1/72 Mogin´s Maulers! 362nd FG Thunderbolts
P-47D-21-RE 42-25518 B8*B “Damon’s Demon”
379th FS, 362nd FG, USAAF. Flown by Capt. George Rarey
Based at Headcorn, England, June 1944
Rarey was one of the best-loved pilots of the 362nd FG. Having worked as a commercial artist before the war, he designed and applied the nose art for no fewer than 28 aircraft, including his own. The plane started out as “Archy and Mehatibel,” a reference to characters in Don Marquis’ poetry, but when Rarey’s son Damon was born the plane’s name changed. Sadly, Rarey never met his son; he was shot down by flak on June 27, 1944 while strafing road traffic and was killed. Standard camouflage of olive drab over neutral gray, with white bands on the nose and tail surfaces. Note the red rudder trim tab. Curtiss Electric propeller.
P-47D-27-RE 42-27215 B8*T “1950”/”Super Rabbit”
379th FS, 362nd FG, USAAF, Flown by Lt. Ralph Sallee
Based at Etain, France, December 1944
Sallee flew this aircraft through the Battle of the Bulge, during which he scored two victories over Fw 190s on Dec. 26, 1944. The nose art on the right side of the cowling reflected where the crew wished to be in five years. Sallee, originally from Hollywood, California, eventually moved to Montana, where he lives to this day. Curtiss Electric symmetric paddleblade propeller.
P-47D-30-RE 44-20425 B8*W “Kentucky Colonel”
379th FS, 362nd FG, USAAF, Flown by Capt. Wilfred Crutchfield
Based at Etain, France, January, 1945
Crutchfield, a veteran leader with the 378th Fighter Squadron, brought his plane with him upon his transfer to the 379th. On January 22, 1945, he spotted 1500 German vehicles concentrated in a small area around Prum, Germany, as the Sixth SS Panzer Armee was embarking for the Eastern Front. In the next six hours, the group destroyed 315 trucks, seven tanks, seven half-tracks and 15 horse-drawn vehicles in a bloody battle that cost the group five P-47s and four pilots. Crutchfield stayed in the Air Force after the war, but disappeared in 1968 while flying a training flight with a student in a T-33; the crash site, on a glacier on Mt. Rainer in Washington, was not discovered until October 2004. Curtiss Electric asymmetric paddleblade propeller; note the red rudder trim tab.
P-47D-30-RA 44-33287 B8*A “5 By 5”
379th FS, 362nd FG, USAAF, flown by Col. Joseph Laughlin
Based at Etain, France, March 1945
Laughlin assumed the position of group commander when Col. Morton Magoffin was shot down and captured on Aug. 10, 1944. Laughlin achieved two remarkable successes individually: the sinking of a large vessel (possibly the hulk of the incomplete battleship Clemenceau) at Brest, and the key hit that destroyed the sluice gates of the Dieuze Dam. He also scored the group’s first air-to-air victory. Laughlin had eight “5 By 5’s”, all of which carried nose art painted by George Rarey; crew chief Joe Carpenter dutifully transferred the painted panels of the cowling from plane to plane, concluding with this aircraft. The P-47D in the USAAF Museum is painted to represent this “5 By 5.” Curtiss Electric asymmetric paddleblade propeller; note the yellow propeller spinner and rudder trim tab, and the dorsal fin fillet.
P-47D-30-RE 44-20413 B8*Y “Bonnie Lynn”
379th FS, 362nd FG, USAAF, flown by Lt. Gene Martin
Based at Illesham, Germany, April 1945
Martin’s aircraft was initially named “Bonnie” after his wife, but added “Lynn” when his crew chief Robert Shaw’s daughter Lynn was born. On April 5, 1945, Martin was flying this plane when he shot down two Fw 190s (although the second was unconfirmed). Two days later, he shot up a Bf 109 but again the victory went unconfirmed. Martin destroyed two more aircraft while attacking airfields. Curtiss Electric asymmetric paddleblade propeller; note the yellow propeller