by Steve Hale
A crew chief and assistant pull the propeller through on a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt to clear the lower cylinders of excess oil prior to engine start. ‘Chunky’ was assigned to the 365th Fighter Squadron, 358th Fighter Group at High Halden, Kent, sometime in June 1944.
The 358th Fighter Group dive-bombed marshalling yards and airfields during April to help prepare for the invasion of Normandy. They attacked bridges, rail lines and trains, vehicles, and troop concentrations during the month of May before eventually moving to the Continent in July, and taking part in operations that resulted in the Allied breakthrough at Saint-Lô.
Drawn with his usual flair for detail, Steve has faithfully depicted a scene that must have greeted a visitor at any number of English airfields, in the build up to D-Day in the Summer of 1944.
This original drawing comes professionally framed, using conservation materials.