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Lockheed F-4 Photo Lightning


Lockheed F-4 Photo Lightning

The F-4 was a purpose built photographic reconnaissance version of the P-38 Lightning, built on the Lockheed production line at the same time as the P-38E and F. The P-38E featured a revised nose wheel, which provided more space for gun ammunition. The same space allowed

F-4-1

Ninety nine F-4-1s were built, based on the P-38E. They carried two K-17 fixed vertical cameras in place of the guns. Unlike the standard P-38E, the F-4-1 could carry external fuel tanks. The F-4-1 was the first version of the Lightning to see active service, with the 8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron in Australia, beginning in April 1942.

F-4A

Twenty F-4As were built, based on the P-38F airframe. They could carry a wider range of cameras than the F-4-1, including forward and side mounted oblique cameras. Different aircraft carried different combinations of cameras and had different camera windows built into the nose.


English Electric Lightning

The English Electric Lightning is a British fighter aircraft that served as an interceptor during the 1960s, the 1970s and into the late 1980s. It remains the only UK-designed-and-built fighter capable of Mach 2. The Lightning was designed, developed, and manufactured by English Electric, which was later absorbed by the newly-formed British Aircraft Corporation. Later the type was marketed as the BAC Lightning. It was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Kuwait Air Force (KAF) and the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).

A unique feature of the Lightning's design is the vertical, staggered configuration of its two Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engines within the fuselage. The Lightning was initially designed and developed as an interceptor to defend the V bomber airfields [3] from attack by anticipated future nuclear-armed supersonic Soviet bombers such as what emerged as the Tupolev Tu-22, but it was subsequently also required to intercept other bomber aircraft such as the Tupolev Tu-16 and the Tupolev Tu-95.

The Lightning has exceptional rate of climb, ceiling, and speed pilots have described flying it as "being saddled to a skyrocket". [1] This performance and the initially limited fuel supply meant that its missions are dictated to a high degree by its limited range. [4] Later developments provided greater range and speed along with aerial reconnaissance and ground-attack capability. Overwing fuel tank fittings were fitted to the F6 variant and offered the aircraft an extended range, but the maximum speed of the aircraft was limited to a reported 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km/h). [5]

Following retirement by the RAF in the late 1980s, many of the remaining aircraft became museum exhibits. Until 2009, three Lightnings were kept flying at "Thunder City" in Cape Town, South Africa. In September 2008, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers conferred on the Lightning its "Engineering Heritage Award" at a ceremony at BAE Systems' site at Warton Aerodrome. [6]


Lockheed Plant

Check out these very detailed, original photos of the Lockheed plant in Burbank. You should be able to find just about any part in it's assembly stage. Amazing.

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Sets of three-bladed propellers for Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ships are prepared for installation at a large Western aircraft plant. After the propellers have been installed, the ships will be put through exacting inspection and trial flights. If these prove satisfactory, the new fighter planes will be delivered to the Army.

Final inspection and rework on wings for Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit planes in a large Western aircraft plant. The wings, which had been accurately assembled in jigs, are joined to the plane bodies as they travel down the final assembly line where engines, landing gear, controls and other equipment are also installed.

A partly-finished Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ship, including center and nose section, is swung over a rolling cradle to begin its trip down the assembly line of a large Western aircraft plant. As the ship moves from station to station along this line it will receive its engines, wings, landing gear and other essential equipment.

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The nose section of a Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane is "mated" with a center section in a large Western aircraft plant. The partly-finished ship will then travel down the main assembly line for the installation of engines, wings, landing gear and other essential equipment.

Completed wing sections for Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit planes ready for transfer to the assembly line of a large Western aircraft plant. The wings, which had been accurately assembled in jigs, are added to the plane bodies as they travel down the final assembly line where engines, landing gear, controls and other equipment are also installed.

A complete center section for a Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane in an assembly jig at a large Western aircraft plant. On the final line, the entire center section will be joined to other plane sections, and noses, engines, wings, landing gear and other equipment will be installed.

Finishing wings for Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit planes in a large Western aircraft plant. The wings, which had been accurately assembled in jigs, are added to the plane bodies as they travel down the final assembly line where engines, landing gear, controls and other equipment are also installed.

