Hub Zemke's P-47 S/N 42-26413 "Oregons Britannia" was it his plane or someone else's?

Discussion in 'Questions on Kits, Decals, Tools and Pilots' started by Northwest48, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Northwest48

    Northwest48 Member

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    I'm going to try modeling the P-47D "Oregons Britannia" that I think was flown by Hub Zemke. It also had another name "Happy Warrior" and the plane may have been flown by another pilot (I forget his name). I have appropriate decals and some photos of the actual plane and a restoration version in the air museum at Duxford UK. I just wanted to check to see if anyone knew the history of the plane. There are no victory stickers shown in the photos. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The aircraft was originally flown by Hub Zemke, from at least early June 1944, carrying the 'Oregons Britannia' name on the port mid fuselage, and was the last P-47 used by him before his departure from the 56th on 12th August 1944.
    The aircraft then passed to Maj. Harold E Comstock, CO of the 63 rd FS, when the code letter 'Z' changed from black to grey, the rudder was painted mid blue, and the 'Happy Warrior' name was added, in yellow, on the port fuselage side, in front of, and below the windscreen, following his promotion to Major on 17 September, 1944. It was also flown by a number of other piltos during this period, and was eventually written of when it stalled in, following engine failure on approach to Boxted,when being flown by Lt. Sam Batson, who was killed in the crash.
    Unlike the restoration at Duxford, it appears the aircraft did not carry the 'UN' code letters.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Northwest48

    Northwest48 Member

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    Thank you for the excellent information. One question of clarification...When Zemke flew the aircraft, the name Happy Warrior had not yet been applied, and also the rudder was not mid-blue. Is that right? If so, I am guessing the rudder would have followed the rest of the camouflage pattern.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Correct. The 'Happy Warrior' name was applied by (or at the request of) 'Bunny' Comstock, celebrating his promotion on 17 September, 1944, over a month after Zemke had moved on. The blue rudder would have been 'added' at the time the squadrons of the 56th applied their squadron colours to the aircraft, around mid September onwards.
    When Zemke flew it, the rudder was as the rest of the aircraft, with the 'Oregons Britannia' name, a War Bonds title, painted in black, which was partially covered by the AEAF stripes which were applied on the evening of 5th June. Zemke scored six 'kills' in this aircraft. The name was once more fully visible, when the stripes were removed from the upper fuselage and wing surfaces.
    Profiles below from Osprey's '56th Fighter Group', by the late Roger A Freeman, probably the authority on the 8th USAAF.
     

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  5. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    A cookie for Terry!
     
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