Profile Photo

  • 62 articles
  • 2,526 karma
  • 15 friends

P-47D “Damon’s Demon” redux…

I built this one a few years ago and was never happy with the finish – I went back over and repainted and weathered to 2020 standards…
Tamiya kit, Ultracast wheels & seat, Barracudacals

Background below on pilot – George W Rarey

Capt. George W. Rarey of Enid, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C., who came to the 379th in Bradley Field, Connecticut, as a lieutenant and an original flight leader, was one of the most talented guys I had ever met. There was also no question that he was one of the best liked men of the squadron among enlisted men and officers alike. He had an enormous talent for art and maintained an extensive collection of drawings of fellow pilots which were remarkably accurate. He was also an accomplished caricaturist and cartoonist with a fertile imagination and mind. A pilot would tell Capt. Rarey something about himself, his likes, his interests, his dreams, and Capt. Rarey would come up with an insignia and nickname for him fitting him to a “T.” Then he would transfer it in a painting on the nose of the pilot’s P-47. Of all the aircraft art I witnessed, and I witnessed a lot, the work created by Capt. Rarey for the 379th Fighter Squadron was the most clever and professionally done. His own P-47 was named “Damon’s Demon” and featured a caricature of a chubby bird of some unknown breed (lovingly called a “Rarey bird” by his fellow pilots) sitting atop an 8-ball, smoking a pipe in his very large bill, and holding a dripping paintbrush. The bird’s one visible eye pointed skyward like he was thinking some evil thought. All this artistic talent was shrouded by a fierce determination and bravery within the man. I can remember at one time Capt. Rarey had flown 63 missions without ever turning back as an “abort” for any reason. When he failed to return from a mission on June 27, 1944, the entire group, led by his crew chief S/Sgt. John W. Benson from Menomie, Wisconsin, accepted his fate in stunned silence. One never gets over the loss of a guy like this one.

Hailing from Enid Oklahoma, George Rarey was an extremely talented artist who before being drafted in 1942 had worked as a cartoonist and a commercial artist.

“Dad” Rarey never stopped drawing, and his sketch books showed the story of the 362nd FG’s passage overseas into the ETO. Rareys son Damon was born on March 18th 1944 and George named his P-47 “Damons Demon” in honour of his firstborn. Father and son were destined never to meet as fate dealt a cruel blow when George Rarey was killed in a low level strafing mission on June 26th 1944.

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.


7 responses to P-47D “Damon’s Demon” redux…

  1. This redux looks perfect, Darren!
    Equally amazing was the story of Capt. George W. Rarey, the pics and caricatures included. It was moving!

  2. Another beauty, and tragic (but not uncommon) story!

  3. You got a great collection of P-47’s going on…Really good background on the pilot. Models look fantastic. The only Thunderbolts I have in the stash are Monograms, but looking at all the details (for ex. wing guns angled correctly) thinking about picking up a Tamiya one at some point.

  4. Beautiful job on that bird. A lot of nice P-47’s have been posted here of late, and I have enjoyed them all. The story with this one though is very poignant. I enjoy building models of all the incredible military machines made, and watching movies seeing men and machines in action, but stories like the one here remind me just how wasteful and costly wars are.

  5. I had the good fortune to meet Damon Rarey, after discovering his “rareybird.com” memorial to his father back in the early days of the net. “Being a great guy” must be genetic, since he never met his father to learn from his example. Creativity is also genetic. Damon was one of the inventors of computer animation waaayyyy back in the late 70s/early 80s. Unfortunately, he died way too soon of an inoperable brain tumor.

    This is a really nice work here to re-create Damon’s Demon.

    For those who might be interested in learning more about the men of the 362nd FG, you should go pick up Chris Bucholtz’s “Thunderbolts Triumphant.” After becoming friends with Damon, he took the effort to meet all the men still around – officers and enlisted – who had known George Rarey, and wrote their definitive history.

    Go here: https://www.amazon.com/Thunderbolts-Triumphant-Fighter-Germanys-Wehrmacht/dp/1612006736/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Chris+Bucholtz&qid=1599680206&s=books&sr=1-2

  6. Your best looking T bolt yet! You must have your own little Republic factory.

  7. Another great one, Darren.
    Unbelievable the amount of P47’s you have built, and all of them look fantastic.
    Especially the weathering on this one is fantastic.

Leave a Reply