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Saturday, February 25, 2017


Discovery Channel - Great Planes - Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

The splash screen is a lie. The whole thing is grainy WW2 footage and it's mostly done in black and white. I suspect the narrator has a lot to do with whether I can watch a documentary or not. Or maybe it's the music. This isn't a great video, but it's tolerable.

The video points out that the P-47 was the most produced American fighter aircraft ever, but what they don't tell you is that the P-51 was a close second. (See my spreadsheet for the glory details).

Lady Jane
One of the planes in the video is named Lady Jane, and I'm wondering who the reference might be. I know the Rolling Stones recorded a song by that name, but that wasn't around during WW2, so I did a little checking. Finally found this:
71 missions from May 1943 to April 1944. P-47 plane name was 'Lady Jane', for his future wife. DSC/ DFC w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster/ AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster 5
So regular old romance, no hi-faulutin' literary reference.

Loading Ammunition into P-47 wing magazines
I can sort of understand how an all-metal airplane can fly: the aluminum is thin enough that the whole airplane doesn't weigh much compared to the amount of surface area it presents. But it becomes a little more difficult to understand when the wings are full of lead and brass and not just empty space.

Mariana Islands (Blue Markers) in the South Pacific
Orange Markers are Okinawa (upper left), Palau (lower left) and Marshall Islands (lower right)
Tokyo is near top center, Taiwan left center, and Manila is lower left.
My father flew on B-24's in the South Pacific during WW2, so I was more interested in that portion than the stuff about Europe. I'd heard of the Mariana Islands before, but I didn't realize it was THE major turning point of the war in the Pacific. But then I recalled hearing about The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.


Ole Phat Stu said...

Did you know : The training movie for the P47 was spoken by Ronald Reagan .

Chuck Pergiel said...

Maybe that's how you get to be President - by speaking.