Republic P-47 Thunderbolt - (scan - donated)

Entered service Apr 43 with 56th Fighter Group of 8th Air Force and showed good combat qualities--high speed and rate of climb and exceptional sturdiness; 8 .50 caliber guns--4 in each wing--gave it awesome fire power. Fairly quiet and roomy by fighter standards. Escorted bombers for a while until P-51, with about twice the escort range, came along. Ultimately, P-47 became outstanding fighter-bomber and medium bomber because of its bomb capacity of 2000 pounds. In deep interdiction strikes against rail and road targets, it destroyed thousands of locomotives, railway rolling stock, trucks, tanks, and other vehicles. Eeight and ruggedness made it an ideal gun platform for strafing. Overall kill ratio about 5:1. Remained operational until 1952, and stayed in service in some Central American air forces several years later.

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