in conversation at their mess in Rouvres,
24 December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge.
Laughter and Tears, by Captain George Rarey, a posthumous
publication of letters and sketches from a pilot in the 379th Air
group flying P-47s based in England.
Pilots would often claim that one could fly a P-47 through a brick
wall and live, in the post-war era one
Air National Guard
Air National Guard Thunderbolt
plowed into the second story of a factory, shearing off its wings,
with the crumpled fuselage eventually coming to rest inside the
building, the pilot walked away alive.
The Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu, while in residence in the US
wrote an orchestral scherzo in 1945 entitled P-47 Thunderbolt (H 309)
in homage to the aircraft and its role in World War II.
Other media include Thunderbolt, a 1947 color documentary film
John Sturges and William Wyler, featuring James Stewart
Lloyd Bridges and narrated by Robert Lowery. The film Fighter
Squadron (1948) depicts a P-47 Thunderbolt unit.
"Thunderbolts: The Conquest of the Reich", a 2001 television
documentary presented by the History Channel. Director Lawrence Bond
depicted the last months of
World War II
World War II over Germany as told by four
P-47 pilots of the 362nd Fighter Group using original, all color 1945
footage. The P-47 Thunderbolt was the subject of an episode of the
World's Deadliest Aircraft series broadcast by the Military Channel.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Samuel Johnson collaborated with aviation
author Martin Caidin to write his autobiographical story of the 56th
Fighter Group, Thunderbolt!, in 1958. Johnson scored 27 kills in the
P47 while flying with the 56th Fighter Group.
Military of the
United States portal
United States Air Force portal
A-10 Thunderbolt II
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Grumman F6F Hellcat
Vought F4U Corsair
Focke-Wulf Fw 190
North American P-51 Mustang
List of aircraft of World War II
List of military aircraft of the United States
List of fighter aircraft
^ Fairchild Republic was the most recent incarnation of the original
Republic aerospace company, now considered defunct.
^ The P-47 can trace its lineage back to earlier Seversky designs:
P-35, XP-41, P-43 and the unbuilt P-44.
^ After a change in the board of directors, Alexander P. de Seversky
was removed from the newly reorganized
Republic Aviation company, with
former Managing Director Wallace Kellett taking over as CEO.
^ Historians argue that the nickname "Jug" was short for "Juggernaut"
when aviators began using the longer word as an alternate
nickname. Another nickname that was used for the Thunderbolt was
^ Zemke flew a P-38 for three of his kills.
Quentin C. Aanenson
Quentin C. Aanenson documented his experiences flying the
D-Day and subsequently in the
European Theater in his
documentary, A Fighter Pilot's Story (also released as Dogfight.).
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The initial version of this article was based on a public domain
article from Greg Goebel's Vectorsite.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to P-47 Thunderbolt.
"Design Analysis of the P-47 Thunderbolt" by Nicholas Mastrangelo,
Chief Technical Publications,
Republic Aviation Corporation
WWII P-47 pilots' Encounter Reports (4th, 56th, 78th, 352nd, 353rd,
355th, 361st FGs)
"It's The Thunderbolt", December 1942 article in Popular Science.
The short film How to Fly the P-47: Pilot Familiarization is available
for free download at the Internet Archive
P-47 Pilot's Flight Operation Instructions, April 10, 1942.
USAAF At War 1942–45 audiobook with wartime P-47 pilot interviews.
"Thunderbolt's Own Back Yard!" a 1943 Republic advertisement for the
Thunderbolt in Flight
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