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Home »  Events »  Events Calendar »  Living History Flying Day - P-47D Thunderbolt

2nd of February, 2019

WHAT: Open to the public, Planes of Fame Air Museum (Chino, CA) presents its monthly Living History Flying Day on February 2, 2019, featuring the P-47D Thunderbolt "Dottie Mae". A speaker panel of distinguished aviation experts, historians and veterans is featured, followed by a question & answer period and flight demonstration when possible. The P-47D Thunderbolt "Dottie Mae" will be on display and perform a flight demonstration (subject to change). At 12:00 noon, the Raffle Flight will occur. Become a member to enter the Raffle. All members are eligible to enter the Raffle, but you must be present to win.
This event will take place rain or shine. Planes of Fame's Razorback P-47G , the P-47D 'Dottie Mae' and Planes of Fame's Seversky AT-12 will all be in the Pond Hangar for the event. The P-47D 'Dottie Mae' is scheduled to fly, weather permitting.

WHEN: Saturday, February 2, 2019, 10am–12 noon: Speaker program & flight demonstration. Museum doors open at 9:00am.

WHERE: Planes of Fame Air Museum, 14998 Cal Aero Drive, Chino, CA 91710-9085

Click on image to see the P-47 in action:

The Museum is open to the Public, General Admission is $15; for children 11 yrs and under, admission is $6; ages 4 and under are FREE! (excludes special events). FREE Living History Flying Day Admission for Planes of Fame Members! Click here to become a Member!

Click here to get a coupon for $2.00 off one adult admission for this event!


The Amazing story of the P-47 Thunderbolt 'Dottie Mae'

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt 42-29150 Dottie Mae – the last USAAF aircraft lost in action in the European theatre of operations during World War Two – was recovered from the Traunsee, a lake in Austria, on June 13, 2005.

This eye-catching aircraft was manufactured at Evansville, Indiana in the summer of 1944, and first went into action with the USAAF Ninth Air Force’s 511th Fighter Squadron, 405th Fighter Group on December 16, 1944. It flew 90 combat missions before crashing into the Traunsee on May 8, 1945, the very last day of the war.

The pilot was attempting a low-level flight over the concentration camp at Ebensee, Austria, in a bid to boost prisoner morale. It seems his enthusiasm may have got the better of him – Mohr flew so low that the bulky fighter’s propeller blades clipped the water and the machine ending up in the lake.  Although the Thunderbolt sank quickly, the Pilot was able to exit the cockpit.

Although not badly damaged, the P-47D remained at the bottom of the lake until Brian Kenney and Austrian firm Sandy Air Corps finally raised it to the surface in April 2005.

‘Dottie Mae’ was completely restored to immaculate flying condition by Vintage Airframes of Caldwell ID.

The Thunderbolt is now owned by Jack Croul’s Allied Fighters organization, based at Chino Airport.


Brian Kenney funded the recovery of Dottie Mae. Brian will participate in the Q&A About the funding of the recovery of the P-47 Thunderbolt 'Dottie Mae'  from the lake in Austria.

Bob Nightingale was part of the Search and Recovery team that found and recovered the  P-47 Thunderbolt Dottie Mae. Bob will participate in the Q&A about the recovery of the Aircraft from the lake in Austria.

Ed Lopez flew with the 387th Fighter Squadron, as a replacement pilot after D-Day. A Los Angeles native, Ed not only flew as a Hell Hawk, but -- during the 3rd Armored Division’s advance on Duren and Cologne, Germany -- also spent two weeks riding in a Sherman tank, directing Thunderbolts by radio to hit enemy tanks and guns. The nose art on his P-47 read ‘Polly’ and ‘Sweet and Lovely’. In late March 1945, Lopez flew with seven other P-47s to attack German troops at the Paderborn Panzer school. Ed was hit by fire from a four-barreled 20mm anti-aircraft gun on a halftrack. After shattering his canopy and sending Plexiglas shards into his face, one round creased his scalp. Lopez wiped blood from his eyes to focus through his gun sight and made another pass to obliterate the gun and crew. On April 3, 1945, Lopez was one of eight Hell Hawk pilots who dropped 500lb bombs on about a dozen German tanks aiming to ambush a convoy near Bodefeld. The P-47s destroyed or disabled three of the tanks, breaking up the surprise attack.

Dottie Mae Recovery Video (by Brian Kenney)

Dottie Mae Restoration Video (by Vintage Airframes)

Dottie Mae First Flight Video  (test pilot Johnny Maloney)


Kevin Thompson
(POF Moderator and Aviation Historian) moderates the event and adds to presentations.

: It is the Mission of Planes of Fame Air Museum to preserve aviation history, inspire interest in aviation, educate the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans. The Museum sponsors regular events in the form of inspirational experiences, educational presentations, flight demonstrations, and airshows in fulfillment of this mission.

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