Peoples Bank employees have been very excited to be involved in the arrival of the Republic Air P-47 Thunderbolt Tarheel Hal to the Evansville Wartime Museum. During WWII, Evansville became a wartime manufacturing hub. The city produced many different product for the war, including LST ships, .40 cal ammunition, and over 6,000 P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes.
The P-47 Thunderbolt flew it’s first mission in March 1943 in a fighter sweep over France. With it’s powerful engine, strong weaponry, and sturdy frame, the Thunderbolt was used in combat over Europe and the Pacific and quickly became the USAAF’s primary fighter-bomber. It racked up 3,752 air to air kills and destroyed over 150,000 rail cars, locomotive, armored vehicles, and trucks.
The Evansville P-47 Foundation formed in February 2020 in order to bring a P-47 back to Evansville. Different groups over the years have had a similar goal, but the foundation found and was able to secure the Tarheel Hal, a P-47 that was built in Evansville in May of 1945.
On September 17th, the Tarheel Hal flew home from Houston, TX to the Evansville Wartime Museum. Celebrated by hundreds as it flew over Evansville and Dress Plaza, it landed at the airport just across the street from where it was manufactured. The tristate is proud of the legacy the Tarheel Hal represents. Hard working people who came together to support their country in times of struggle.
Peoples Bank was, and is, proud to be involved with the organizations that brought the Tarheel Hal home. Dan Hendrickson, Director of Marketing and Business Development, serves on the board of directors for the Evansville P-47 Foundation. David Arthur, Marketing Manager, served on the marketing committee for the foundation and flew with P-47 in the chase plane to photograph the Tarheel Hal’s flight. Kyler McReynolds, Assistant Branch Manager at our Paradise branch, serves on the board for the Evansville Wartime Museum.
To see the Tarheel Hal, make a reservation to tour the Evansville Wartime Museum at www.evansvillewartimemuseum.org. You can also support the continued fundraising efforts for the plane at www.bringevansvillep47home.org.