Dragon DRW50203 USAAF Republic P-47D-40-RA Thunderbolt Fighter - Howard M. Park, "Big Ass Bird II", 406th Fighter Group, 513th Fighter Squadron, 9th Air Force, 1944-45 (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-40-RA Thunderbolt that was nicknamed "Big Ass Bird II" and piloted by Howard M. Park of the 513th Fighter Squadron, 406th Fighter Group, from 1944-45. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: July 2007
Historical Account: "Rocketeers" - The 513th squadron was known as the "rocket" squadron within the group. The 513th was the first unit in the Ninth Air Force during WWII to be equipped with air to ground unguided rockets. They were the 5" HVRA (high velocity aircraft rocket), which rang the death bell for the enemy Tiger tanks as well as locomotives, armored vehicles, gun emplacements, etc.
Aircraft identification was "4P-" along with bright red noses and was one of the first squadrons to be deployed to the continent following D-Day. The 513th aircraft was instrumental in the annihilation of the enemy armored divisions during their attempt to flee through the "Falais Gap."
One pilot, Lt. Howard Park, was credited with sinking a German warship in the harbor at Brest with his rockets. They also contributed mightily in repelling the enemy daily offensives around the perimeter front lines at Bastogne. Commanded by Major Gordon W. Fowler, KIA (The SS enemy troops murdered him after he landed safely in his parachute), during the Rhine crossing. The squadron continued its devastation of the enemy's strongholds until he surrendered.