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P-47 Thunderbolt

Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. One-time personal aircraft of (then) Lt. Fonzo "Snuffy" D. Smith. Transferred to 551FTS, 495FTG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 493FS, 48FG, 9AF USAAF.



  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 9th Air Force
  • 48th Fighter Group

    48th Fighter Group

    The Group moved to England in March 1944 and were stationed at Ibsley where the pilots trained in P-47s in preparation for the Allied invasion of Normandy. The wartime motto was in Latin 'vulneratus non victus' (Unconquered even though wounded). ...

  • 495th Fighter Training Group

    495th Fighter Training Group

    The 495th Fighter Training Group, which operated in England from December 1943, trained P-47 Thunderbolt pilots. These pilots, who had received the basic training in the USA would be assigned to a training group to practise ETO operational procedures...

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    Some of the pilots of the 4th Fighter Group had seen many hours of combat by the time they joined the 4th Fighter Group as they had volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. The three 'Eagle Squadrons' of RAF Fighter...

  • 335th Fighter Squadron

    335th Fighter Squadron

    The 335th Fighter Squadron was the offspring of No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron RAF. Formed on 21 May 1941, No. 121 was the second of the three Eagle Squadrons composed of American volunteers flying out of England. They were known as the "Chiefs" and were...

  • 493rd Fighter Squadron
  • 551st Fighter Training Squadron


  • Sylvester Koenig

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Crew Chief | 4th Fighter Group
    With the 4th at Debden-Nov '42-Sept '45. Rejoined the 4th -Mar '48 crew chief F-80's. ...

  • Bernard McGrattan

    Military | Captain | Pilot
    Bernard was from Utica, New York. Like many young men of the period he could not wait to fly in WW II. Prior to U.S. entry into the war he went north and joined the RCAF. After earning his wings as a Flying Officer, he accumulated 286 hours prior to...

  • Fonzo Smith

    Military | Major | Fighter pilot | 4th Fighter Group
    Served in 121 Eagle Squadron then transferred to the AAF. Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. He scored 3 kills in P-47s. Failed to Return (FTR) bomber escort to Joigny, France. suffered engine failure. A/C abandoned. Major Fonzo Smith POW. 3-Aug-44....

  • William Weaver

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 353rd Fighter Group


  • Atcham

    Military site : airfield
    Atcham, at some remove from other American Air Force bases in Shropshire, was used by USAAF to train pilots from June 1942, several months before the American Eagle Squadrons were combined to form the 4th Fighter Group. Pilots here were mainly trained...

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...


Event Location Date
Crashed Atcham, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK 6 September 1944

Mid Air Collision c/nr Sta 342 Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt William J Weaver, 6-Sep-44.

551FTS 495FTG 8AF

Crashed Regensburg, Germany 16 May 1945

Landing Accident Regensburg/R-66 Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt Earl J Hughes Jr, 16-May-45.

493FS 48FG 9AF


Date Contributor Update
12 April 2016 20:29:52 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations, person associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
18 April 2015 15:33:03 apollo11 Changes to production block number and description

Personal research & 4th Fighter Group 'Debdden Eagles' by Chris Bucholz.

Date Contributor Update
11 April 2015 20:25:22 apollo11 Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, manufacturer, nicknames, markings, description, unit associations, person associations and place associations

Personal research & the Debden Eagles' by Garry L. Fry.