Republic P-47N Thunderbolt
333rd Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group, 7th Air Force
Ie Shima, Ryukyu Islands

Emblem of the 333rd Fighter Squadron

The above profile of Icky and Me is derived from a combination of Dad's memory and my research. We have no photos of her. All of the 318th's P-47Ns were bare metal with a full-length anti-glare panel. The 333rd's planes had a yellow nose band with a thick black outline. At first the squadrons had the top half of their vertical tails painted the squadron color, but after July, 1945, the whole Group had the entire tail painted with black and yellow stripes. This actually helps me in modeling Icky, since it eliminated the need for me to know the serial number on the tail! The squadron emblem is placed according to photos of other 333rd Jugs I've found in books, as is the aircraft number on the side. Icky was number 02, call sign "Vampire Two." Dad shot down two Japanese planes while flying Icky. He told me he shot down more, but was never specific. Photos of other 333rd Ns show the kill marks were placed under the canopy. I'm not sure if the wingtips and antennas were yellow as I've shown here, but Dad remembers it that way, and it looks cool, so they are.

The flight line of the 333rd Fighter Group on Ie Shima. The frustrating thing is that Icky could be any one of the planes in the shot who's nose and number I can't see. Note that the aircraft number is repeated on the wheel cover. The Jugs in this shot don't seem to be wearing their squadron emblems.
A dramatic shot of a 333rd N revving up for takeoff. Note the thick black outline behind the yellow nose ring. This plane has the 333rd triangle emblem under the cockpit. The round-bordered emblem I picture at the top of the page was copied from the embroidered patch on Dad's flight jacket.

The runway on Ie Shima was only 4,000 feet long. You basically fell off the cliff at the end and the plane got flying speed some time before you hit the water. The runways were made of crushed pink coral, which was so abrasive they had to replace the planes' tires after only eight landings.

And this ain't even fully loaded!

A Republic Aviation publicity shot of a P-47N-5 Thunderbolt at their Long Island factory. The N had additional fuel tanks and a 2800 horsepower Pratt & Whitney R2800 to haul, as can be seen, a huge weapons load. This "Jug" is carrying, in addition to its eight .50 caliber Browning M2 machine guns with 450 rounds per gun, ten five-inch air-to-ground rockets, and two 1,000 pound demolition bombs. The belly rack is empty here, but it could carry an 80 gallon fuel tank, or an additional 250 pound bomb in addition to the pictured loadout. Dad routinely flew the 500 mile trip from Ie Shima to Kyushu and Shikoku with this load.

An example of what the 333rd's colors looked like on P-47N #10, "Chubby." The yellow and black tail stripes were painted on the entire fighter group's airplanes in July, 1945. Previous to that, the tail marking were a yellow top half of the vertical tail with a black border at the bottom of the yellow portion.

And who was parked right next to Chubby, but not in the picture? Yup, this shot of 02's landing gear behind #10 is the only existing photograph of Icky and Me I have ever found, anywhere! This drives me crazy.

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