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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Lockheed P-38J-10-LO Lightning
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Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed P-38J-10-LO Lightning
Within the P-38 Lockheed professional Clarence "Kelly" Johnson along with his group of developers created perhaps one of the most successful twin-engine fighters previously flown by any country. From 1942 to 1945, U. S. Army Air Forces pilots flew P-38s over European countries, the Mediterranean, in addition to Pacific, and from the frozen Aleutian Islands into sun-baked deserts of North Africa. Lightning pilots within the Pacific movie theater downed even more Japanese plane than pilots traveling some other Allied warplane.
Maj. Richard I. Bong, America’s leading fighter ace, flew this P-38J-10-LO on April 16, 1945, at Wright Field, Ohio, to guage an experimental approach to interconnecting the movement associated with the throttle and propeller control levers. But his right motor exploded in-flight before he could conduct the experiment.
Transmitted from the US Air Energy.
Lockheed Aircraft Company
Nation of Origin:
In general: 390 x 1170cm, 6345kg, 1580cm (12ft 9 9/16in. x 38ft 4 5/8in., 13988.2lb., 51ft 10 1/16in.)
Twin-tail boom and twin-engine fighter; tricycle landing gear.
From 1942 to 1945, the thunder of P-38 Lightnings was heard across the world. U. S. Army pilots travelled the P-38 over Europe, the Mediterranean, plus the Pacific; from the frozen Aleutian isles to your sun-baked deserts of North Africa. Measured by success in fight, Lockheed engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson and a team of manufacturers created the most effective twin-engine fighter previously flown by any nation. In Pacific Theater, Lightning pilots downed more Japanese plane than pilots flying other Army Air Forces warplane.
Johnson along with his team conceived this twin-engine, single-pilot fighter airplane in 1936 additionally the Army Air Corps approved the company to build it in June 1937. Lockheed completed building the prototype XP-38 and delivered it toward Air Corps on new-year’s time, 1939. Air Corps test pilot and P-38 project officer, Lt. Benjamin S. Kelsey, very first travelled the aircraft on January 27. Dropping this model in an accident at Mitchel Field, ny, with Kelsey at settings, did not deter the atmosphere Corps from purchasing 13 YP-38s for service evaluation on April 27. Kelsey survived the crash and remained a significant part of the Lightning program. Before the aircraft could possibly be declared ready for fight, Lockheed needed to prevent the effects of high-speed aerodynamic compressibility and tail buffeting, and resolve other dilemmas discovered during the solution tests.
The essential vexing difficulty was losing control in a plunge caused by aerodynamic compressibility. During belated springtime 1941, Air Corps significant Signa A. Gilke encountered serious trouble while diving their Lightning at high-speed from an altitude of 9,120 m (30,000 ft). When he reached an indicated airspeed around 515 kph (320 mph), the aircraft’s tail began to shake violently as well as the nostrils dropped until the plunge was nearly straight. Signa restored and landed safely and also the end buffet issue had been soon dealt with after Lockheed setup brand-new fillets to enhance airflow in which the seat gondola joined up with the wing center area. Seventeen months passed before designers started initially to figure out what caused the Lightning’s nostrils to drop. They tested a scale design P-38 within the Ames Laboratory wind tunnel run by the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) and discovered that shock waves formed whenever airflow across wing leading sides achieved transonic rates. The nostrils drop and loss in control had been never completely remedied but Lockheed setup plunge recovery flaps under each wing in 1944. They slowed the P-38 enough to let the pilot to keep up control when diving at high-speed.
Equally the introduction of the North American P-51 Mustang, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, and Vought F4U Corsair (see NASM collection for those plane) pushed the restrictions of plane performance into unexplored territory, so also did P-38 development. The sort of plane envisioned by the Lockheed design group and Air Corps strategists in 1937 didn’t appear until June 1944. This protracted shakedown duration mirrors the tribulations suffered by Vought in sorting out of the numerous technical problems that held F4U Corsairs off U. S. Navy carrier decks before the end of 1944.
Lockheed’s attempts to trouble-shoot various issues with the design in addition delayed high-rate, mass production. Whenever Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the company had delivered just 69 Lightnings towards the Army. Production steadily increased at its peak in 1944, 22 sub-contractors built various Lightning components and delivered them to Burbank, California, for last set up. Consolidated-Vultee (Convair) subcontracted to create the wing center section as well as the firm later became prime maker for 2,000 P-38Ls but that business’s Nashville plant finished only 113 examples of this Lightning design before war’s end. Lockheed and Convair completed 10,038 P-38 plane including 500 photo-reconnaissance designs. They built even more L designs, 3,923, than any other version.
