All of the sections of a rare P-47 Thunderbolt WWII fighter have arrived at The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Airbase Georgia in Peachtree City, Ga. The P-47 is expected to be a long-term restoration project and when complete it will join the noteworthy Airbase Georgia fleet of operating aircraft, including its Dauntless SBD dive bomber, P-51 Mustang, FG-1D Corsair, and P-63 Kingcobra. The Airbase is currently restoring two additional WWII training aircraft, a Boeing-Stearman N2S and a PT-19 Cornell.
The Thunderbolt was a highly acclaimed WWII fighter known for its combat effectiveness. It also had a strong presence in the Georgia Air National Guard after the war when the 128th Fighter Squadron at Marietta Army Airfield was equipped with P-47N Thunderbolts. The 158th Fighter Squadron activated at Chatham Army Airfield, Pooler, also flew P-47Ns.
The specific aircraft at Airbase Georgia did not see WWII combat, but it was used effectively in Nicaragua and Guatemala in the 1950s. The CAF acquired the aircraft in 1962 but it was heavily damaged in 2002 when it caught fire during takeoff, severely burning part of the fuselage and the right wing.
“We are proud that Airbase Georgia has been selected to restore this important piece of WWII history,” said Airbase leader Joel Perkins. “Our skilled mechanics will restore and replace parts and eventually complete the P-47 by adding an engine and modern avionics. This will require painstaking work, but the final product will be a beautiful, flying warbird that will serve the mission of the CAF, be in demand for airshows around the country, and inspire the next generation of pilots, mechanics and citizens.”
Looking nearly complete, structurally speaking at least, there is a lot of work remaining, especially with the aircraft’s systems, before the fighter can head aloft once more. Anyone wishing to support the project should click HERE to do so. We look forwards to bringing regular progress reports as her rebuild continues!
About the CAF Airbase Georgia Warbird Museum
CAF Airbase Georgia, based in Peachtree City, Ga., was founded in 1987. The Airbase is one of the largest units of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). The group maintains and flies seven vintage military aircraft including a P-51 Mustang, an FG-1D Corsair, an SBD Dauntless, and a P-63A Kingcobra. The Airbase, which is composed of more than 400 volunteers, has hosted WWII Heritage Days since 2003. The organization is also a founding partner of the Georgia WWII Heritage Trail launched in 2021. The Airbase is part of the CAF, a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that relies on contributions of time and funds to carry out its mission. For more information, go to https://airbasegeorgia.org/.
About the CAF
The Commemorative Air Force is the world’s largest flying museum, with a fleet of more than 180 World War II-era airplanes assigned to unit locations across the United States. Nearly all of the aircraft are kept in flying condition, enabling people to experience firsthand the sights and sounds of vintage military aircraft in flight. Supported by 13,000 volunteer members, the CAF is dedicated to honoring American military aviation through flight, exhibition, education and remembrance.