Russian P-47

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2nd Lieutenant
Nov 3, 2004
Praga Mater Urbium
Came across something interesting, that I just thought I would share. I always knew that the Russians got a great deal of Allied aircraft assistance during the war, B25's, P51's, B29s, P39's, P40's, the accasional B17, DC3s, Hurri's Spits and even the odd Boston here and there.....but P47s too?


That one was new on me.
I've heard it mentioned before but never in great deal. It's literally been "The Ruskies got some Thunderbolts too ... but I don't know how many." Which has been really helpful ... not. Good find on the picture, by the way.
Heres a couple quotes from

"I have heard that some were used as inteceptors over Moscow-
A total of 203 were said to have been delivered to the USSR.
They were "ferried to Abaden, Iran, where they were turned over to Soviet pilots"

"Other online sources state that 195 "D" models went to Russia, who (the Russians) apparently did not like them that much."

"The Red Army Air Force gets 196 Thunderbolts P-47D-22-RE P-47D-27-RE. The Russian pilots did not like it. They said that under 6.000 meters Thunderbolt was more like a flying heavy target rather than a fighter. It was probably intended to be a high altitude escort fighter but Russians did not have many heavy bombers to escort. So most Thunderbolts did not reach the front and served in the air defense units in Roumania, Hungary and 50 of them in the North fleet. In such way P-47 was not used in combat by Soviets."

Ivan the *Terrible*Moderator
Posted Fri February 27 2004 10:58
Translated from I`m not the best translator in the world, but this will give you an idea.

"Year 1944 and 1945. The press-service of firm Republic very much frequently published a symbolical picture of four fighters Ð-47 "Thunderbolt" in colors of the Air Forces of USA, the Great Britain, Brazil and Soviet Union. But " group portrait " does not suffice only "Thunderbolt" with a cocarde of the French Air Forces. Within the second world war fighters Ð-47 consist in arcenal of the Air Forces of five states.

By quantity(amount) received "Thunderbolt" Soviet Union takes the fourth place. William Green in the fundamental work " Warplanes of the Second World War " speaks about 203 sent of USA in USSR "Thunderbolt" of variants P-47D-22-RE and P-47D-27-RE, 196 planes, according to Green, has reached the addressee. The information from archive of the general Staff of the Air Forces of the Soviet Army differs not strongly - 190 fighters Ð-47 is received in 1944 and five - in 1945. Probably, in the Soviet archive one more is not taken into account(discounted) plane - P-47D-10-RE factory number 42-75202 bought on collected American senators of means, this plane has received an own name " Knight of Pythias ". It(him) tested in middle of 1944 in scientific research institute of the Air Forces and ËÈÈ.

"Thunderbolt" has disappointed soviet pilots - verifiers. One of best engineers - test pilots Mark Lazarevich Gallaj said about flight on Ð-47:

" First minutes of flight I knew this is not a fighter! Steady, with comfortable spacious cockpit, convenient, but - not a fighter. "Thunderbolt" had not acceptable maneuverability in horizontal and it is especial in vertical . The plane slowly was dispersed - inertia of heavy aircraft had an effect. But "Thunderbolt" is wonderful for simple flight on a route without sharp maneuvers. It is not enough for a fighter ."

Not really different opinion about "Thunderbolt" from pilots had Soviet aviation ingineers. Not looking at the licked forms of a fuselage and apparent perfection of aerodynamics, factor CX at "Thunderbolt" appeared less than at main German fighters Bf. 109G and Fw-190A. Interest has caused not the plane, but turbocharger , the engine, the aviation equipment. The plane have disassembled "by bones" and have carefully studied in the Bureau of new engineering comission (ÁÍÒ ÍÊÀÏ). Experts ÁÍÒ have let out in Russian the full description on fighter Ð-47. Engineers have made conclusions also concerning quality and methods of manufacturing of units and units that flew American fighter, having noted, that on a technological level Soviet aviation industry lags behind from American.

