Republic P-47D Thunderbolt – Boise Bee, 334th FS, 4th FG, Duane Beeson USAAF, RAF Debden, England, 1944

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1 in stock


1 in stock

Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale US33819: Republic P-47D Thunderbolt “Boise Bee” of 334th FS, 4th FG, Duane Beeson USAAF, RAF Debden, England, 1944. Limited edition of only 1,410 pieces. Intended mainly for US issue.

Length 6 inches Wingspan 6.75 inches

Duane Willard “Bee” Beeson joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941, by February 1942 he had completed over 200 hours of flying and was transferred to Britain to join No. 71 (Eagle) Squadron, RAF 24 days later he joined the 4th Fighter Group in September 1942. By October 1942 Beeson had become the first Ace of the 4th Fighter Group. Received by the squadron in late June 1943, this aircraft was assigned to Lt. Duane Beeson, who became the leading Thunderbolt ace of the 4th FG with 12 kills; 11 of these victories were claimed in this particular aircraft. Boise, Idaho, was the ace’s hometown, hence the P-47’s nickname. It remained the ace’s mount until replaced by a P-51B in late February 1944. He scored 22.08 victories, including 17.3 air-to-air kills, 12 of which were scored in the P-47C/D Thunderbolt, and 5.3 of which were scored in the P-51-B Mustang. Beeson was one of ten United States Army Air Forces pilots who became an ace in two different types of fighter aircraft. He was shot down during a mission on 5 April 1944 and taken Prisoner of war. He was liberated in April 1945, and on his return to the United States sought transfer to the Pacific Theatre of Operations, but the war in the Pacific came to an end before he was assigned. Following the War Beeson was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and based in Sarasota, Florida where he met his wife Tracey Waters, whom he married in 1946. In 1947, aged only 25 Beeson died after contracting a brain tumor. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Designed by Alexander Kartveli meeting a USAAC requirement for a heavy fighter, the P-47 was first flown on May 6th, 1941. Later models featured a “bubble-top” canopy rather than the sharply peaked “razorback” fuselage which resulted in poor visibility for the aircraft’s pilot. The P-47, a deadly pursuit aircraft, featured 8 x 12.7mm machine guns; all mounted in the wings. Even with the complicated turbosupercharger system, the sturdy airframe and tough radial engine, the P-47 (“Jug” or “Juggernaut” as it was nicknamed) could absorb damage and still return home. Built in greater quantities than any other US fighter, the P-47 was the heaviest single-engine WWII fighter and the first piston-powered fighter to exceed 500 mph.

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