Armour Collection B11B613 USAAF Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter - Howard Park, "Big Ass Bird II", 513th Fighter Squadron, 406 Fighter Group (1:48 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
Nicknamed the "Jug" for its bulky shape, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was considered a monster of a machine. Despite its size, the Thunderbolt proved to be a fast and maneuverable warbird able to hold its own in combat. In fact, when Allied pilots climbed aboard a P-47, they knew the were in control of a fighting machine with enormous power. More importantly, they knew that if their aircraft was hit but gunfire, they had an excellent chance of making it home.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of a P-47 nicknamed "Big Ass Bird II" and flown by the 513th Fighter Squadron, 406 Fighter Group. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 10 inches
Length: 8.75 inches
Historical Account: "Big Ass Bird" - Having joined the service in 1942, Howard Park trained as a fighter pilot. Posted to Europe to join the 406th Fighter Group in April 1944, he flew over 140 combat missions with the 513th Fighter Squadron on rocket firing ground attack P47 Thunderbolts, Howard flew the P47 'Big Ass Bird'. On D-Day the 406th were the first Fighter Group in action over Utah Beach. Engaged heavily on attacking ground targets, Howard sank a German naval vessel in Brest harbour using air-to-ground rockets, but still managed to notch up victories over three Me109s in only five aerial encounters with the enemy. During the Battle of the Bulge, the 406th FG were the only 9th Air Force unit exclusively assigned to the defence of the beleaguered town of Bastogne, attacking the besieging German forces with devastating success. Howard flew P47s in combat through until the final days of the war in May 1945.