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The Thunderbolt Library
P-47's in books, on film, and weblinks.
An Unexpected Pleasure
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North Carolina, United States
Member Since: January 13, 2003
entire network: 1,036 Posts
KitMaker Network: 152 Posts
Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 01:51 PM UTC
We decided to go to the IPMS show RDU CON today. Among all of the great models that were there I mananged to add another thing to my library.

Now one might say yeah I know its a great book and a great read but here is where it gets interesting.

As my wife and I are perusing the exhibits and vendors we come upon a couple sitting behind an empty table talking. as I get a closer look I tell my wife read the elderly gentleman's hat. Low and behold it reads "P-47 Pilots Association". She looks at me walks up to the table an introduces herself and me to none other than Col Hal Shook!

This man had a grace about him that is beyond explaination. She explains that I just got finished with my P-47 Build and wouldn't you know it his ears perked up and we just started talking.

Now my wife being a somewhat P51 fan she starts talking as well and mentions the Mustang. Col Shook says "If you want to go up and fly around the P-51 is the plane you want. If you want to go to war the P-47 is the one you really want."

As the discussion continues he states the the P-51 might look prettier than a P-47. I then interjected with a look of disbelief on my face and before I could catch myself I boldly say "Oh no it doesn't. At this he looks at me a little perplexed lets out a hearty laugh and says I need to shake your hand. We all got a laugh and I got a thrill out of that.

He then kindly and graciously "endorsed" our copy of the book we got and we parted ways.

If anyone has the opportunity to meet any one of these fine people please do you will leave with something you may not count on.

I have now found my insperation for 2 more P-47's. Now Ii have to find the decals for both.

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California, United States
Member Since: August 25, 2008
entire network: 369 Posts
KitMaker Network: 174 Posts
Posted: Monday, September 14, 2009 - 01:12 PM UTC
Great story, Paul. These 'old and bold' pilots are quickly vanishing from among us. They have some wonderful stories, and 'ways' that you will probably never see again. They were kids when they went to war; they lived through it; they returned to their lives, and raised families, and enjoyed the fruits of what they fought for (even though, most likely say, it was for their buddies in the air with them at the time). Congratulations...you talked to a National Treasure.

Semper Fi,