The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was an American fighter plane produced by Republic Aviation from 1941 to 1945. It was equipped with .50 caliber machine guns and rockets for ground attacks. When fully loaded with bombs, this plane could weigh in excess of eight tons, making it one of the heaviest fighter planes used in the war. The P-47 became one of America’s top fighters in the war and it was also flown by several other Allied forces including Britain, France and the Soviet Union. The Republic was a versatile aircraft, effective for both high altitude air to air combat as well as ground attacks.