The nose section of a new Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ship in a jig at a large Western aircraft plant. This nose section will later be joined or "mated" to a center section and the partly-finished body will begin its trip down the final assembly line where engines, wings, landing gear and other essential equipment will be installed.

Beginning construction of a center section of a Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane in a Western aircraft plant. Here the trailing edge of a center section is "mated" to the main beam. On a final assembly line, the completed center section will be joined to other plane sections, and noses, engines, wings, landing gear and other equipment will be installed.

A drill operator in a Western aircraft plant, using a drill jig on the center section of a Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane. On the final assembly line, the completed center section will be joined to other plane sections, and noses, engines, wings, landing gear and other equipment will be installed.

A new Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane takes form on the production line. The wings and the Allison engines are already in place, and the ship now stands on its own wheels. It still requires many detail jobs before completion, but they are done rapidly under a well-ordered plan, and the plane will soon be rolled out for the fitting of propellers.

An armorer's assistant in a large Western aircraft plant works on the installation of one of the machine guns in the nose section of a new Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane. This nose section will later be "mated" to a center section and the plane body will travel down a main assembly line where wings, engines, and other essential equipment will be installed.

Another view of armorer's assistant works on the installation of one of the machine guns in the nose section.

The center section for a Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ship ready to go into a "mating" jig at a large Western aircraft plant. In the "mating" operation, nose sections and other plane members are joined to the center section. The partly-finished plane body is then ready to travel down the main assembly line where engines, wings, and other essential equipment will be installed.

Finishing a main beam for the center section of a Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane. When the center section of the ship is completed it will go to a "mating" operation in which other plane sections are attached to it. The plane body will then travel down the main assembly line where nose sections, engines, wings, landing gear and other equipment will be installed.

An armorer in a large Western aircraft plant tests machine gun controls in the partly-finished nose section of a new Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane. This section is now ready for the operation of "mating" it to the center section. The ship will travel down the main assembly line to receive engines, wings, landing gear and other essential equipment.

A partly-finished Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ship is lowered away into a rolling cradle in a large Western aircraft plant. Supported in this cradle, the ship has now taken its place in the main assembly line. The cradle or stand is moved from station to station where engines, wings, landing gear, controls and other essential equipment are installed.

Another new Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ship leaves the main assembly line of a large Western aircraft plant. The station stand has been swept clear and the ship is being lowered away to rest on its own wheels. From here it will be rolled to a test field where propellers will be installed. If trial flights and final inspections prove it satisfactory, the ship will be delivered to the Army.

New Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ships that have successfully passed inspection for routine test flights are transferred to the Lockheed air terminal. Here flight mechanics take over and prepare them for the flight test. These ships have performed beautifully in action, notably in the Aleutians. They are excellent high-altitude fighters and rank among the world's fastest combat aircraft. Their long-range and great firepower give promise of their value as escorts for high- altitude bombers.

An armorer and his assistant check machine gun controls in a nose section of a new Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ship. The guns are cocked and simulated firing is conducted to assure perfect operation of the control and selector systems. This nose section will later be "mated" to a center section and the partly-finished ship will travel down the main assembly line to receive engines, wings, landing gear and other essential equipment.

United States Army Air Forces P󈛊 being warmed up in a snow swept air field somewhere in Iceland.

A liquid-cooled turbo-supercharged Allison engine is installed in a new Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ship. This engine has carried the P󈛊 through brilliant performances in the Aleutians. The P󈛊 is an excellent high- altitude fighter with great firepower. Its speed at its best altitude gives it rank among the world's fastest fighting aircraft.

Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ships are made ready for test flights at a large Western aircraft plant. These planes, powered by twin Allison liquid-cooled engines, have performed brilliantly in action, notably in the Aleutians. The P󈛊 has long range and great firepower and rates at its best altitude as one of the world's fastest fighting ships.

Overall assembly line for Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit planes. A row of Allison engines reaches back from the right foreground. Under the American flag in the left background is the "Lightning" assembly line, a duplicate of the P󈛊 line.

A Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ship, just returned from flight tests, is checked and reconditioned in the test hangar of a large Western aircraft plant. After these operations, the ship will be ready for delivery to the Army. The P󈛊 has performed brilliantly in action, notably in the Aleutians. Its long range and great firepower give it real promise as an escort for high-altitude bombers. At its best altitude, the P󈛊 is one of the world's fastest fighting planes.

