Conceived as a short-range, high-altitude, point-defence interceptor, the P-47 was sent to the fighter groups of VIII Fighter Command because there was nothing else. It was the wrong airplane for the job: too short-ranged to escort the bombers, and ordered not to fight its opponents below 20,000 ft. However, unceasing technical effort in the field and factory resulted in a fighter that could take the bombers all the way to the target and back, while its pilots learned how to take on the enemy on the deck or at 30,000 ft. The P-47 was produced in greater numbers than any other American fighter ever, the Thunderbolt was one of the true immortals of World War Two and the type is celebrated in this 116 page special.
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