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P-47 Thunderbolt - Planes of Fame

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P-47 Thunderbolt - Planes of Fame Air Museum

Also see museums:
P-47D Squirt VIII Palm Springs Air
P-47 Thunderbolt American Aircraft

P-47 Thunderbold in flight

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

P-47 Thunderbolts were often referred to as "jug", short for juggernaut, a word used to describe an unstoppable force and also because of its shape, which was 'tubbier' than the other fighters. This fatter shape was to the accommodate the big air-cooled engine that powered it. The P-47 Thunderbolt was one of the main US Army Air Force fighters in World War II.

This Thunderbolt is painted with the paint scheme and markings of the WWII era P-47D that was flown by 56th Fighter Group ace Walker M. "Bud" Mahurin. His aircraft was shot down on March 27, 1944, by a rear gunner of a German Donier Do-217. Mahurin was able to bail out and evade capture with the help of the French Resistance, eventually returning to England. It was standard army policy to protect the French Underground and the pilot by sending pilots back to the United State who had knowledge of the French Underground. A pilot who was captured and suspected of being involved with the Underground from the prior escape could be treated as a saboteur and a spy. So Mahurin was automatically sent back to the United States. His next assignment was to the Pacific.

Capt. W. Mahurin's name and that of crew chief, Sgt. J. Barnes are painted on the starboard side near the cockpit, next to 11 victory markings. On both sides of the plane is painted the name "Spirit of Atlantic City, N.J." The letters UN and M appear, denoting the squadron and individual aircraft. The original plane was a dedication aircraft, paid for by the citizens of Atlantic City, New Jersey, with the purchase of War bonds.

~ Photos taken at Planes of Fame Air Museum - Chino, CA

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