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Dakota Territory Air Museum’s P-47D Takes Flight After 79 Years

Bemidji, MN (May 18, 2023) - The Dakota Territory Air Museum, based in Minot, North Dakota, announced that their Republic P-47D Thunderbolt took flight for the first time in 79 years on May 15, 2023.

In 1944 the P-47 suffered a wartime accident at Dobodura Airfield in New Guinea, where it was abandoned and left to deteriorate. Robert Greinert, an Australian salvager, restorer, and warbird owner, recovered the aircraft to salvage the World War II-era relic. Greinert sold the aircraft, and in 2014 it was transferred to AirCorps Aviation, a vintage aircraft restoration and maintenance company, to begin its lengthy restoration.

With the successful test flight, this P-47 is now the sole airworthy “Razorback” variant of a Thunderbolt. After a series of test flights, the aircraft will fly to its home at the Dakota Territory Air Museum. This P-47 is scheduled to appear for a Warbirds-In-Review session at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023, where its new livery will be unveiled. The aircraft will be painted like the P-47D Bonnie as a tribute to veteran William Douglas Dunham’s P-47 he flew during his time with the 348th Fighter Group in New Guinea.

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