Although not operated by the RNZAF, New Zealand pilots did fly the Thunderbolt in RAF service - notably in Burma. Aircraft of this type were operated in the Pacific theatre by the USAAF. The example pictured below (42-8066) was operated by the 4911(F) group in New Guinea. The 'Jug' was recovered in 1975 by Bill Chapman and Charles Darby from a swamp about 40 kilometres from Port Moresby. It had forced landed after running out of fuel. Believed to be the oldest P-47 extant, the aircraft went on display at MoTaT in 1987, before being passed to the RNZAF museum. The aircraft has subsequently been used as a swap item by the Museum, and is now in Australia.
Last Update:- 12 May, 1997
Figures are for P-47D model
© 1997 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved