Purchase these Items

Products mentioned in this Article




P-47D Thunderbolt

P-47  P-47

The P-47 Thunderbolt, or Jug as it was also called, was designed to take on the role of the aging US Army’s P-40 Warhawk (known as the Kittyhawk in British and Soviet service). The heavily armed fighter excelled as a long-range escort fighter as well as an adept ground-attack plane.

By 1940 the army needed a dedicated heavy fighter to contend with the German fighters of the time. The aircraft was truly a monster from its not-so-humble beginnings. Powered by a massive Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp two-row 18-cylinder radial engine, the aircraft could achieve 412 mph (663 kph) at an altitude of 25,800 ft (7,864 m). It weighed 9,900 pounds (4,490 kg) empty and flew into combat with eight 0.50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns, four in each wing.

The P-47 first saw combat in early 1943 and saw a limited use as fighter interceptors and escorts during the majority of the year. However it wasn’t long before the Thunderbolt demonstrated its value as an excellent ground-attack fighter.


In 1944 the “Razorback” canopy was replaced by the distinctive bubble canopy which greatly improved visibility as well fixed a fatal flaw of the canopy jamming when trying to eject. This new arrangement also improved the stability of the aircraft. Larger fuel tanks and new British gun sights made the Thunderbolt truly a terror to face in the skies above Europe.

Against ground targets the P-47 could absorb tremendous damage while inflicting its own measure of pain with its eight .50 caliber machine-guns and bombs. 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 ended the war with 3,752 air-to-air kills claimed to 3,499 P-47 losses to all causes in combat.

The famous 56th Fighter Group, of the 8th Air Force, flew P-47D Thunderbolts. The unit claimed 665.5 air victories and 311 ground kills, at the cost of 128 aircraft.

Famous members included Lieutenant Colonel Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski who scored 31 victories, Captain Bob Johnson who scored 27 and Commanding Officer Colonel Hubert Zemke who scored 17.75 kills. The 56th Fighter Group remained the top-scoring group in aerial victories throughout the war.
The P-47 served in US service until 1949, receiving the new designation F-47 in 1948. The fighter had a proved itself over the European and the Pacific theatres and was used widely by other Allied nations throughout the war. Its successful ground attack legacy lives on in the A-10 Thunderbolt II, named in honor of the sturdy American aircraft of World War II.

In Flames Of War

The Thunderbolt can support any Late-war American force from Festung Europa, D Minus 1, Bloody Omaha, and Cobra as Priority Air Support for 190 points or Limited Air Support for 150 points.

The Thunderbolt comes armed with machine-guns and bombs. Machine-guns Hit on 2+, have an Anti-tank of 6 (which strikes side armour) and Firepower of 5+. The Bombs Hit on 4+, have an Anti-tank of 5 (which strikes the top armour) and Firepower of 1+.

The bombs are best against armoured and dug-in targets. While the machine-guns are good against armoured vehicles with weak side armour.

The box comes with one P-47 Thunderbolt, flying stands, bombs and decals.

Painted by Jeremy Painter


Last Updated On Thursday, March 22, 2012 by Chris at Battlefront