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  P-47D Thunderbolt Serial Number ?  
5th AF
35th FG
39th FS

Pilot  2nd Lt. Robert Eric Thorpe, O-810434 (survived) Cranston, RI
Crashed  February 25, 1944

Pilot History
Thorpe attended Cranston High School, worked for his father's pharmacy and was a yachtsman in the Edgewood Yacht Club. He joined the US Army on September 18, 1942. Commissioned on August 30, 1943, after completing his flight training in Florida flying the P-47 Thunderbolt.

Assigned to the 39th Fighter Squadron and flew his first combat mission from Port Moresby on February 2, 1943. He had flown seventeen combat mission during his first month in combat. Including operations over Hollandia. By April 1st he had flown 150 combat hours. Thorpe earned the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster and Purple Heart (posthumously). On May 27, 1944 Thorpe went Missing In Action (MIA) piloting P-47D 42-22661. In fact, he was captured and executed by the Japanese.

Aircraft History
Built by Republic. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Dissembled and shipped overseas to the South-West Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
Over Nadzab Airfield the engine of this P-47 seized, and Thorpe bailed out at low altitude, and survived unhurt. The D-Ring from this bail out was sent home to his family with his personal effects.

Gill Thorpe (brother)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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