To help ease control and improve security, specifically at low rates, Lockheed equipped all Lightnings, except a batch purchased by Britain, with propellers that counter-rotated. The propeller to the pilot’s remaining switched counter-clockwise in addition to propeller to his right switched clockwise, so that one propeller countered the torque and airflow effects created because of the other. The plane also done well at large rates while the definitive P-38L design could make much better than 676 kph (420 mph) between 7,600 and 9,120 m (25,000 and 30,000 ft). The design was versatile adequate to carry different combinations of bombs, air-to-ground rockets, and external gasoline tanks. The multi-engine configuration reduced the Lightning loss-rate to anti-aircraft gunfire during ground-attack missions. Single-engine airplanes equipped with power flowers cooled by pressurized fluid, like the us P-51 Mustang (see NASM collection), had been specially susceptible. Even a small nick in a single coolant line might lead to the engine to seize in only a matter of moments.
The initial P-38s to achieve the Pacific combat movie theater appeared on April 4, 1942, whenever a form of the Lightning that carried reconnaissance digital cameras (designated the F-4), joined up with the 8th Photographic Squadron located in Australian Continent. This product established the initial P-38 fight missions over New Guinea and New Britain during April. By May 29, initial 25 P-38s had arrived in Anchorage, Alaska. On August 9, pilots associated with the 343rd Fighter Group, Eleventh Air energy, traveling the P-38E, shot down a couple of Japanese flying boats.
Back in the usa, Army Air Forces frontrunners attempted to get a grip on a rumor that Lightnings killed unique pilots. On August 10, 1942, Col. Arthur I. Ennis, Chief of U. S. Army Air Forces pr in Washington, told an other officer "… This is what the 4th Fighter [training] Command is facing… common rumor available your entire western Coast was filled with headless bodies of males which jumped off P-38s and had their particular minds cut off by the propellers." Novice Lightning pilots unfamiliar with the perfect bailout treatments in fact had more to worry through the twin-boom tail, if a crisis dictated using towards the parachute but precisely performed, Lightning bailouts were as safe as parachuting from any other high-performance fighter of day. Misinformation and crazy conjecture about numerous brand new aircraft had been widespread through the early War duration.
And U. S. Navy Grumman F4F Wildcats (see NASM collection) and Curtiss P-40 Warhawks (see NASM collection), Lightnings had been initial United states fighter airplanes with the capacity of consistently defeating Japanese fighter plane. On November 18, men associated with the 339th Fighter Squadron became initial Lightning pilots to attack Japanese fighters. Flying from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, they advertised three during a mission to escort Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers (see NASM collection).
On April 18, 1943, fourteen P-38 pilots from the 70th in addition to 339th Fighter Squadrons, 347th Fighter Group, achieved one of the most crucial Lightning missions of this war. Us ULTRA cryptanalysts had decoded Japanese communications that disclosed the schedule for a call to the front by the commander for the Imperial Japanese Navy, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. This charismatic leader had crafted the plan to strike Pearl Harbor and Allied strategists thought his loss would severely cripple Japanese morale. The P-38 pilots travelled 700 km (435 miles) at levels from 3-15 m (10-50 foot) above the ocean in order to prevent detection. Over the shore of Bougainville, they intercepted a formation of two Mitsubishi G4M BETTY bombers (see NASM collection) carrying the Admiral along with his staff, and six Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters (see NASM collection) supplying escort. The Lightning pilots downed both bombers but destroyed Lt. Ray Hine to a Zero.
In European countries, the very first Americans to straight down a Luftwaffe aircraft had been Lt. Elza E. Shahan flying a 27th Fighter Squadron P-38E, and Lt. J. K. Shaffer flying a Curtiss P-40 (see NASM collection) in 33rd Fighter Squadron. The 2 leaflets shared the destruction of a Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3 Condor maritime hit plane over Iceland on August 14, 1942. Later on that month, the very first fighter group accepted Lightnings and began combat functions from bases in The united kingdomt but this device soon moved to fight in North Africa. A lot more than annually passed away before the P-38 reappeared over west European countries. Whilst Lightning ended up being missing, U. S. Army Air Forces strategists had relearned an agonizing concept: unescorted bombers cannot operate successfully in the face of determined opposition from adversary fighters. Whenever P-38s returned to The united kingdomt, the main objective had become long-range bomber escort at ranges of about 805 kms (500 kilometers) and at altitudes above 6,080 m (20,000 ft).
