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  P-47D-15-RA "Tojo Special" Serial Number 42-23249  
USAAF
5th AF

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Bill Thompson 1980

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Shirley Cook 1981

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via Aerothentic 1998

Pilot  ?
Force Landed  October 29, 1944
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Republic at the Indiana Division of Republic Aviation in Evansville, IN. Constructors Number 1000. This aircraft was the 1,000th P-47 Thunderbolt built by the factory and nicknamed "Tojo's Special" by workers at the factory. Delivered to the U. S. Army on December 14, 1943 and delivery taken on February 5, 1944. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South-West Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
Took off on a ferry flight, got lost and ran short on fuel. Force landed gear up north of Weipa on the beach along with P-47D 42-75921. The next day, a RAAF Ventura located them in a search, and the pilot was rescued.

Wreckage
During December 1944, a U. S. Army demolition team blew up the plane.

Rob Staughton visited the site in 2000:
"I work for Comalco in Weipa and arrived here 2 years ago. I heard about the wrecks not long after, but it has taken this long for the curiosity to get the better of me and go to have a look. About 10 days ago my wife and I drove around to Duyfken Point to have a look at them. It was about 250 klm round trip and took us most of the day. 70 km of it was driving along the beach and sand dunes. The planes are in a very poor state. They are about 75 metres from the ocean and about 100 metres apart. One is more complete than the other, but there is still very little left. One has it's motor nearby, no propellor, the wings, engine exhaust and assorted pieces of aluminium sheet lying around. The other has wings and a pile of pieces, nothing bigger than a shoebox, that have been placed there by someone. Neither of them have a fuselage."

Salvage
The propeller from this aircraft was salvaged, and is displayed at Weipa Airfield. The tail section was moved by the Australian Army to the Weipa Bus Depot in 1991.

References
Thanks to Kenneth D. Wilson for constructor number

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

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