Front pilots of Air Force have not estimated highly a transatlantic miracle. The escort of heavy bombers in 1944 at Soviet Union was not the slightest need - all weight of war was born(carried) on itself with front aircraft. Air fights on the soviet-German front were conducted at heights below 6000 m, just at those heights where "TBOLT" more all resembled a flying target. On small heights Ð-47 lost on all aspects to any Soviet or german fighter of a sample of 1944. The interesting fact - it is possible, that americans tried to improve manuevering qualities of "Soviet" "Thunderbolt", delivering them with already removed(taken off) external machine guns. Actually "Thunderbolt" repeated a history of soviet fighter MIG- 3 - outstanding at high alt and clumsy at the ground. This type of plane in Air Force during the war appeared dead.

Certainly, it is necessary to take into account, that the opinion of the Soviet pilots and engineers was generated on base of fighter P-47D-10-RE. On landlease planes P-47D-22-RE and Ð-47D-27-RE were delivered equiped with more powerful engines R-2800-59. In the West the opinion is distributed, that Russian is simple not that machine tested, a P-47D-22 and Ð-47D-27 arrived too late. All course of air war on East front speaks that heavy high-altitude fighters here did not get accustomed. Heavy appeared even Fw-190 - fighter, which at the front Western was famous for its maneuverability. In Red Army all high-altitude fighters were deployed in regiments of air defence. Ñíà÷à¨ëà such ó÷àñòü has comprehended(overtaken) an MIG - 3, then "Spitfire" and finally "Thunderbolt". A unique place where appear they year earlier, "Thunderbolt" still could show itself, there was an aircraft of navy fleet.

Majority of "Thunderbolt" came to Soviet Union southern way in the extent of 26 000 kms (the way borrowed(occupied) 42 day) from NY in the Persian port Abadan. In Abadan planes collected under supervision of military representatives of Air Forces, then tested then pilots of 6-th regiment would fly "Thunderbolt" on a route Abadan - Tegeran-Kirovobad. In Kirovabad planes accepted 11-th spare bomber regiment. On rout in the extent of 1450 kms pilots it was necessary to overcome two mountain ridges. With intermediate landing(planting) in Teheran extent without landing flight up to Kirovobad over Iran was reduced up to 754 kms.

Pair fighters P-47D-30 from 397-th squadron of 368-th group in flight above Germany in the summer 1945. It red - yellow-red strips around of fuselages were are put after the termination(ending) of war with Germany for fast identification of "friendly" planes, it is obvious - "unfriendly" planes bore(carried) red stars. A strip on vertical plumage, antiglare a strip before a lantern of a cabin and a triangular strip onboard a fuselage - .yellow.

First fighters "Thunderbolt" of the profit on air station 11-ãî ÇBAP August, 24, 1944. The order was given to this day on a 30th regiment, which stated that fighters P-47D-22-RE were accepted in service equipped with engines R-2800-59 with factory numbers 42-25611 and 42-26633. Large deliveries have begun hardly later. According to orders ¹¹ 36, 38 and 39 from December, 22, 1944 on arms of a part planes P-47D-22-RE with factory numbers 42-25541, 543-7, 552, 553, 555, 557, 559, 560-564, 566-568, 570, 574, 576-580, 582, 583, 586, 591, 594, 595, 600-610, 612, 614-617, 619-628, 631, 634, 636-638 - only 62 planes have acted(arrived). Then were accepted 47 fighters P-47D-27-RE with factory numbers 42-27015, 018, 019, 021, 0222, 025-029, 031-033, 037, 038, 042-044, 050, 052-055, 058, 061, 116, 117, 123, 129, 130-132, 134, 140, 141, 144, 149, 150, 154, 156, 157, 159, 160,162 and 163. Thus, 11-th ZBAP has received 111 "Thunderbolts".

In 1945 "Thunderbolts" arrived to an arrangement of 11-th ZBAP two parties(sets), April, 21 - two P-47D-27 release of a factory in Fermigdale (factory numbers 42-27136 and 42-27146) and April, 27 - four more similar fighters (factory numbers 42-25551, 587, 590 and 593).

