Corgi US33822 USAAF Republic P-47D-5 Thunderbolt Fighter - Major Gerald Johnson, 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, Gusap, New Guinea, 1944 (1:72 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 1:72 scale replica of a P-47D Thunderbolt flown by legendary ace Gerald Johnson when he was assigned to the 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, based at Gusap, New Guinea, during 1944. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 6.75 inches
Length: 6 inches
Release Date: May 2007
Historical Account: "A Tony and a Zeke" - The 9th FS reluctantly gave up its P-38s for P-47s following the attritional Rabaul campaign of late 1943. Although Lightnings were in short supply in the Pacific theater, there were plenty of heavyweight Thunderbolts available, so the unit converted to the Republic fighter in November 1943. The 9th FS was the only unit within the 49th FG to re-equip with the P-47, and its pilots were not impressed with the big fighter. As if to prove their point, only three aces claimed kills with the fighter, including the squadron's CO, Major Gerald Johnson. He claimed a "Tony" and a "Zeke" with this very aircraft, which bore his command stripes, in December 1943 and January 1944.