Tarheel Hal could get new name, new honor


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- Months after Tarheel Hal, a P47 plane built in Evansville during World War Two, came home to the Evansville Wartime Museum, local lawmakers Wendy McNamara, Matt Hostettler, and Holli Sullivan have introduced new legislation that would rename the plane Hoosier Spirit Two and make it the official state plane.

Currently, all P47s are considered the state plane but the legislation would make Hoosier Spirit Two the exclusive state plane. Rep. McNamara says plans for the plane don’t end there, including repainting the plane to reflect its origins and Indiana’s role during the war effort.

Evansville Wartime Museum and Evansville P47 Foundation board member Dona Bone says the new name is symbolic. Bone says the first plane built in Evansville was called the Hoosier Spirit, meaning both the first plane built in Evansville and one of the last warplanes built in Evansville will share the same name.

Bone says the museum is hoping to have more events featuring the plane in the coming months, including potentially hosting a bill signing this Spring.

(This story was originally published on January 23, 2021)

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