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The Great LSM Twins Group Build ends July 3, 2024 ×

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, KL216, RAF Museum, Hendon


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This P-47D on display in the Main Hall of the RAF Museum, Hendon was never on charge with an RAF unit. Indeed, this P-47D-40-RA, built at Evansville, in June, 1945, was never issued to a U.S. frontline unit! It remained with various USAF storage units until May, 1952, when it was sent to Yugoslavia (at that time nominally neutral) under the Mutual Assistance Pact.


In 1985, Doug Arnold, who was a great aircraft 'wheeler and dealer', managed to get two stored Yugoslav P-47s out of Belgrade and brought them back to his nascent 'Warbirds of Great Britain Collection' in Leicestershire. He swapped one of them for a Spitfire LF XIVe which had been 'on the gate' at an RAF base, and the RAF Museum took charge of the Thunderbolt. Work was undertaken at the Restoration Centre at RAF Cosford, then a heavy rebuild to static exhibition standard was undertaken by The Fighter Company at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Evetually, it would appear in 2004 at Hendon in a Dark Earth, Dark Green camouflage scheme, typical of SEAC, with the white markings on the cowling, wings and tail to identify it as a P-47.


It is shown as a Thunderbolt Mk II, 'KL216' of No 30 Squadron (Motto: 'Ventre a terre' - 'All out'), coded 'RS - L', which flew the T-bolt from July, 1944 to June, 1946, when they were replaced by Tempest Mk II aircraft. (Tekst copied from http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/16/1216519/-RAF-P-47D-Thunderbolt-big-and-burly-just-right-for-Burma# )


I didn't do a complete walk-around, just snapped a couple of details that may come in handy when you're building a big-scale P-47!





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