Armour Collection B11C998 USAAF Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter - Jay Bloom, "Bloom's Tomb", 514th Fighter Squadron, 406th 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 USAAF Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter that was piloted by Jay Bloom and nicknamed "Bloom's Tomb", who was attached to the 514th Fighter Squadron, 406th Fighter Group. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 10 inches
Length: 8.75 inches
Historical Account: "Bloom's Tomb" - There were actually nine (9) P-47s that sported the name of "Bloom's Tomb." He then proceeded to relate the following facts.
The first P-47 assigned to him was a Razorback P-47 which, on returning from a mission over Europe on June 8th, 1944, under the control of Lt. Elmo Hall, cracked-up upon landing, due to a faulty hydraulic system on the left wheel. Pilot walked away, uninjured.
The second P-47 sporting the name Bloom's Tomb, a P-47D-42-8473, crash landed on French terrain under German control, on June 29th, 1944. Lt. Levitt C. Beck who was piloting that plane, escaped from that crash relatively unscathed, and with assistance from a young Frenchman, escaped from the enemy. L.C. Beck remained hidden by the French Underground in the attic of a French cafe, in the small town of Anet; while that French Resistance group planned and arranged for Beck's possible escape and return to friendly territory.
On September 10th, 1944, while supporting Gen. Patton's advancing III Army, Lt. "Ike" J. Dorsey III, flying another P-47 with the name Bloom's Tomb, was hit by enemy flack and crash landed that P-47 right on the front line, between the American and German troops. This pilot also escaped injury, and with the help of an American Infantry Noncom, also escaped being captured by the enemy; returning to the 514th Fighter Squadron two days later. Incidently, the plane that "Ike" was flying that day, was one that J.C. did a little experimenting with. He had the tips of his propeller blades, and a few feet on the end of the plane's wings, painted red. The purpose of this was to make the plane appear somewhat smaller, in hopes of possibly confusing the enemy.
On December 17th, 1945, Lt. Donald O. Dorman, Jr., flying still another BLOOM'S TOMB, a P-47 D28 44-20081, was hit by enemy ack-ack, and had to bailout of his plane over enemy territory; ending up a POW of the German Army. This accounted for four Bloom's Tombs that were either severely damaged, or destroyed.
Four other such aircraft assigned to this pilot, were replaced when they were shipped back to the Replacement Depot for major overhauls because of extensive flack damage (such as approximately seventy five holes of varying size in the fuselage), and other equally serious problems. (courtesy: 406th WWII Fighter Group)