This week brought me a much needed day off work and I used my time to finish my 1/48 Tamiya P-47 Thunderbolt.
I built this model from the box, except for the markings. These were aftermarket items that had been in my decal collection for quite some time. I have always wanted this particular P-47 as it's markings appealed to me.
So I am building 226785 "OH JOHNNIE" She was flown by 1st Lt. Raymond Knight,
346th FS/350th FG, USAAF. This squadron was based in Pisa, Italy in 1945.
Here is the only photo I could find of 226785, with 1st Lt. Knight and one of his crew.
On April 24, 1944 1st Lt. Raymond Knight volunteered to lead two other P-47s on a raid of a German airfield at Ghedi, Italy. Knight kept the other P-47s high while he flew at tree-top to reconnoiter the field. He spotted 8 aircraft and during following strafing runs he destroyed 5 and the other P-47s account for two more. Later that day he led a raid on Bergamo; making ten strafing passes destroying six twin-engined aircraft and two fighters while the other P-47s destroyed 5 twins and one fighter. On April 25, 1944 Knight attacked Bergamo again and destroyed three more German aircraft but this time “Oh Johnnie” was critically hit and crashed killing the 22 year old 1st Lt. Raymond Knight.
So in honour of 1st Lt.Knight, I present my version of his Thunderbolt "Oh Johnnie". I hope you enjoy it as much as I did building it!