WWII P-47 Thunderbolt safely lands in Evansville

WWII P-47 Thunderbolt safely lands in Evansville

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The P-47 Thunderbolt arrived in Evansville on Saturday afternoon after the plane was previously delayed due to weather.

Officials say the plane stopped in Arkansas for fuel earlier Saturday.

The World War II bomber was built in Evansville.

Organizers tell us the plane was due Thursday, but was delayed by rain in Evansville.

It was then set to return late Friday afternoon, but was delayed again because of rain in Houston.

The P-47 did flybys over the city before landing around 4 p.m.

One person at the airport who watched the plane touch down on Saturday says his grandparents used to work on P-47 fighter planes.

“I was just thrilled when I found out that one was coming home to Evansville," Keith Kenny said. "I always heard the stories about the P-47 and what it did for the war effort. It’s great to see one up close and personal, and to see it fly and to see the roar of that radio engine - it’s just a really exciting day for Evansville.”

This homecoming was made possible due to fundraising efforts by P-47 Foundation.

In order for the plane to stay in Evansville, the foundation has to pay the Lonestar Museum, which is currently housing the aircraft.

They tell us so far they have raised only a portion of the funds.

The Evansville Wartime Museum says the public will be able to see the plane starting Thursday, October 22 at 10 a.m. Officials say the museum will be open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

We are told visitors can reserve a time to enter the museum or pay for their tickets in advance on their website.

Visitors can also call their ticketing phone line at 812-647-4218. If it is after hours or if the line is busy, you are asked to leave your number and they will return your call.

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