P-47D-20-RE, 42-76553, 510th FS, 405th FG
Flown by Lt. Arlie Blood, the nose art for the Bug was created by Sgt. Lynn, an artist much in demand within the 510th FS. The plane was named after Arlie's son, whose nickname was "The Bug". The Bug didn't last very long, it was hit by flak during a strafing pass at a train on May 21, 1944. The engine took a direct hit and burst into flames. When flames came out from underneath the instrument panel, Lt. Blood thought "it would be cooler outside of the airplane." Bailing out at low altitude, his parachute opened just before he hit the ground. He evaded the Germans for a time, but was eventually captured. He escaped his captors and spent the next few months with the French resistance. He was reunited with the 510th FS on September 8, 1944.
Photo by Michael Lovero