Lightnings in the sky

(Poem from an anonymous 15th Air Force B17 radioman)

YP-38
YP-38 prototype, polished aluminium... simply beautiful !

Oh, Hedy Lamarr is a beautiful gal
and Madeleine Carroll is too,
But you'll find if you query, a different theory
amongst any bomber crew
For the loveliest thing of which one could sing
(this side of the Pearly Gates)
is no blonde or brunette of the Hollywood set -
But an escort of P-38s.

2 Lightnings and a Fortress
A bombing mission by a single B-17 and two P-38s was not unusual in the Pacific.

In the day that have passed, when the tables were massed,
with glasses of scotch and champagne,
It's quite true that the sight was a thing to delight
Us, intent upon feeling no pain.
But no longer the same, nowadays, in this game
When we head north from Messina Straits,
Take the sparkling wine--everytime just make mine
an escort of P38s.

The Aces

Richard Ira Bong Thomas Buchanan McGuire
Richard Ira Bong Thomas Buchanan McGuire

Technical developments

Dive-recovery flaps Night Lightning
Dive-recovery flaps Night Lightning

Weapons

Bore-sighting at night
Rocket tree launcher

I received the following picture from Jack T. Curtis, who flew the P-38 with the 367th fighter group (9th Air Force). He pointed out that two 910 kg (2000 lb) bombs were sometimes loaded on the P-38... Thanks for the picture, Jack !

Col. Charles M. Young's P38, loaded with 910 kg (2000 lb) bombs.
Colonel (now General, Ret.) Charles M. Young and his P-38, loaded with 2000 lb bombs.

Oddities

P-38J fitted with retractable skis, Alaska 1944.
P-38J fitted with retractable skis, Alaska 1944.

Captured P-38J
This downed P-38J was repaired and flight-tested by the LuftWaffe.

Never headon this plane *8)
Experimental fit of eight .50cal nose guns, plus four more of these in wing pods !


That's all for today...

P-38 through the clouds
Thanks for visiting this Gallery, I hope you've enjoyed the ride !
You can also check my P-38 information page.

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