SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Monogram P-47D built for WWII Pilot.

1026 views
21 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
fox
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Monogram P-47D built for WWII Pilot.
Posted by fox on Saturday, September 01, 2018 9:53 PM

This Monogram P-47D was built for Lieutenant Joseph Potts of the 5th AF, 35th FG,40th FSq. Called the "Fightin' Red Devils". The information for all the details on this plane came from Joe himself who gave them to me at our club meetings. He was 96 years old and sharp as a tack. His only problem was a case of vertigo received from a fall in his garage. We invited him to come to all our meetings. We never got anything done when he came as all we wanted to do was sit around and listen to him tell his stories of his time in the service. This was for Joe who passed away in Febuary.

Lots of filling and sanding.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/wvDnQJbt3passNoj8

https://photos.app.goo.gl/i9twpqfG84KpqNSf9

https://photos.app.goo.gl/8fZ42NJ5tGKNpiYH6

https://photos.app.goo.gl/VZYBYMBtDqXpm4W77

Last but not least are pics of yours truly presenting the model to Joe who had no idea I was building it. He checked it over and couldn't believe it looked exactly like his plane. He wanted to know where I got all the info to build it. I told him that me and the other guys slipped in questions about his plane while we were talking to him and he never realized what we were doing. If you notice in the pic of Joe with his wife, she is wearing a gold P-47 around her neck. Joe gave it to her when he met her, telling her as long as she wore it he would be watching her "6". His license plate number is P-47.

Some of you will notice some things that appear to be mssing on the plane. Joe said that his CO told them "No tail numbers, no kill marks, no pin-ups and no pilot or mechanic names are to be on these planes. So, that's why they are not there. All they were allowed to have was the red lightning bolt on the tail and the red scallops on the cowl.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/6eenimCEnKNgk9Ap6

Well, that's my story. The plane was sitting on his desk in the living room right next to his pic when he flew her. Maryann has now moved to be closer to her family. Her son has the plane on his desk now. Another member of our club recently built Joe Jr. a model of one of the planes he flew when in the service and has it alongside his fathers plane. He just retired from the service as the Commanding Officer of an air base near Pittsburgh. 

Enjoy.

Jim  Captain

 

 

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Sunday, September 02, 2018 7:44 AM

What a sheer privilige to actually have the man who flew this aircraft in your midst. I had goose bumps viewing the pics of him receiving the P-47 you so graciously built for him.  I'll not forget this wonderfull story and your kindness to a real hero.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Sunday, September 02, 2018 2:51 PM

Jim -

Stories like these are so great to learn about, you and others that present these models to the vet's that flew them, make for some touching things to think about. When you gifted him with that build, you gave him something much more significant than anything that could be bought. You gave him something of yourself, by having created it with your hands.

I thank you for wanting to do something that nice, I can only imagine what a great day that was for the gentleman.

Patrick

fox
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Sunday, September 02, 2018 9:34 PM

Thank you Jay-Jay and Patrick for the very kind words. 

I met Joe and his wife Maryanne a few years ago at a line dancing class that my wife teaches. They used to enter all kinds of dance contests and they were very good at it until Joe had the fall in his garage. He used to collect and build model cars from all around the world and had a room full of cars.  He was a very nice guy and a good friend. I wish I had met him sooner.

Jim  Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Sunday, September 02, 2018 10:43 PM

Fox> That's a nice build!  And to get to present it to Joe Potts is just so much icing on the cake!

I actually built a P-47 of the same unit a few years ago, A.J. Hunter, 35th FG, 40th FS.

The images have vanished due to a Photobucket disaster (though I still have the model).

fox
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Monday, September 03, 2018 11:17 AM

GAF - When I built the model for Joe, all I had to go on was the info I gleaned from him. I couldn't find much on the internet about that group. Did the whole group have the tail numbers and other markings removed or was it just a few planes for specific missions? I always wondeed if that was correct because he also flew P-38s, P-40s and P-51s during his time in the AF and might have mixed up those details. Either way, I'm glad he was pleased with the plane that was as he remembered it.

Jim  Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    February, 2007
  • From: Casa Grande, Az.
Posted by DesertRat on Monday, September 03, 2018 12:47 PM

Fantastic build! And it’s especially gratifying to know another WW2 vet was honored. He has earned his place in history.

 

i too, am curious. Did he ever say why his CO called for no markings or tail numbers? Seems like an unusual call for a clearly allied aircraft.

