Browse Items (18 total)

The Blog

This blog was a way for the administrator to document her journey and process through this project. The topics vary from her grandfather, the late Colonel Joseph Laughlin, to what she learned not to do in her search for information. She hopes it…

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In this article, the recent successes of Colonel Joseph Laughlin in France are described. It includes the details behind a Ninth Air Force record-setting flight that was Colonel Laughlin's idea as payback to the Nazis for all that they had done so…

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Although he was known as a very jovial person, Colonel Laughlin had a serious side that he never really showed in front of cameras. Here he looks out with a very severe and serious expression while standing in front of his final P-47 in his flight…

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The P-47 Thunderbolt was a heavy fighter aircraft, maxing out at 17,000 lbs. Part of this weight was owed to the extra protection given to the pilot. Armor plates were installed behind the seat and on each side of the cockpit below the window. In…

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Colonel Laughlin, pictured here with grounds crew members of the 379th Fighter Squadron, knew he could rely on his men to do their jobs. He often credited the success of the group to the men who never got the glory because without their skill and…

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Colonel Laughlin is all smiles as he looks out onto the field full of men and planes. He appears in his flight suit with his uniform underneath, ready to take to the skies. The checkerboard cowl color indicates this was taken towards the end of the…

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Colonel Laughlin talks and smiles as he poses in front of his first P-47. Although he had already been called Five by Five (for looking five feet tall and five feet wide) the elephant with the four leaf clover was a surprise. Captain George Rarey…

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Colonel Laughlin gives a toothy grin as he settles into the cockpit of his P-47. Notice the suit and tie visible under his flight suit.

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This picture shows Colonel Laughlin and his crew chief, Sgt. Chodor, talking before Laughlin prepped for flight. There had to be a lot of trust between a pilot and his crew chief; not only were they responsible for the overall maintenance of the…

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The call sign reads as "B8-A". The "B" is for the 379th Fighter Squadron; the "A" is for the 362nd Fighter Group; and the "8" is the plane number within the squadron. This was Colonel Laughlin's call sign in early 1945.
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