Myrtle Beach unveils WWII P47 Thunderbolt sculpture at Warbird Park

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

The City of Myrtle Beach dedicated the installation of its new World War II Memorial bronze sculpture of a P47 Thunderbolt fighter plane at 10:30 a.m., Friday, November 3rd. The sculpture’s formal reveal will take place at next week’s WWII Memorial Dedication Ceremony at 12:00 p.m., Thursday, November 9. 

P47 Thunderbolt

The sculpture can be seen in Warbird Park, 150 Farrow Parkway. The new addition is titled “Up, Up and Away” and features a P47 Thunderbolt soaring upwards.

he P-47 Thunderbolt, also known as the “Jug,” was a World War II fighter aircraft produced by the United States. Developed by Republic Aviation, it was one of the largest and heaviest single-engine fighter planes of its time.

The P-47 first flew in May 1941 and entered service with the US Army Air Forces in 1942. It quickly became renowned for its ruggedness, versatility, and firepower. The Thunderbolt was powered by a massive Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine, which gave it exceptional speed and altitude performance.

One of the defining features of the P-47 Thunderbolt was its heavily armored cockpit, offering excellent protection to the pilot. It also had eight .50 caliber machine guns mounted in its wings, which gave it tremendous firepower against enemy aircraft. Additionally, it had the ability to carry bombs or rockets under its wings, allowing it to perform ground attack missions.

The Thunderbolt played a crucial role in several theaters of World War II, including the European, Mediterranean, and Pacific theaters. It was primarily used as a long-range escort fighter, protecting bombers during their missions deep into enemy territory. The P-47 was particularly effective in this role, as its long range and heavy armament made it a formidable adversary for enemy fighters.

Overall, the P-47 Thunderbolt was one of the most successful fighter aircraft of World War II, with more than 15,000 units produced. Its sheer size and power, combined with its outstanding combat capabilities, made it a favorite among pilots.

Attendees were able to see the informal reveal and installation process of Myrtle Beach’s newest public art addition. 

P47 Thunderbolt

The sculpture took artist Tuck Langland 8 months to create.  Langland has 4 sculptures that grace the landscape of Brookgreen Gardens.

Artist Tuck Langland is a retired Professor of Sculpture from the South Bend campus of Indiana University (where he taught from 1971 to 2003). Tuck designed and built the school’s sculpture studio from scratch, including the   Langland’s monument-sized bronzes are featured around the country, with several sculptures currently on display at Brookgreen Gardens. 

On November 9th, reserved seating will be available to World War II veterans to ensure that our heroes enjoy the best vantage point of the new monument and ceremony.  Former City of Myrtle Beach mayor and WWII veteran Bob Hirsch will serve as guest speaker.  Hirsch served as an Army Air Corps fighter pilot during the war before relocating to Myrtle Beach in the late 1960s; from 1974 to 1977, he served as mayor of Myrtle Beach. 

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