Warmest regards,

Roger

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, September 03, 2018 12:55 PM

Fox> That's a good question.  Apparently, the information that I found on the internet has vanished, probably due to the Photobucket disaster that occured a couple of years ago.

Joe may have remembered correctly, but things change over time and the scheme I found for A. J. Hunter (5 kill ace) showed his P-47 from December, 1944 like this:

I do know the group switched over to P-51s early in 1945 and they retained the red/white striped rudders.  Then too, it's possible the artist has it wrong.

It's possible that over time the restrictions were relaxed.  Wish I knew what time frame Joe Potts was remembering.  But as long as he was pleased, then it's all good. Smile

Gary

 

 

fox
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Monday, September 03, 2018 3:48 PM

Gary, here's some of the info that I gathered about Joe. On Jan. 1, '44, he switched from P-39s to P-47s and was based on Morotai, New Guinea. His main objective was to escort B-24s and A-40s along with strafing airfields, dive bombing in New Guinea, Noemfoor Island, Biok, Morotai and the Philippines. He was returned to the states in March '45 after completing 93 combat missions to serve as a gunnery instructor in Texas and Florida until the end of the war.

He got to fly a few missions in the P-51s befor he was transferred back to the states.  He said he didn't like to fly the '51s. Didn't say why. He did say that he liked to fly the P-38s and the '47s were his favorite.

Jim  Captain 

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, September 03, 2018 5:07 PM

Fox>  Yes, I found most of that information from the "P-47 Fighter Pilots Association" web-page:

http://p47pilots.com/P47-Pilots.cfm?c=incP47BiographyHome.cfm&vm=BIO&pilotid=459&p=Joseph%20E.%20Potts

I do note that the P-47 they would have been flying when they switched over would have been the "razorback" version.  The P-47D "bubbletops" didn't show up until later.  Before they went over to the "striped tail", I have no information.  I need to look through some old Osprey publications to check if there is further data.

Gary

PS> Ran across this article on the restoration of a P-47D.  The leading candidate for the unit it served with is 35FG, 40thFS! 

http://warbirdsnews.com/warbird-restorations/texas-flying-legends-museum-p-47d-restoration-update-nov-dec-2017.html

Too bad Joe is not around to see this.

fox
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Monday, September 03, 2018 7:35 PM

Gary, Thanks a lot for the link. Fantastic reading.

Have a question for you. Do you know where the plane was found? I just remembered something. Joe told us that he once ran out of gas while in the landing pattern. After making his pass of the "tower", he pulled up to go around to land and the engine quit. He tried a restart, but failed. He managed to bring it down on a section of metal stripped runway under construction. With no power, he had no control and the plane went into the woods tearing the wings off first, spinning him around and tearing off the tail and the engine. He came to hearing his name called. He was hanging upside down in the pit. They cut him loose and he thought that he had passed out and it was night time. Truth is, he had hit his head on the bombsight and lost his eyesight. They took him to the hospital and it had a sign over the door "My Blue Heaven". He came to and saw the sign and thought that he was dead. He passed out again and when he came to again there was a cute nurse standing over him. He told us he looked at her and said "I'm dead and there is a beautiful angel standing over me". They told him that he would be OK in time. He passed out off and on for the next few days, being able to see better each time. I think he said he was kept there for 2 or 3 weeks before letting him go back to his base. 

If the plane was found in the woods near one of the bases in 5 major pieces and probably lots of small ones could we be seeing his plane? Do-do-do-do, Do -do-do-do.

Jim  Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, September 03, 2018 9:27 PM

Fox> Okay, hold onto your hat!

First, here's a link to the articles on the restoration of the P-47, serial number 42-27609.

https://www.aircorpsaviation.com/category/p-47-42-27609/

Now here's a link to "Pacific Wrecks", which contains some data on 42-27609 and where it was recovered - Dobodura (which contained several airfields).

https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/p-47/42-27609.html

You may click on that small image in the upper left to get a larger picture.  That made me go "Ohhh!"

Now, this link shows some earlier images of 42-27609 (maybe) taken in 1972.  It looks more intact in these photos than what you reported, so I wonder about that.

https://www.aircorpsaviation.com/20152342-27609-at-dobodura/

And this about it's recovery.

http://warbirdsnews.com/uncategorized/texas-flying-legends-razorback-p-47d-history.html

This article seems to suggest that the aircraft belonged to the 58th FG, but the restorers seem to think that it was instead with the 35th FG.  The article also gives a place and date when it was abandoned.