On October 15, 1943, P-38H pilots within the 55th Fighter Group flew their particular first fight goal over European countries at a time if the requirement for long-range escorts was severe. Just the day before, German fighter pilots had damaged 60 of 291 Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses (see NASM collection) during a mission to bomb five ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt, Germany. No air force could maintain a loss-rate of nearly 20 per cent for more than various missions but these goals lay well beyond the number of offered escort fighters (Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, see NASM collection). Us war planners hoped the long-range abilities associated with P-38 Lightning could stop this deadly trend, nevertheless very high and very cool environment distinct on European environment war caused serious power-plant and seat home heating problems the Lightning pilots. The long-range escort problem wasn’t completely resolved before the us P-51 Mustang (see NASM collection) started initially to get to large numbers at the beginning of 1944.
Poor cockpit home heating in H and J model Lightnings made traveling and battling at altitudes that usually approached 12,320 m (40,000 ft) very hard. It was a fundamental design flaw that Kelly Johnson and his team never expected once they designed the plane six many years previously. In his seminal run the Allison V-1710 motor, Daniel Whitney analyzed in detail other factors that made the P-38 a disappointing airplane in fight over west European countries.
• Many brand-new and inexperienced pilots arrived in England during December 1943, along with the brand new J model P-38 Lightning.
• J model ranked at 1,600 horsepower vs. 1,425 for earlier in the day H design Lightnings. This energy setting needed better maintenance between flights. It seems this work wasn’t carried out in numerous cases.
• During stateside education, Lightning pilots were taught to fly at large rpm options and low engine manifold force during cruise trip. This was quite difficult on machines, and never commensurate with technical directives released by Allison and Lockheed.
• the caliber of gas in The united kingdomt was bad, TEL (tetraethyl lead) gas additive appeared to condense inside engine induction manifolds, causing detonation (destructive explosion of gasoline combination in the place of controlled burning).
• Improved turbo supercharger intercoolers appeared in the J design P-38. These devices considerably reduced manifold conditions but this inspired TEL condensation in manifolds during cruise trip and enhanced spark plug fouling.
Using water shot to reduce detonation could have reduced these engine issues. The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt while the us P-51 Mustang (see NASM collection) had been fitted with liquid shot systems although not the P-38. Lightning pilots proceeded to fly, despite these handicaps.
During November 1942, two all-Lightning fighter teams, the very first as well as the 14th, began operating in North Africa. When you look at the Mediterranean Theater, P-38 pilots travelled much more sorties than Allied pilots traveling other style of fighter. They stated 608 opponent a/c destroyed in the air, 123 most likely destroyed and 343 wrecked, from the loss in 131 Lightnings.
Within the war against Japan, the P-38 certainly excelled. Combat seldom happened above 6,080 m (20,000 ft) therefore the engine and cockpit comfort problems common in European countries never ever affected pilots within the Pacific Theater. The Lightning’s exceptional range had been regularly complete benefit over the vast expanses of liquid. At the beginning of 1945, Lightning pilots associated with the twelfth Fighter Squadron, eighteenth Fighter Group, flew a mission that lasted 10 ½ hours and covered above 3,220 kilometer (2,000 kilometers). In August, P-38 pilots founded the planet’s long-distance record for a global War II fight fighter once they flew from Philippines on Netherlands East Indies, a distance of 3,703 kilometer (2,300 kilometers). During early 1944, Lightning pilots into the 475th Fighter Group started the ‘race of aces.’ By March, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Lynch had scored 21 victories before he fell to antiaircraft gunfire while strafing adversary boats. Significant Thomas B. McGuire downed 38 Japanese plane before he had been killed whenever his P-38 crashed at low altitude in early January 1945. Major Richard I. Bong became The united states’s highest rating fighter ace (40 victories) but died within the crash of a Lockheed P-80 (see NASM collection) on August 6, 1945.
Museum documents reveal that Lockheed assigned the building quantity 422-2273 towards nationwide Air and Space Museum’s P-38. The Army Air Forces accepted this Lightning as a P-38J-l0-LO on November 6, 1943, as well as the solution identified the plane with the serial quantity 42-67762. Recent investigations performed by a team of specialists in the Paul E. Garber Facility, and Herb Brownstein, a volunteer within the Aeronautics Division at the nationwide Air and area Museum, have actually revealed many hitherto as yet not known aspects toward reputation for this aircraft.
