Published: Thursday, January 9, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
What victory markings on Thunderbolt mean
The FHC’s Republic P-47 Thunderbolt has two types of victory markings on its side. For some of the “ground-pounding” units in the 9th Air Force, destroying enemy aircraft on the ground was nearly as important as getting them in the air. The elimination of a German aircraft meant it was gone—never to take on another Allied bomber or shoot up a friendly platoon of troops as they swept across Western Europe. The full Reich flags on the side of Ralph Jenkins’ P-47 signified enemy planes shot down in the air. The swastikas are for German aircraft caught and destroyed on the ground.