Small section for Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit planes are prepared for subassembly in a large Western aircraft plant. The completed subassemblies travel along lines that eventually meet the main assembly line from which finished planes are rolled outdoors for the installation of propellers.

A partly-finished Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane ready to start down the assembly line where the wings, engines, landing gear and other essential equipment will be installed.

A mechanic in a large Western aircraft plant at work on a center section for a Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane. On a final assembly line, the completed center section will be joined to other plane sections, and noses, engines, wings, landing gear and other equipment will be installed.

An armorer and his assistant check the installation of guns in a nose section of a new Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane. As the ship travels from one station to another along the main assembly line, wings, engines, armament and other essential equipment are installed.

Wings for Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit planes are accurately assembled in jigs at a large Western aircraft plant. These wings are attached to the plane bodies as they travel down the final assembly line in which engines, landing gear, controls and other equpment are also installed.

Finishing wings for Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit planes in a large Western aircraft plant. The wings, which were accurately assembled in jigs, are added to the plane bodies as they travel down the final assembly line where engines, landing gear, controls and other equipment will be installed.

A new Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit plane, complete except for propellers, is hoisted from a station stand in a large Western aircraft plant assembly line. From here, the ship will be rolled to the testing field where the propellers will be installed and trial flights will be made.

Fittings are attached to a center section of a Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ship in a large Western aircraft plant. On the final assembly line, the completed center section will be joined to other plane sections, and noses, engines, wings, landing gear and other equipment will be installed.

New Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit ships receive final inspections and adjustments on assembly lines outside a large Western aircraft plant. After these operations, the ships will be taken out for routine test flights. If the flights prove satisfactory, the new planes will be ready for delivery to the Army.

"Mating" operation in the production of Lockheed P󈛊 pursuit planes. Previously assembled ship sections are joined together here to form the body of the plane. Feed lines from subassembly sections come to this point from three directions. Only a comparatively small area is required for mating, as the operation is performed rapidly and each plane occupies the space for only a short time.

Lockheed Plant, before camo was added.

After camo completed. It would certainly be hard to see that there is an aircraft plant underneath there now!

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Our History

Over one hundred years ago, on August 16, 1912, Glenn L. Martin established the Glenn L. Martin Company in Los Angeles, California. He started the company after building his first plane in a rented church, where he took a leap of faith on his risky but innovative new aircraft design at the urging of none other than Orville Wright.

Four months later and four hundred miles away, on December 19, 1912, Allan and Malcolm Lockheed founded the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company, later renamed the Lockheed Aircraft Company. Talented mechanics, they set up shop out of a garage, constructing seaplanes that would shatter speed and distance records for overwater flights.

A church and a garage. These were humble beginnings. But these were also men of unrelenting vision and unwavering purpose. The gift that Martin and the Lockheed brothers shared was a unique ability to look past the obstacles of today to the promise of a brighter tomorrow. And they knew – as we’ve known for 100 years – that innovation, performance and purpose were the keys to accelerating that tomorrow.


Lockheed F-4 Photo Lightning - History

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning


P-38L Photo courtesy of NASA.

The P-38 shot down more Japanese aircraft than any other USAAF fighter in WW II. It was flown by both of the top American aces of the war. Its incredible range became legendary and its twin engines particularly suited it for long over water flights. This last point is striking, for the P-38 was not designed for long range missions. It was originally designed as a high performance, short range interceptor!

Equally contradictory, while the P-38 was produced in large numbers during World War II, it was not designed for mass production. On the contrary, it was designed only for limited production, almost to be hand made.

The story of the design of the P-38 is a fascinating one, perhaps the strangest of any of the famous fighters of WW II. I do not have the space here to go into it in great detail, but I will try to touch on a couple of the high points.

It started in January of 1937, when the Army Air Corps circulated to aircraft manufacturers a specification for a new pursuit plane for the "interception and attack of hostile aircraft at high altitude". They wanted a max. speed of 360 m.p.h. at 20,000 ft., and climb from takeoff to 20,000 ft. in 6 minutes. There were other details, but the point is that the demand was for a high performance interceptor. The government anticipated an order for a maximum of 50 planes, so suitability for mass production was not a consideration. Lockheed was one of the companies that entered the competition to design and build the new fighter.

