P-47 Thunderbolt Getting a Makeover, Could Be Named Indiana's Official State Aircraft

The P-47 Thunderbolt named 'Tar Heel Hal' was made in Evansville some 75 years ago, and new legislation was proposed on Tuesday to name the plane Indiana's official state aircraft.

Posted: Jan 12, 2021 3:01 PM
Updated: Jan 13, 2021 12:30 AM

According to the Evansville P-47 Foundation, the P-47 Thunderbolt Tarheel Hal, which arrived at the Evansville Wartime Museum this past October, is being formally renamed “Hoosier Spirit II” in honor of the first P-47 produced at the Republic Aviation plant in Evansville, Indiana, named “Hoosier Spirit.”

The foundation says that the renaming of the aircraft will also include a new paint scheme and design to better reflect its Indiana history and origins. The repainting will take place in the near future.

Additionally, new legislation was proposed Tuesday to name the World War II plane as Indiana's official state aircraft.

House Bill 1197 requesting that the P-47 Thunderbolt Hoosier Spirit II be designated as the official state aircraft of Indiana. It's co-sponsored by Rep. Matt Hostettler, Rep. Holli Sullivan, and Rep. Sharon Negele.

The P-47 Thunderbolt now known as Hoosier Spirit II was made in the River City some 75 years ago, as were over 6,000 other P-47 Thunderbolts - with only a handful of the aircraft, including the Hoosier Spirit II, still operational.

The Evansville P-47 Foundation is continuing fundraising efforts for the aircraft.

Donations can be made at bringevansvillep47home.org

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