Brownstein examined NASM files and papers at nationwide Archives. He discovered that a few days following the Army environment causes (AAF) acknowledged this airplane, the Engineering Division at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, granted Lockheed permission to transform this P-38 into a two-seat instructor. The company added a seat behind the pilot to allow for a teacher who would train civil pilots in instrument flying strategies. Once trained, these test pilots assessed brand-new Lightnings fresh off the assembly-line.
In a teletype sent because of the Engineering Division on March 2, 1944, Brownstein in addition found that this P-38 premiered to Colonel Benjamin S. Kelsey from March 3 to April 10, 1944, to perform unique tests. This step had been verified the next day in a cable through the War Department. This same pilot, after that a Lieutenant, flew the XP-38 throughout the US in 1939 and survived the crash that ruined this Lightning at Mitchel Field, ny. At the beginning of 1944, Kelsey ended up being assigned towards Eighth Air power in England and then he obviously traveled into the Lockheed factory at Burbank to get the P-38. Further information about these tests and Kelsey’s involvement stay an intriguing question.
Among Brownstein’s important discoveries ended up being a tiny file wealthy with information on the NASM Lightning. This file included a cryptic mention of a "Major Bong" who travelled the NASM P-38 on April 16, 1945, at Wright Field. Bong decided to travel for an hour to judge an experimental approach to interconnecting the action of throttle and propeller control levers. Their flight finished after twenty-minutes when "the correct engine blew up before I had an opportunity [to conduct the test]." The curator during the Richard I. Bong history Center confirmed that America’s greatest scoring ace made this flight when you look at the NASM P-38 Lightning.
Working in Building 10 in the Paul E. Garber center, Rob Mawhinney, Dave Wilson, Wil Lee, Bob Weihrauch, Jim Purton, and Heather Hutton invested almost a year through the springtime and summer of 2001 carefully disassembling, examining, and washing the NASM Lightning. They discovered every hardware modification in line with a model J-25 aircraft, perhaps not the design J-10 painted inside information block under the artifact’s remaining nose. This fact dovetails completely with understanding uncovered by Brownstein. On April 10, the Engineering Division once again cabled Lockheed asking the company to prepare 42-67762 for transfer to Wright Field "in standard setup." The standard P-38 setup during those times was the P-38J-25. The work took weeks and also the fighter cannot show up on Wright Field documents until might 15, 1944. On Summer 9, the flight-test area at Wright Field circulated the fighter for trip studies targeted at collecting pilot reviews how the airplane managed.
Wright Field’s Aeromedical Laboratory ended up being the second company associated with this P-38. That device installed a kit on July 26 that probably sized the force necessary to go the control wheel left and directly to actuate the power-boosted ailerons installed in all Lightnings beginning with variation J-25. From August 12-16, the energy Plant Laboratory performed examinations determine the hydraulic pump conditions with this Lightning. Then starting September 16 and lasting about ten times, the Bombing department, Armament Laboratory, tested type R-3 fragmentation bomb racks. The work appears to have ended at the beginning of December. On June 20, 1945, the AAF Aircraft Distribution workplace asked your Air Specialized provider Command transfer the Lightning from Wright Field to Altus Air energy Base, Oklahoma, a temporary holding area for Air energy museum aircraft. The P-38 attained the Oklahoma City Air Depot on Summer 27, 1945, and mechanics prepared the fighter for flyable storage space.
Airplane Flight Reports with this Lightning in addition describe here tasks and moves:
6-21-45 Wright Field, Ohio, 5.15 hours of flying.
6-22-45Wright Field, Ohio, .35 minutes of flying by Lt. Col. Wendel [?] J. Kelley and P. Shannon.
6-25-45Altus, Oklahoma, .55 hours flown, pilot P. Shannon.
6-27-45Altus, Oklahoma, number 2 engine changed, 1.05 hours flown by Air Corps F/O Ralph F. Coady.
10-5-45 OCATSC-GCAAF (outdoors City Army Air Field, outdoors City, Kansas), guns eliminated and ballast included.
10-8-45Adams Field, Little Rock, Arkansas.
5-28-46Freeman Field, Indiana, upkeep check by Air Corps Capt. H. M. Chadhowere [sp]?
7-24-46Freeman Field, Indiana, one hour local journey by 1st Lt. Charles C. Heckel.
7-31-46 Freeman Field, Indiana, 4120th AAF Base Unit, ferry journey to Orchard Put [Illinois] by first Lt. Charles C. Heckel.
