Hobby Master HA8401 USAAF Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Fighter - Francis Gabreski, 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, June 1944 (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-47D from the USAAF 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, which was flown by Lieutenant Colonel Francis S. Gabreski over France in 1944. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 10 inches
Length: 8.75 inches
Release Date: June 2013
Historical Account: "Gabby" - Francis Stanley "Gabby" Gabreski (Franciszek Gabryszewski) (January 28th, 1919 - January 31st, 2002) was the top American fighter ace in Europe during World War II, a jet fighter ace in Korea, and a career officer in the United States Air Force with more than 26 years service.
Although best known for his credited destruction of 34.5 aircraft in aerial combat and being one of only seven U.S. pilots to become an ace in two wars, Gabreski was also one of the Air Force's most accomplished leaders. In addition to commanding two fighter squadrons, Gabreski had six command tours at group or wing level, including one in combat in Korea, totaling over eleven years of command and fifteen overall in operational fighter assignments.
After his Air Force career, Gabreski headed the Long Island Rail Road, a commuter railroad owned by the State of New York, and struggled in his attempts to improve its service and financial condition. After two and a half years he resigned under pressure and went into full retirement.