Armour Collection B11F046 USAAF Republic P-47D Razorback Thunderbolt Fighter - "The Flying Abortion", 1st Air Commando Group, Burma, 1944 (1:48 Scale)
"The Air Commando concept was to have a self sufficient, self-contained force that could deploy anywhere in the world and conduct operations."
- Retired Brig. Gen. Harry C. "Heinie" Aderholt, a commander of Air Commandos in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War
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-47D Razorback Thunderbolt fighter that was nicknamed 'The Flying Abortion', and attached to the 1st Air Commando Group, then deployed to Burma, in 1944. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 10 inches
Length: 8.75 inches
Release Date: February 2009
Historical Account: "Burmese Pythons" - The 1st Air Commando Group was a U.S. Army Air Force group of fighters, bombers, transports, military gliders and small planes operating in the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II. They were part of the U.S. Tenth Air Force providing air support for the British Fourteenth Army in the Burma Campaign.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, amidst the Quebec Conference in August 1943, was impressed by Brigadier Orde Wingate's account of what could be accomplished in Burma with proper air support. To comply with Roosevelt's proposed air support for British long range penetration operations in Burma, the United States Army Air Forces created the 5318th Air Unit to support the Chindits. In March 1944, they were designated the 1st Air Commando Group by USAF Commander General Hap Arnold. Arnold chose Colonel John R. Alison and Colonel Philip Cochran as co-commanders of the unit.
Alison was a veteran flight instructor of P-40 aircraft, and gained renown as a pilot with Major David Lee "Tex" Hill's 75th Fighter Squadron, part of Col Robert Lee Scott, Jr.'s 23rd Fighter Group, the USAF successor of the AVG's famed Flying Tigers in the China-Burma-India Theatre. General Claire Lee Chennault lobbied to Arnold, who knew Alison from service at Langley Field, suggesting Alison be given the new command. Cochran was a decorated P-40 veteran pilot from the North Africa Campaign, noted for his unconventional aeriel tactics.
The group consisted of 13 C-47 air transports, 225 Waco CG-4A military gliders, a squadron of 30 P-51 Mustangs, a squadron of 12 B-25H bombers and 100 L-1 and L-5 Sentinel liaison aircraft. The group tested the United States' first use of a helicopter in combat, six Sikorsky R-4s, in May 1944.