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Balls Out

  • Manufacturer
  • Republic
  • Model
  • P-47D-40RA Thunderbolt
  • Name
  • “Balls Out”
  • Tail Number
  • N767WJ

The “Jug” as it was known was the largest, heaviest, most expensive fighter-bomber ever powered by a single engine. Despite the unkind nickname, the Thunderbolt was held in high esteem, serving in every corner of every theater of WWII, and raining thunder on Japanese and German aircraft alike. Before it was replaced by the Mustang in missions over Europe, the P-47 racked up 3,752 air-to-air kills in nearly three-quarters of a million total sorties. In fact, the Jug flew more sorties than all the P-51s, P-38s and P-40s combined, and is credited with breaking the back of the Luftwaffe in the winter of 1944. One of the most heavily produced fighters of the war, the P-47 crept along into post-war production, but was not, like the P-51, sent to Korea. Many pilots argued that it should have been. First delivered in 1949, Balls Out served in the Venezuelan Air Force, ending its military service as a gate guardian in Caracas, Venezuela. In 1995 it was returned to the U.S. and underwent a complete restoration to airworthy condition by Pacific Fighters in Idaho Falls, Idaho. All original equipment was overhauled and reinstalled, including the fully operational turbo system.