All histories about delivery "Thunderbolt" to Soviet Union northern escorts through Murmansk or on route Alaska - Siberia are pure tale. Fighters Ð-347 arrived to the USSR only southern way through Iran. Technical specialists of the Air Force finished (or in general changed) radio stations " Thunderbolt" under frequencies, used in the Soviet aircraft; respondents of the radar-tracking systems of recognition" the - another's " were removed. Recognition symbols on P-47D-22-RE were recoloured - red stars with white - red border were rendered. On intended for delivery in USSR P-47D-27-RE red stars were painted direct at a factory firm Republic. As a rule they were painted in the same locations and the same sizes, as recognition symbols of the Air Forces of USA, frequently a red star was painted in a white circle.

Into structure of 11-th 3BAP entered 4 squadrons on the basis of 1-st and 2-nd preparation bombing crews was conducted, on the basis of 3-rd and 4-th - preparation of pilots, mainly for planes P-39N/Q. In official documentation of 11-th 3BAP Ð-47 is called "Thunderbolt". The quantity(amount) of pilots in regiments that were trained on "Thunderbolt" is insignificant: 12 pilots in 1944 and in 1945

Before the termination(ending) of war in Europe Ð-47 and have not appeared on arms of front parts of Air Force. Almost all "Thunderbolt" were going in fighter regiments of Southwest district of air defence. This significant aviation group was generated December, 24, 1944 for covering means of communication of 1-st, 2-nd, 3-rd and 4-th Ukrainian fronts in Romania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
The first 11 "Thunderbolt" (ten P-47D-22-RE with factory numbers 42-25544, 547, 555, 557, 564, 570, 604, 610, 622 and 638, one P-47D-27-RE with çà¨âîäñêèì number 42-27026) the profit on located in 50 km to the south Kiev air station White Church May, 31, 1945. In June, 1945 fighters devided by regiments. June, 12 to armies arrived 18 more planes P-47D-22-RE (factory numbers 42-25543, 560, 563, 678, 593, 600, 601, 605, 606, 609, 611, 614617, 619, 621, 628, 633 and 634) and one P-47D-27-RE with factory number July, 42-27038.11 arrived the third party(set): 17 planes R-47D-22-RE (factory numbers 42-2552, 556,567,580,582, 583,691, 594,602,603, 607, 616, 624-627 and 631) and two P-47D-27-RE with factory numbers 42-27132 and 42-27154.

Fighters Ð-47 not long left on arms of parts of Soviet air defence. According to the agreement about landlease the majority of planes have returned to Americans. " Thunderbolt" in air station Stryj (80 kms jugo-to the west of Lvov) where them also overate to representatives of USA. Americans have considered economically not acceptable to drag back bunch of becoming unnecessary fighters. Was accepted decision to result planes in unsuitable in flights condition, as the tool for such work tanks in the best way came. Destruction "Thunderbolt" has borrowed(occupied) a lot of time - all winter 1945-46 ã.ã. Vigilance of representatives of USA observing behind process, ïîñòîÿí¨íî was exposed to temptations. The matter is that representatives of the West piously trusting in ideals free face to face have met an animal grin of injurious socialism and couldn`t handle temptations. Simple Soviet people have learned trustful as babies 100 % yank to drink everyone alkohol muck from an aviation facilities(economy) - vodka, moonshine and especially not whisky, and any liquor the chassis! Moreover, barbarians ate while drinking alcohol the Ukrainian bacon, which represented simply saulted pig fat - bacon. The nightmare consist that drank liquor the chassis and guzzled "bacon" directly open-air day after day! Poor Americans were involved in process so, that began to change "bacon" at local population for suitable details in facilities(economy) "Thunderbolt". As is known, the Ukrainian peasant better the Soviet ensign - at a crest any detail in a facilities(an economy) is useful. And here - aviation hours, êîëáî÷êè, jars from stainless still or aluminium, and what remarkable coils were made from pipelines! In general(common), business and friendship of peoples blossomed in air station Old without dependence from bitter colds. Thunderbolts were turned into kitchen tools

In aircraft of the Navy of the USSR fighter Ð-47 has received 255-th IAP Air Forces North fleet. "Thunderbolt" in this regiment was not the first American plane, mastered by pilots. In 1943 of 255-th IAP got Ð-39 "Aircobra" modification "N" and "Q". The Soviet sea pilots successfully fought on "Cobra" so July, 16, 1943 lieutenant V.A.Burmatov on P-39N has brought down Hans Dyobriha from II./JG-5, the expert with 65 victories. First P-47D-22-RE 255-th IAP has received October, 29, 1944

Command of sea aircraft has decided to recheck results fligth tests P-47D-10-RE in Aviation Institute. The aircraft of the Navy of the USSR had no own test base, that`s why have decided to test "Thunderbolt" using skilled front line fighters from 255-th IAP.