"From there, the trail goes cold until 42-27609 was written off at Dobodura, Girau Airfield, Papua New Guinea on September 18th, 1944."

Also, this article lists crashes and pilots for P-47s in the Pacific, but nothing that I can find flown by a Joe Potts.

https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/p-47/index.html

Lot of stuff to go through, and the condition of the wreck shown in the older photos belies the condition it is shown in in someone's yard in New Guinea.

Still, it might be worthwhile to contact Joe's son about this, and try to ascertain if there is any record in his papers about when he crashed, or contact the people restoring the aircraft to find out if they have any further information on the plane and the condition it was found in.  Perhaps someone may know more about the aircraft Joe was flying when he crashed, and it may already be a known quantity.  But it is interesting, since no one seems to know why 42-27609 was written off, or who might have been flying.

Meanwhile, there's an interesting image that I had not seen of P-47s in flight, and they seem to correspond to the image I earlier linked of Hunter's P-47.  So the order not to decorate the Thunderbolts didn't hold for long!

https://www.aircorpsaviation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/migr/static/5436a42be4b060f2db898777/54a31b80e4b07985e35fb2ad/54d10c50e4b0c5d1fc341a3f/1422986320716/formation+photo.jpg

Gary

PS> I do note that there are other candidates for Joe's plane, such as this one that apparently ran out of fuel and crashed.

https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/p-47/42-75921.html

Also, after some digging,  it's possible that 42-27609 is being confused with 42-27608.

https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/p-47/42-27608.html

fox
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 3:46 PM

Gary, thank you for all this great info. I have read and re-read it several times. I will have a call in to Joe Jr. this evening to check on the crash story and relay to him the info you found. It's great that they ask those with more or other info to get in touch with them. It can help both parties. I'm sure Joe Jr. will jump out of his chair when he hears this info. Hope it pans out that it's his dads plane.

Thanks again for all this help.

Jim  Captain 

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: NYC, USA
Posted by waikong on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 4:09 PM

Great pictures, great build, great story!  THanks for sharing.

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 5:10 PM

Fox> I certainly want to learn a bit more about the story, though there does seem to be some confusion about 608 and 609 due to switching of parts.  I hope Joe Jr. has a few more facts ( such as location and date) of his dad's crash.  Or perhaps there's a record of his hospital stay.

Anyway, it's an exciting possibility!

Gary

PS> It does occur to me that the story you related does not mention where or what type of aircraft Joe was flying at the time of the crash.  It may well have been back in the states during training.  Still, worth checking.

fox
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 7:12 PM

Gary, he did say that he was flying the P-47 at the time of the crash but said nothing about the place. He said that it was normal for several of the members to either be on fumes or totally out of fuel when they returned to the bases. He said the P-47s were gas guzzlers. 

Soon as I find out something I'll let you know.

Jim  Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Parma, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 2:13 AM
This was great Jim. Thank you for sharing your work and Joe's story.It's unfortunate we lose more and more of these heroes each day.

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 11:22 AM

Yeah, always great to honor a vet like this. And very nice work too!!! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

fox
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 7:20 PM

Thank you Lawdog and Gamera for the kind words. I'm sitting on the edge of my chair just waiting for more info to reach me from people I've asked for info and sent for info. Joe Jr. would probably be doing the same thing. I think it would be great to have his dads plane flying again. If it is his, you can bet that I will be there to see it come down the runway for the first time in over 70 years (if the man upstairs lets me stick around that long).

Jim  Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 9:41 PM

Jim,

Yeah, I'm kinda sitting on the edge of my seat here too!  I take it you managed to get in contact with Joe Jr.?

Gary

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 11:13 PM

lawdog114
This was great Jim. Thank you for sharing your work and Joe's story.It's unfortunate we lose more and more of these heroes each day.
 

Well, Joe is hanging out with my Don. A rest they earned. It's a curious and bothersome thing. When these guys came home, they carried their AAF titles informally for years in their church communities, their unions and their neighborhoods. There was a lot of PTSD, never to be forgotten. 

My current vet buddies (I'm not a vet) feel really detached from the world. Not ashamed or anything like that, but afraid of being understood. Not celebrated, but loved. Kind of ill-equipped.

 

 

fox
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 8:02 PM

Maryann moved to be closer to her family. We have an e-mail on the way to her to get Joe's number as I don't have it and I don't have his address either. Waiting for an answer from her.

Jim  Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS

FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.