were there P-47s in the pacific?

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Vassili Zaitzev

Master Sergeant
Nov 25, 2005
Connecticut, United States
Were there any p-47 thunderbolt fighters in the pacific. If there were, how did they compare to the lighter, more manuverable japanese fighters? I thank you for your answers.
Sure were, they lacked range, but with their high speed and toughness they would have been quite well suited to taking on the Japanese fighters I would have thought. However the P-38 was better suited to this theatre with long range and twin engined reliability. I believe the RAF used them in Burma as well.
It's range really hampered it though, Even the P-40 had better range if the Jug didn't have its drop tanks. It wasn't until the the long range P-47N, which was made specifically for the Pacific Theatre, came along that it was really competitive in the PTO, however by then it was a bit late to be really effective.

some references for you

Neal Kearby scored 22 in the P-47 from September 1943 to March 1944 when he was killed. He took out 6 in on mission also. He used energy fighter tactics and never engaged in roundy-round fights.

"I was leading a flight of 4 P-47s on a fighter sweep over WEWAK on 11 October, 1943. We arrived over WEWAK at 1030/L at 28,000 feet. The weather was excellent with a few scattered clouds between 2,000 and 8,000 feet. We saw a number of aircraft parked on Boram strip, and one aircraft taxiing on the runway. He did not take off. The fuel in our belly tanks had been consumed so we dropped them to increase our speed and conserved fuel. At 1115/L one Zeke was sighted at 9 o''clock below at 20,000 feet. I came in on him from 8 o''clock above and opened fire at 1,500 feet. He took no evasive action, caught fire, and dived into the sea.

We climbed back to 26,000 feet and at about 1125/L saw about 36 fighters, Tonys, Hamps, and Zekes and 12 bombers, type unidentified, approaching from the south east along the coast. The fighters were at about 10,000 to 15,000 feet and the bombers at about 5,000 feet. We came in from above. I opened fire on a Zeke at 1,500 feet and closed as he burst into flames. No evasive action was taken. I turned slightly to the left. I closed to 1,500 feet and opened fire from slightly above and from about 8 o''clock. He burst into flames after he had passed beyond my sights in he turn. I was indicating over 400 miles per hour during this period.

By about this time the Nips realized we were there too, so I pulled up sharply to about 20,000 feet and started for home. Immediately at 2 o'clock below at about 10,000 feet I saw a P-47 with one Tony about 3,000 feet to the rear and another Tony about 3,000 feet behind the first one. I turned and came in at 400 miles per hour on the tail of the rear Tony opening fire at 1,500 feet. He took no evasive action and burst into flames. I closed for the other Tony but he must have seen me as he turned and dove down in front of me. I opened fire from about 2,000 feet closing in and saw tracers going into him and pieces of his wing and fuselage flying off. I did not see him catch fire nor did I see him crash as I did not have time to watch him.

Captain…..saw this Tony burst into flames and crash into the sea. He then turned toward WEWAK and I turned with him. Tonys were all over the sky. I made another pass at a Tony from about 10 o''clock but deflection was wrong. I looked behind and saw a Tony closing on my tail so I dived for the nearby clouds. We were now at about 7,000 feet. When coming out of the clouds I could no longer see the Tony. I climbed to 15,000 feet and called the flight. They all checked in and we proceeded to LAE and landed there at 1240/L."
It's amazing those Bolts even got off the ground. Some didn't. Max take off weight for an N was 21,198lbs. Compare that to less than 15,000lb max for a F4U4 Corsair
The Thunderbolt Mk.I and Mk.II were both used in Burma. Both are the P-47D, the Mk.I was the razorback and the Mk.II was the bubble-canopy.

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