On August 5, 1946, the AAF relocated the aircraft to a different storage space site on previous Consolidated B-24 bomber system plant at Park Ridge, Illinois. A few days later on, the AAF transferred custody associated with the Lightning and more than sixty other World War II-era airplanes into Smithsonian nationwide Air Museum. During early 1950s, the atmosphere energy relocated these airplanes from Park Ridge to the Smithsonian storage space website at Suitland, Maryland.
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Quoting from Wikipedia | Lockheed P-38 Lightning:
The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a World War II United states fighter aircraft built by Lockheed. Developed to a US Army Air Corps necessity, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and an individual, central nacelle containing the seat and armament. Called "fork-tailed devil" by the Luftwaffe and "two planes, one pilot" by the Japanese, the P-38 had been utilized in some roles, including dive bombing, level bombing, ground-attack, image reconnaissance missions, and extensively as a long-range escort fighter whenever equipped with drop tanks under its wings.
The P-38 was used many effectively into the Pacific Theater of Operations as well as the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations as the mount of America’s top aces, Richard Bong (40 victories) and Thomas McGuire (38 victories). When you look at the South western Pacific movie theater, the P-38 had been the primary long-range fighter of United States Army Air Forces before appearance of large numbers of P-51D Mustangs toward the termination of the war. The P-38 was abnormally peaceful for a fighter, the fatigue muffled by the turbo-superchargers. It was exceedingly forgiving, and could be mishandled in several ways, although price of roll was also slow because of it to succeed as a dogfighter. The P-38 had been the sole American fighter aircraft in production throughout US participation when you look at the war, from Pearl Harbor to Victory over Japan Day.
Alternatives: Lightning in maturity: P-38J
The P-38J ended up being introduced in August 1943. The turbo-supercharger intercooler system on previous variations was indeed housed into the leading edges regarding the wings along with proven in danger of combat harm and may burst if the incorrect number of controls had been erroneously activated. In P-38J model, the streamlined motor nacelles of previous Lightnings were altered to match the intercooler radiator amongst the oil coolers, creating a "chin" that visually distinguished the J model from the predecessors. Whilst the P-38J utilized the same V-1710-89/91 machines due to the fact H design, the newest core-type intercooler more efficiently lowered intake manifold temperatures and allowed a substantial boost in rated energy. The leading edge of the exterior wing was fitted with 55 gal (208 l) fuel tanks, completing the space previously occupied by intercooler tunnels, but these had been omitted on very early P-38J obstructs because of minimal supply.
The ultimate 210 J models, designated P-38J-25-LO, alleviated the compressibility issue through the inclusion of a set of electrically-actuated dive recovery flaps only outboard regarding the motors on bottom centerline regarding the wings. With one of these improvements, a USAAF pilot reported a dive speed of virtually 600 mph (970 km/h), even though the indicated air speed was later on fixed for compressibility mistake, and the real plunge rate was lower. Lockheed manufactured over 200 retrofit adjustment kits becoming set up on P-38J-10-LO and J-20-LO already in European countries, although USAAF C-54 holding all of them had been shot down by an RAF pilot who mistook the Douglas transportation for a German Focke-Wulf Condor. Unfortunately losing the kits came during Lockheed test pilot Tony LeVier‘s four-month morale-boosting tour of P-38 basics. Traveling a unique Lightning known as "Snafuperman" altered to full P-38J-25-LO specs at Lockheed’s modification center near Belfast, LeVier grabbed the pilots’ full interest by regularly carrying out maneuvers during March 1944 that typical Eighth Air Force wisdom held to be suicidal. It proved inadequate too-late since the decision had been designed to re-equip with Mustangs.
The P-38J-25-LO manufacturing block additionally introduced hydraulically-boosted ailerons, among the first times these types of a system ended up being fitted to a fighter. This significantly enhanced the Lightning’s price of roll and paid off control causes for the pilot. This production block therefore the after P-38L model are considered the definitive Lightnings, and Lockheed ramped up manufacturing, working together with subcontractors across the country to make hundreds of Lightnings every month.
Noted P-38 pilots
Richard Bong and Thomas McGuire
The United states ace of aces along with his closest competitor both travelled Lightnings while they tallied 40 and 38 victories respectively. Majors Richard I. "Dick" Bong and Thomas J. "Tommy" McGuire of USAAF competed the top place. Both males were granted the Medal of Honor.
