The Republic Aviation P-47 Thunderbolt entered service in May 1942 with the introduction of the P-47B. It had a Razorback, a high dorsal spine behind the side-ways opening canopy that reduced visibility. As improvements were made a D variant was produced with 12,602 being manufactured. The British developed a sliding bubble canopy for their Typhoon and this was adopted by the USAAF starting with the P-47D-5. With its ability to survive enemy fire along with impressive armament and bomb load the P-47 excelled at ground attack roles.
Robert S Johnson ended WWII with 27 victories while flying P-47s. Johnson scored his first victory in June 1943 and was promoted to Captain March 15, 1944. Johnson was assigned a total of 4 P-47s, 3 with the 61st FS where he scored 25 victories and P-47D 42-25512 Penrod and Sam with the 62nd FS. The name came from Sgt. J. C. Penrod who was Crew Chief & Samuel was Robert Johnson's middle name. On May 8, 1944 Johnson scored victories 26 and 27 breaking Eddie Rickenbackers WWI record of 26.