P-47D-22 Thunderbolt Pilots Map

P-47D Pilots Map
Author: Gareth Owen

The original map was given to FONFA by the late Captain Andy Wilson, the 507th’s air intelligence officer who also acted as the Group PRO (peacetime Chicago based journalist pre and post war). Captain Wilson was given it by (then) Capt. John E. “Jack” Ray. Jack eventually made Major and was 2nd i/c the 507th at war’s end.

The map came from “ship #868 “ a P-47D-22 from the 507th Fighter Squadron at RAF Winkton, serial 225868, coded Y8-Y. This plane was mainly shared by two pilots who were also friends – a not uncommon arrangement. Pilots were:

  • Captain (later Major) John E Ray from Franklin Virginia, who flew 98 missions with the 507th
  • Captain William (Bill) M Lee from Rockville Indiana, who flew 102 missions with the 507th

The map would have been stored in a case to the right of the pilot’s seat. This was a big case and was used on occasions by small pilots as a jump seat to take up ground crew for a circuit, or even to ferry buddies home whose planes had been shot up and left at another base.



Date: 1943

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