in WW2, but its pilots loved it – considering it to be a flying tank. Of course, I’m talking about the P-47 Thunderbolt.
I’ve just come across a fantastic video – on order from General Hap Arnold it was shot in color during the closing months of WW2 in the ETO with the 362nd Fighter Group.
Coupled with the color film are interviews with former squadron members many years later, on what it was like in those days.
A few things I learned:
1. 7 out of 10 American Aces flew the Thunderbolt.
2. It was one of the fastest planes in WW2 – capable of 600 mph in a dive.
The young pilots wore no G-Suits, of course.
3. In one 10 day period, Thunderbolts destroyed over 500 German tanks.
4. It took 25 men to maintain 1 P-47.
5. These months took a toll – in the film you see by war’s end 50% of the pilots you see would be a causality.
6. Of the
50,000 15,000 made during the war, less than 10 are flying today.
Here’s some more facts on the Jug.