Dakota Air Territory Museum’s P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 flies again

P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 during its first flight with Bernie Vasquez at the controls. (Photo courtesy Ben Redman via AirCorps Aviation)

P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 during its first flight with Bernie Vasquez at the controls. (Photo courtesy Ben Redman via AirCorps Aviation)

Following a lengthy restoration period by AirCorps Aviation, Republic P-47D-23-RA Thunderbolt serial number 42-27609 took to the skies again on 16 May 2023 in Bemidji, Minnesota. The first flight was a success and was flown by Bernie Vasquez, with Warren Pietsch and Ben Redman flying chase in P-51D Mustang “Miss Kitty III”.

The aircraft belongs to the Dakota Territory Air Museum and will carry the markings of the P-47D Thunderbolt “Bonnie”  flown by Major Bill Dunham, commanding officer of the 460th Fighter Squadron in the Philippines in 1944.

Major Bill Dunham’s P-47D “Bonnie”  of the 460th Fighter Squadron in 1944. (Photo USAF)

The exact history of 42-27609 is unknown, but it is believed it served either with the 35th or the 348th Fighter Group in the South-West Pacific. It was delivered to Australia on 8 May 1944 and was abandonedon Dobodura airfield in Papua New Guinea later that year, on 18 September.

More photos and information available here:

We would like to thank Ben Redman and the team at AirCorps Aviation for the photo and footage used to illustrate this article.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2023/05/26/dakota-air-territory-museums-p-47d-thunderbolt-42-27609-flies-again/

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  1. […] covered the first flight a few months ago : Dakota Air Territory Museum’s P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 flies again. The YouTube channel AirshowStuff has shared this video of the display of the Dakota Territory Air […]

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