How did the Littlestown High School Sports Teams become the Thunderbolts?


In the 1940s Littlestown switched from soccer as a major sport to football. Clayton Evans was the first football coach, along with George Ditlow, Elmer Gall and Maurice Bream.

There was a contest to choose a name for the team. Bob Scholl asked Coach Evans what his favorite airplane was. Mr. Evans related that his favorite airplane was the Thunderbolt airplane partly because the Colonel he served under had flown a Thunderbolt before he took over command of the Moore Army Air Corps training base in Texas. Also, a "thunderbolt" was the nickname of 1/4 stick of dynamite used in the mines. (Mr. Evans's dad was a miner and an expert with explosives.)

Bob Scholl submitted the name thunderbolt in the contest and in 1947 received an award for this name.

Note about the Thunderbolt airplane:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was the largest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single piston engine.[3][verification needed] It was heavily armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded, the P-47 weighed up to eight tons, and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack roles could carry five-inch rockets or a significant bomb load of 2,500 pounds; over half the weight the B-17 bomber could carry on long-range missions (although the B-17 had a far greater range). The P-47, based on the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine, was to be very effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and, when unleashed as a fighter-bomber, proved especially adept at ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific Theaters.

The P-47 was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and served with other Allied air forces, notably those of France, Britain, and Russia. Mexican and Brazilian squadrons fighting alongside the U.S. were equipped with the P-47.

The armored cockpit was roomy inside, comfortable for the pilot, and offered good visibility. A modern-day U.S. ground-attack aircraft, the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47.
The P-47 Thunderbolt was a design of Georgian immigrant Alexander Kartveli, and was to replace the Seversky P-35 that was developed earlier by Russian immigrant Alexander P. de Seversky (born in the same place as Kartveli: Tbilisi, Georgia). Both had left their homeland to escape the Bolsheviks.


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This Page Compiled by
Kenneth Thomas - E-mail
Retired from teaching at Littlestown High School after 38 years.