JACK THE RIPPER
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt
468th Fighter Squadron, 508th Fighter Group
Hawaii

I have very little information about what "Jack the Ripper" looked like. I know it was a razorbacked P-47D, probably assigned to 468the FS of the 508th FG on hawaii. The above drawing is based on only the photos on this page. I don't know what Ripper's serial number or indvidual aircraft number might have been, so I put these in the illustration using all zeroes as placekeepers. Some photos of period Jugs show the anitglare panel as very dark, so it's possible that it was black rather than the standard AAF olive drab I show here. The fuselage and tail bansa re 100% speculative on my part. The way the name appears is 60% guesswork (see the first photo below). Dad said he flew Jack The Ripper during the invasion of Saipan, which would indicate he was with the 318th FG at the time, NOT the 508th. Perhaps he had a second plane named Jack the Ripper? I'll never know. Clearly, I ain't gonna be able to model this plane very well at all.
This is not Dad, but a friend of his from back home sitting in Jack the Ripper's cockpit at Mokalaia Airfield, Hawaii. This is the only photo I have to go on. It shows the plane to be a bare metal P-47D razorback model with an anti-glare panel. The individual aircraft number is large, painted rather than stenciled, and ends in a 0, 2, 3, 6, 8 or 9. 333rd aircraft had 2-digit numbers. If the name was painted in black, then that settles the question of the color of the anti-glare panel. The canopy frame is apparently unpainted, which means this isn't the same plane shown in the below photo. I'd have to guess at the way Dad lettered the rest of the name, and I don't know whether it's on the right side also, and if so, which way it angles. ARGH!

Dad in the cockpit of a"Jug" on Hawaii, with that same friend from back home standing on the wing. The P-47 normally carries eight .50 caliber machine guns, but here it's been stripped of all but two and had the pilot's armor removed. In this lightened configuration, Dad used this Jug to intercept Japanese high-altitude "robot" balloons that drifted toward the US in the jetstream with time-released bombs.

It's possible that the plane is "Jack the Ripper," but no squadron or personal markings are showing. Considering that some film of the time photographed yellow very dark, it's impossible to tell exactly what the color of the nose band is. It might just be an alert aircraft that Dad only used that day. However, the cockpit closeup photo above shows the same friend sitting in the cockpit, so it's possible this IS Ripper.



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