Test flights took place from October, 29 till November, 5, 1944, simultaneously it was investigated possiblity basings "Thunderbolt" in polar air stations. Despite of a deadline the program of tests looked rather sated:

- Rise and landing(planting) with concrete and ground strips with full loading;
- Definition of fighting radius combat with various to variants bomb loadings on an external suspension bracket: 2õÔÀÁ-250 (on a bomb on underwing mount), 3õÔÀÁ-250 (two bombs on underwing and one on underfusulage units of a suspension bracket), 2õÔÀÁ-500;
- Bombing from a dive;
- Dive bombing with height 20-25 m on a distance of 150-170 m from the purpose.

Results of tests as a whole appeared favorable. The plane with two bombs ÔÀÁ-250 normally flied up from air station Vaenga. Dump of bombs was made in a dive under a corner 50 hailstones from height of 3000 m, aiming at bombing occured on regular machine-gun gunsight. Bombing by three FAB-250 or to two FAB-500 have found possible(probable) to carry out only from horizontal flight. The endurance(quotation) from " the Report on tests of plane P-47D-22-RE " Thunderbolt" below is given.

From the commander of the Air Forces of Council of Federation of the general - lieutenant of aircraft Preobrazhenski ¹ 08489 from November, 13, 1944
The official report to the Commander of the Air Forces of the Navy of the USSR
To marshal Zhavoronkovu I Report, that by results of flight test plane P-47D-22-RE " Thunderbolt" of serial construction by me the decision on arms of one squadron of 255-th IAP is accepted 14 planes " Thunderbolt".

The squadron will carry out the following problems(tasks):
1. Distant support Bombers
2. Horizontal and low-level bombing at the rate of bombing loadings up to 1000 kg on one plane
3. Attack of the ships escorts

The marshal of Larks has appended instructions on the document: " I Approve. Equip regiments and allocate 50 planes ".

In 255-th IAP "Thunderbolt" (basically P-47D-27-RE with bubble canopy) were maintained within one year after the termination(ending) of war, longer, than no matter where in the USSR. The way sea "Thunderbolt" finished almost the same as also them brothers from parts of air defence - in a ravine on the side of Vaengi under caterpillars(tracks) of tractors. "

I will not take responcibility for grammar and spelling errors


VFC*Crazyivan aka VFC*HOST
I've found the info that in USSR 196 of P-47s were used from 1944 to 1947.Besides,there are some profiles of P-47D served in the Air Forces of the North fleet (the first and the second one, the third a/c I haven't had any info on it .)

source unknown:


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lesofprimus/ Anyone.. Is there a detailed list of the different planes shipped there? serial numbers? and what happened to them? thanks
Checking the serial number base, I was able to find 203 by serial number that were transferred to the USSR:

Serials 42-75201 through 42-75203 (3 total)

Serials 42-25539 through 42-25638 (100 total)

Serials 42-27015 through 42-27064 (50)
Serials 42-27115 through 42-27164 (50)

From what I have read (spotty facts, alot of hearsay), not all of the 100 of the P-47D-22-RE models made it to the USSR. What became of these aircraft since their arrival is something that cannot be determined while sitting here in California. I am guessing that they were used until they crashed, were shot down, or melted into ingots post war to make newer aircraft.
Oh dear, the Jug at the hands of vodka'd up fighter pilots... heaven only knows what happened with these birds, because the pilots sure dont remember!
Aggie08 said:
Oh dear, the Jug at the hands of vodka'd up fighter pilots... heaven only knows what happened with these birds, because the pilots sure dont remember!

It's again a common opinion.Pisis is right.

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