The Evansville Wartime Museum and the Evansville P-47 Foundation on Friday hosted an event to celebrate the Hoosier Spirit II's new look and the signing of House Bill 1197, which designates the WWII plane as Indiana's official state aircraft.
Back in January, the plane, formerly known as "Tarheel Hal", was officially renamed “Hoosier Spirit II” in honor of the first P-47 produced at the Republic Aviation plant in Evansville, Indiana, named “Hoosier Spirit.” The plan was constructed at the Republican Aviation plant in later 1944, as evidenced by its serial number which starts with "44."
The plane made its return home to its birthplace of Evansville in October 2020 after being built there over 75 years ago.
The Evansville P-47 Foundation purchased the Hoosier Spirit II from the Lone Star Museum in November 2020. The Foundation says it still owes around $1.9 million on the loan for the historic airplane.
City and state officials were present for Friday's celebration, including Indiana's Lt. Gov. Suzanna Crouch and Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.
HB 1197 was signed on Monday, April 26, by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, officially naming the Hoosier Spirit II as Indiana's state aircraft.
If you'd like to find more information on making a donation to the Evansville P-47 Foundation or on the Hoosier Spirit II, you can visit bringevansvillep47home.org.