II" The Group P-47
A common sight at Rackheath, the Group P-47
Thunderbolt. The aircraft was primarily flown by Col. Shower, Lt. Col.
Mahoney, and formerly Lt. Col. Walter R. Smith, Group Operations
Officer. The original "Little Pete" was involved in a mid-air
collision during a practice mission in August 44 while flown by Lt. Col. Smith,
and above is the replacement aircraft. The P-47 was often used to aid the
"assembly" process during formation of the airborne Group B24s.
It would "herd" or push stray planes into their allotted
position for assembly and maintain watch over the initial formation.