Dragon DRW50289 USAAF Republic P-47M Thunderbolt Fighter - 44-21149 "Ole Miss Lib", 63rd Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, Early 1945 (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.
The model is beautifully crafted, with the panel lines cleanly molded on this die-cast miniature. All components are present in splendid detail, while the camouflage scheme is quite simply a work of art. When the P-47M appeared in January 1945, 63rd Fighter Squadron adopted a shadow-shading pattern of deep Mediterranean blue (basically indigo) applied over sky blue. This scheme makes for a most attractive model, added to which is the red-painted nose of the 56th Fighter Group. This high-speed fighter from Dragon is sure to be a hit, so collectors will need to pursue it swiftly to make sure they catch it! Sold Out!
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: December 2007
Historical Account: "Ole Miss Lib" - Christened 'Ole Miss Lib', the aircraft shown here belonged to Captain Thomas W. Smith of the 63rd Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, in early 1945. The name stems from the fact that the pilot's wife 'Lib' (Elizabeth) had returned to complete her studies at 'Ole Miss' (the University of Mississippi). The 63rd Fighter Squadron had been activated in January 1941, and the 'Panthers' became one of the most successful squadrons in the U.S. Air Force, with 167.5 aerial kills, and 110 enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground. Not only was the 56th Fighter Group the first to receive the Thunderbolt, but the 63rd Fighter Squadron also kept theirs until the end of the war.