P-47D Thunderbolt

Fleet Bay, Gatehouse of Fleet













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: A Republic P-47D Thunderbolt fighter-bomber.


a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt fighter-bomber


Photo: 2006 'Kogo' (own work).


 Released by the author to the public domain under GNU Free Documentation License, 1.2 or later.






Aircraft Type and Background


USAF Republic P-47D Thunderbolt  /  44-33143


Aircraft Type Nickname: "the Jug"; sincebecause of its weight and solid buildit was considered to be something of a juggernaut.



The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was perhaps the heaviest single engine fighter-bomber of its day. It was equipped with a Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engine of 43 - 46 litres capacity.


The Thunderbolt was equipped with .50 calibre machine guns, with four on each wing. It was also capable of carrying rockets or bombs.


The aircraft  was used as an escort fighter, a fighter-bomber, and a ground-attack fighter.



BELOW: Side view of P-47D-40 R-2800 Thunderbolt engine.


side view of P-47D thunderbolt engine


Photo: 2006 'Kogo' (own work).


 Released by the author to the public domain under GNU Free Documentation License, 1.2 or later.






Aircraft Accident Details                      


P-47 44-33143 took off from Renfrew on the 16th of February 1945 at 13:10 hours on a ferry flight to RAF Burtonwood. The pilot was 2nd Lt. Robert Knowles. A few other aircraft were in the same flight and they lost touch with Knowles after the weather closed in after Prestwick. Around 14.30 hrs an explosion was heard over Fleet Bay.

On the 18th of February an RAF rescue party located the wreckage near Craigmore point, Kirkcudbright. The pilot had tried to get out of the aircraft but was too late and his body was found outside the cockpit of the aircraft tangled in the wreckage.



[The information here and in the Panel below was kindly provided by Alan Leishman]






Aircraft Pilot Casualty


The pilot who died in this incident was:



(Please click on the hyperlinks above for further information.)




Crash Site Photos



General Location of Crash Site



BELOW: A panoramic shot taken from Craigmore Point with Fleet Bay to the right. The yellow arrow at the extreme right of the photo indicates the approximate location of the P-47 crash site.


yellow arrow shows position of crash site.


Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Looking toward the crash site (yellow arrow) further up Fleet Bay. The actual location is in mud at the edge of the river, and just off Rough Point Hill.


looking toward crash site from craigmore point.


Photo: © 2014 Gary Nelson






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Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 16 Feb 1945


Accident Site:

Fleet Bay (off Craigmore Point),

by Gatehouse of Fleet.


Nearest road: A75.


Region: Dumfries and Galloway


Nearest towns or villages:

Gatehouse of Fleet (NE), or Kirkcudbright (E).


Nearest large towns:

Gatehouse of Fleet [map] (NE), or Kirkcudbright [map] (E)


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref. N/A


Present Condition: Buried in soft mud at the moment. However, some wreckage may be seen from time to time.


The cockpit canopy was recovered from the site and transferred to Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: 44-33143


Operator:  USAF (Troop Carrier Group.)


Departure Station: RAF Renfrew (Also operating as RNAS Renfrew / HMS Sanderling)


Departure Station Location: Renfrew near Glasgow.


Departure Station Status: Closed. Overbuilt with housing and M8 motorway.



Destination Station (Intended): RAF / USAF Burtonwood (Aerial view)


Destination Station Location: Near Warrington, Cheshire, England.


Destination Station Status: Closed and derelict.





Related Links


USAF and RAF Related Links

RAF / USAF Burtonwood

RAF Renfrew / HMS Sanderling


Other Links

Renfrew Aerodrome (A history of Renfrew Aerodrome with contemporary photos.)

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt at Wikipedia




Hill Walking Links


(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)

Walking Scotland's Mountains




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