Oxford AC032 USAAF Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Fighter - 22nd Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter Group, Belgium, 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", the P-47D was one of the most important, widely produced fighter of the American Air Force during the WWII. Although the P-47D was the largest and heaviest single-seat aircraft to see service in the Second World War, it became a high speed and high altitude capable fighter when powered by the huge 2000hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" engine and a unique supercharging system. Shaped with a sharp upper ridge, the early types of P-47D were given a name "Razorback". During the war, the Razorbacks served as striking fighters and sometimes escort fighters of the allied bombers when conducting raids over Germany.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a P-47D Thunderbolt fighter that was attached to the 22nd Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter Group, then deployed to Belgium during 1944. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: February 2013
Historical Account: "Jugs" - Transferred to III Fighter Command in June 1943, the 22nd Fighter Squadron began training for deployment to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) as a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber squadron. Deployed to England in April 1944 as part of IX Fighter Command. Initial missions included strafing and dive-bombing armored vehicles, trains, bridges, buildings, factories, troop concentrations, gun emplacements, airfields, and other targets in preparation for the invasion of Normandy. The squadron also flew some escort missions with Eighth Air Force Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator strategic bombers.
On D-Day the squadron patrolled the air over the landing zones and by flying close-support and interdiction missions. Moved to its Advanced Landing Ground at Brucheville Field, France (A-16) in July, then eastward as ground forces advanced on the continent. Operations supported the breakthrough at Saint-L in July and the thrust of U.S. Third Army toward Germany in August and September as part of the 303d Fighter Wing, XIX Tactical Air Command. In October, the squadron moved into Belgium to support U.S. Ninth Army.
Participated in the Battle of the Bulge during December 1944 and January 1945 by flying armed reconnaissance and close-support missions. Aided U.S. First Army's push across the Roer River in February 1945. Supported operations at the Remagen bridgehead and during the airborne assault across the Rhine in March.
By V-E Day, the squadron was based at Kassel/Rothwesten airfield, Germany (ALG R-12), where it remained until February 1946 as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe Army of Occupation. In February, the unit was transferred, without personnel or equipment to Bolling Field, Washington, D.C where it was inactivated as a paper unit.