WWII Plane Returns Home to Evansville

A P-47 fighter plane made its return to Evansville after being gone for more than 75 years.

Posted: Oct 17, 2020 7:13 PM

A piece of World War II history made its way back home to Evansville earlier today.

A World War II P-47 plane named Tar Heel Hal made its return to Evansville after being built there 75 years ago.

And the process of getting this piece of American history back to Evansville wasn’t an easy one.

“This is something that’s been brought up for decades now," said Dona Bone, board member of the Evansville P-47 Foundation. "There aren’t that many p-47’s left in the world. About 13 airworthy P-47’s in the United States today, but we finally found Tar Heel Hal down at the Lone Star museum in Houston, Texas.”

The city of Evansville was responsible for producing more that 150 LST warships, more then 3 billion rounds of ammunition and 6,242 P-47 Thunderbolts during World War II.

And a big reason why the P-47 was brought back to the River City was to help keep Evansville’s proud history alive.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am," said Bone. "It’s just a piece of history. It’s a piece of our history and our heritage, and it’s one more way we’re going to help tell the story about what happened here in Evansville to succeeding generations.”

And one Evansville resident that was waiting by the riverside to catch a glimpse of Tar Heel Hal told me about his special connection to the plane.

“My step-father was a P-47 mechanic," said Jim Jimsey. "It took he and another mechanic over an hour and 45 minutes to change out the spark plugs on the engine, because it had a lot of spark plugs. It’s just an interesting connection to history.”

If you missed out on spotting Tar Heel Hal in the sky today, you can visit the Evansville Wartime Museum anytime after October 21st to see the plane up and close and in person

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