McGuire was killed in air combat in January 1945 across Philippines, after accumulating 38 verified kills, making him the second-ranking American ace. Bong was rotated back again to the United States as The united states’s ace of aces, after making 40 eliminates, getting a test pilot. He had been killed on 6 August 1945, the afternoon the atomic bomb ended up being fallen on Japan, when their P-80 Shooting Star jet fighter flamed out on takeoff.
The famed aviator Charles Lindbergh toured the South Pacific as a civilian contractor for United Aircraft Corporation, comparing and evaluating performance of single- and twin-engined fighters for Vought. He worked to improve range and load limitations of this F4U Corsair, flying both routine and combat strafing missions in Corsairs alongside Marine pilots. In Hollandia, he attached himself towards 475th FG traveling P-38s so he could explore the twin-engine fighter. Though a new comer to the equipment, he had been instrumental in expanding the number regarding the P-38 through enhanced throttle configurations, or engine-leaning strategies, particularly by decreasing engine speed to 1,600 rpm, establishing the carburetors for auto-lean and flying at 185 mph (298 km/h) indicated airspeed which paid down fuel consumption to 70 gal/h, about 2.6 mpg. This combination of configurations was considered dangerous; it had been thought it can upset the gasoline mixture and cause an explosion. Every-where Lindbergh moved into the Southern Pacific, he was accorded the conventional preferential treatment of a visiting colonel, though he previously resigned his Air Corps Reserve colonel’s commission 36 months before. While using 475th, he held instruction classes and participated in a number of Army Air Corps combat missions. On 28 July 1944, Lindbergh shot down a Mitsubishi Ki-51 "Sonia" flown skillfully by the veteran commander of 73rd Independent Flying Chutai, Imperial Japanese Army Captain Saburo Shimada. In a long, turning dogfight where most of the participants ran from ammunition, Shimada turned their plane straight toward Lindbergh who was only approaching the fight location. Lindbergh fired in a defensive reaction brought on by Shimada’s obvious head-on ramming assault. Struck by cannon and machine gun fire, the "Sonia’s" propeller visibly slowed down, but Shimada presented his program. Lindbergh pulled up during the final moment to prevent collision since the damaged "Sonia" moved into a steep diving, strike the sea and sank. Lindbergh’s wingman, ace Joseph E. "Fishkiller" Miller, Jr., had in addition scored hits regarding "Sonia" after it had started its deadly dive, but Miller had been certain the kill credit had been Lindbergh’s. The unofficial kill wasn’t entered within the 475th’s war record. On 12 August 1944 Lindbergh left Hollandia to go back to the united states of america.
The seventh-ranking American ace, Charles H. MacDonald, flew a Lightning contrary to the Japanese, scoring 27 kills in the famous aircraft, the Putt Putt Maru.
Principal article: Robin Olds
Robin Olds ended up being the final P-38 ace into the Eighth Air Force and the last in the ETO. Flying a P-38J, he downed five German fighters on two individual missions over France and Germany. He later transitioned to P-51s to create seven more kills. After World War II, he travelled F-4 Phantom IIs in Vietnam, ending his career as brigadier general with 16 eliminates.
A P-38 piloted by Clay Tice had been 1st American aircraft to land in Japan after VJ-Day, when he along with his wingman set down on Nitagahara because their wingman was low on gasoline.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Noted aviation pioneer and journalist Antoine de Saint-Exupéry vanished in a F-5B-1-LO, 42-68223, c/n 2734, of Groupe de Chasse II/33, out of Borgo-Porreta, Bastia, Corsica, a reconnaissance variant of this P-38, while on a flight over the Mediterranean, from Corsica to mainland France, on 31 July 1944. His health, both real and mental (he had been considered intermittently subject to despair), was in fact deteriorating and there have been talk of using him off flight standing. There have been suggestions (although no evidence up to now) that was a suicide instead of an aircraft failure or combat loss. In 2000, a French scuba diver found the wreckage of a Lightning inside Mediterranean from the coastline of Marseille, plus it had been confirmed in April 2004 as Saint-Exupéry’s F-5B. No evidence of environment combat had been found. In March 2008, a former Luftwaffe pilot, Horst Rippert from Jagdgruppe 200, claimed to own shot down Saint-Exupéry.
The RAF’s legendary photo-recon "ace", Wing Commander Adrian Warburton DSO DFC, was the pilot of a Lockheed P-38 borrowed from USAAF that became popular on 12 April 1944 to photograph targets in Germany. W/C Warburton did not reach the rendezvous point and had been never seen once more. In 2003, his stays had been recovered in Germany from their wrecked USAAF P-38 Lightning.