Thunderbolt: Republic P-47, by Dan Patterson (photographs) and Paul Perkins (text), Airlife Publishing, Ltd., England, distributed in the United States by Howell Press, Inc., Charlottesville, Va., 1999, $15.95.
For the many “Jug” devotees and for those who have not yet succumbed to the allure of this brawny beast of World II, here is a collection of photos and text that reflects the combat pugnacity and the rugged beauty of an aerial war machine that could take punishment as well as dish it out in spades. The book includes personal accounts that reflect the wartime activities of the men who prepared the airplanes for combat and those who flew them up high and down very low.
The first half of the book, one of the Airlife Living History Series–World War II, includes 25 archival black-and-white photos that are woven through the text, illustrating the Republic P-47’s wartime contribution as a bomber escort and ground support juggernaut. Then comes a spectacular four-color gallery of restored warbird Thunderbolts, including both overall photos and up-close shots of inside and outside details, as well as photographs of pilots and armorers preparing the airplane for combat.
Readers not previously in awe of this behemoth of World War II fighters will most probably gain through these pages a healthy respect for what the 12,000 examples built did in the air. For those who are already familiar with the Jug or who spent time flying or supporting it, this book will add to their knowledge and reinforce wartime experiences.
Arthur H. Sanfelici