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F/O Pat Woodward: "All RAF types were P47D's, classified as either Mk.I or Mk.II depending on the sub series of manufacture. The big difference between them was that the Mk. I had a hand operated sliding hood (not well liked) whilst the Mk II had the electrically operated bubble hood. All the 113 Thunderbolts were Mk II."
F/O Gerard Brigden: In the summer of 1945 we converted to U.S. Thunderbolts Mark 2. Although it was a much more complicated aircraft there was no training given for this conversion. We were just given information about the take-off and landing speeds. As the minimum landing speed of the Thunderbolts was 120 mph compared to the 70 - 80 mph of the Hurricanes, there was a lot of rubber burnt up on our short airstrip on our first take-off and landing exercise. Hardly surprising considering the aircraft was also heavier than a Blenheim bomber, however, the whole squadron managed it without mishap. One of the distinct advantages the Thunderbolt had was a 4hr flight time compared to 1 1/2 hr of a Hurricane. (Note that the Orbs records there was one serious incident)
The fact that the Thunderbolt had over double the range of the Hurricane was certainly one of its chief advantages as it allowed the Squadron to remain a safer distance from the front as well as allowing the Squadron to range further afield. Had the aircraft been available earlier in the war, it's greater speed would have been the major benefit but at this late stage there were few enemy aircraft to chase.
F/Sgt Gerard Brigden in his P47 Thunderbolt K - AD about to take off
from an airstrip at Meiktila, 1945
SOURCE: P/OGerard Brigden
A SAD AND UNDIGNIFIED END
A 113 Squadron Thunderbolt fuselage being loaded for scrap, the fellow running the crane is Jack Thompson. A rare and chance squadron photo, it is to bad that the serial # is missing. It is unknown how or why the 113 aircraft ended up here. The photo was taken at an American maintenance unit and it is possible it had been sent for repairs, but junked instead.
Republic P43 Lancer shown, note the breakdown of the
various metals that make up the plane.