P-47s Did It All

Air & Space Smithsonian - - Technically Speaking - —LINDA SHINER

IN THE MONTHS BE­FORE Nor­mandy, P-47 Thun­der­bolt pi­lots be­gan us­ing their fight­ers to bomb and strafe tar­gets on the ground. After the P-51 Mus­tang ar­rived in Eng­land, the 56th Fighter Group, alone among the units of the Eighth Air Force, con­tin­ued fly­ing P-47s as bomber es­corts; it re­mained the Eighth’ s top-scor­ing group.

Among the T-bolt’s lau­rels are the at­tacks that helped re­pel the Nazi ad­vance known as the Bat­tle of the Bulge, the World War II bat­tle that proved most costly for Amer­i­cans. (For the P-47’s con­tri­bu­tion to the break­out from France, see “The Day After D-day,” p. 42.)

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