From: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Ground attack was certainly risky. Despite looking decidedly funky, being an excellent design and getting most of the glory the P-51 was especially vulnerable in this role due to its liquid-cooled engine. I'd much rather be in a P-47 for a few reasons...
1. It's air-cooled radial was far more resistant to battle damage. Numerous Thunderbolts came back with cylinders missing etc.
2. The P-47 was built tough. Even if you did crash-land, instead of a scoop which tended to gig in and flip the aircraft, the Thunderbolt had a smooth underside and all that intake and turbo trunking acted like a crumple zone.
3. It was easier to fly than a Mustang, with lighter stick forces, and it was a better gun platform. It also had an extra pair of 50 cals. The Mustang was more comfortable on long escort missions though, although basically all WW2 fighters were poor in this regard.
The Thunderbolt was more of a gas guzzler but had the power to lift lots of extra juice in drop tanks. It's internal tankage was continually increased as well until in the P-47N it carried fuel in the wings for the first time and had extremely long range.
Also, I think the bubble-canopied P-47s look awesome. A combination of sleek, powerful and tough. And they've got turbos, which gets extra cred
These are P-47Ns