On July 28, 1943, Tony flew four P-47’s throughout the day for a total of 2 hours and 55 minutes. He recorded his fifth flight of the day involving plane number 274700 as “No Flight,” and there’s a great story as to why. He was waiting at the end of the runway to be cleared for takeoff when another P-47 landed on top of him.
It was a hectic time then, and planes continually took off and landed without much space between airplanes. The other pilot descended too quickly and undershot the approach, which struck the rear section of Tony’s plane.
The canopy and tail’s rear take the initial hit that spins Tony’s airplane where the left side of the wing is sheared off just past the 50mm guns.
Thankfully, the heavy bulkhead at the rear of my father’s seat saved his life, and the other pilot was uninjured.
Tony always said that he wouldn’t have survived if the damage was a few inches forward from the initial hit, and I’m very thankful for that!