"Hell Hawks"
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt

More Republic P-47 Thunderbolts were produced than any other US fighter. 15,683 Thunderbolts were built between 1940 and 1945, with more ‘D’ models built than any other aircraft sub-type in history. The ‘Jug’, named for its bulky shape, was a monster of a machine, yet it was fast and maneuverable. The pilot had enormous power at his fingertips and knew that if he was hit by gunfire, he had an excellent chance of making it home safely. With a fully loaded weight of 20,000 lb. a late model P-47N was heavier than a German Dornier Do 17 bomber with a full load of bombs.

This painting shows a flight of 365th Fighter Group Thunderbolts taking off from a forward airfield in Europe in the winter of 1944. This fighter group, named the ‘Hell Hawks’, flew close air support as part of the Ninth Air Force in support of Allied ground forces as they advanced across France and into Germany. The painting was inspired by the excellent book ‘Hell Hawks’ by Robert Dorr and Thomas Jones.