The US aviation industry produced three great fighter designs to equip its burgeoning army air force during World War 2, and of this trio, Republic's P-47 Thunderbolt was easily the heaviest. Powered, crucially, by a turbocharged Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engine that produced 2000 hp, the first production fighters reached the 56th FG in June 1942, and six months later the group joined the Eight Air Force in Britain. The arrival of the first P-47Cs in mid-1943 addressed the problem of the aircraft's short combat radius, as this model could be fitted with an external tank. Slowly, as combat tactics evolved in units like the 56th and 78th FGs, pilots learnt how best to fly the Thunderbolt in order to effectively counter the more nimble Luftwaffe fighters.
About the Author
Jerry Scutts has worked in the field of aviation publishing since the late 1960s, writing over 40 books that have covered a broad spectrum of subject matter ranging from US Navy floatplane fighters in World War 2 to the exploits of the USAF_s Phantom IIs over Vietnam. His specialist areas are the Luftwaffe and the US Army Air Forces in World War 2, and he originally appeared on the Osprey list as long ago as 1977, when he wrote the second volume in the now much sought after Air Cam Air War series –- many of the jacket illustrations in this series were also painted by him. Jerry has been a regular contributor to Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces series since its inception in 1994.
Table of Contents
Early Days/Extended Range/Bloody Battles/Maximum Effort/Build Up to D-Day and Beyond/Arnhem and into Germany/Final Clashes/Appendices