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  P-47D-2-RE Thunderbolt Serial Number 42-8074  
5th AF
348th FG

Aircraft History
Built by Republic at Farmingdale, NY. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-47D-2-RE Thunderbolt serial number 42-8074. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 348th Fighter Group. No known nickname or nose art. This P-47 was stripped and buried in a pit at Finschafen Airfield.

During 2002, this aircraft was reportedly dug up by an Australian group known as '75 Squadron' (no association with the RAAF or 75 Squadron) while the group was recovering aircraft scrap from Finschafen Airfield.

This aircraft was transported to Lae where it was loaded into a container and shipped to Australia. Unloaded at Melbourne, this and other wreckage was transported by road on city streets during Melbourne morning rush hour traffic and identified as P-38s and P-47s by many drivers.

Containered with P-38J "Jandina III" 42-103988 and P-38F 42-12652 and three Thunderbolts: this aircraft plus P-47D 42-75284 and P-47D 42-22521.

Shipped to Westpac Restorations in Rialto, California. During 2003-2004, this wreckage was stored at their facility during 2003-2004. At the time, details on this aircraft were unknown due to non-disclosure agreement with the owner/client Paul Allen / Flying Heritage Collection.

This recovery was cited as an illegal recovery in the PNG Government Public Accounts Committee Report in 2006.

Current whereabouts today are unknown, likely moved to Paul Allen / Flying Heritage Collection in Arlington, WA.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-47D-2-RE Thunderbolt 42-8074

"8074 (MSN 214) (341st FS, 348th FG, 5th AF) in landing accident at Nadzab airfield, Morobe, Papua New Guinea Sep 28, 1943. Pilot survived, aircraft badly damaged, unknown if repaired. Recovered from pit at Papua New Guinea by Westpac Restorations, Colorado Springs, CO."
Aeroplane Monthly "Buried Thunderbolts to Fly Again" May 2004
Warbirds International "Out of the Pit" by Michael O'Leary May 2004

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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