H. L. Hibard and Clarence "Kelly" Johnson were assigned the job of primary design. Johnson realized that no existing engine could provide enough power to meet the government specification and began a series of single seat, twin engine fighter designs. The new Allison V-1710 had developed 1000 hp. in tests and was chosen by the Lockheed design team for the new fighter.

The final layout of the new twin engine fighter (called the Model 22 by Lockheed) had counter rotating props that eliminated the torque related control problems that plagued many contemporary fighters (such as the German ME 109), twin tail booms and a central fuselage for the pilot. It was powerful, heavy and had a wing loading far in excess of any contemporary fighter, but maneuverability was not deemed particularly necessary for an interceptor. It also had a tricycle landing gear at a time when almost all other fighters were tail-draggers and a control wheel (later yoke) instead of a stick.

In order to meet the high altitude requirements, turbo superchargers were adopted. The nose of the central fuselage provided an ideal place to mount the very effective armament of 1-20mm cannon and 4-.50 cal. MG. There was no need for an interrupter gear to shoot through a propeller and no need to "converge" wing guns. The armament fired straight ahead for a full 1000 yards. Compare that to the widely separated wing guns of the British Spitfire, usually set to converge at 300 yards.

In June 1937, the Army notified Lockheed that their design had won the competition, and authorized Lockheed to build one prototype airplane, designated the XP-38. In late December 1938 the prototype was ready to fly. It was the most streamlined plane ever seen, built with flush riveted external panels butted together. Stainless steel was used extensively in its construction.

That first XP-38 proved to be capable of a level speed of 413 m.p.h., and had a terrific climb rate. In fact, throughout the war, the P-38 remained one of the fastest climbing American fighters. Unfortunately, the first prototype lasted only 16 days. The testing program had barely begun when the Army decided to use it in a record setting cross-country flight that ended with a landing short of the runway, which wrote off the prototype. Tony LeVier (Lockheed Chief Test Pilot) later estimated that disaster set the program back nearly two years. It also probably cost many brave American aviators their lives when their inferior and obsolescent planes came up against advanced Axis fighters like the Zero and ME 109.

Had the original prototype not been lost, those men could and should have been flying high performance P-38s. As it was, Lockheed had to start from scratch, build another prototype and run a whole new test program.

Jump ahead to April 1939. The Air Corps ordered 13 YP-38 airplanes for testing. In September 1939, the Army ordered 66 more for service. In August 1940, the Army ordered over 600 more P-38s. The war was on in Europe and China and the P-38 was the only high performance fighter available. Except, of course, ordering almost 700 fighters was not the same thing as delivering the airplanes. At that time, Lockheed had not even delivered the first YP-38!

As alluded to earlier, the P-38 was not designed for mass production. In fact, it was intended to virtually build each of the 50 originally anticipated aircraft by hand. Many, many production problems had to be solved before the Lightning could be produced in quantity. As well as some serious engineering problems.

The P-38 was one of the first airplanes fast enough to encounter "compressibility" (more properly called shock stall) problems in high altitude, high speed dives. The basic problem was that in a sustained dive from high altitude, speed quickly built to the point that the airflow over parts of the airplane (such as the upper surface of the wing) reached supersonic speeds. Not that the airplane itself was breaking the sound barrier, but the airflow in certain places was. A shock wave forms. This destroys the lift over that part of the wing. It also caused the air flowing off the wing to affect the tail in an unusual manner: it increased lift at the tail (Which is normally negative--an airplane is balanced by the weight in front of its wings, a down force the lift of its wings, an up force the negative lift of its tail, a down force--imagine a teeter/totter).

This loss of lift from the wings, coupled with increased lift from its tail, causes the nose of the airplane to go down. The increased dive angle causes the speed to increase farther. And so on, in a vicious and often fatal circle. The natural response of the pilot is to pull back on the yoke, which normally causes the elevators at the tail to increase the down force at the tail and brings the nose up to pull out of the dive. However, something terrifying happens. As the pilot tries to pull the stick back, the up force on the tail increases. No matter how hard he pulls, the aerodynamic force on the tail pushes harder. The controls have been described as feeling as if they were set in concrete. At this point the airplane is totally out of the pilot's control there is literally nothing he can do.

The P-38 was not the only airplane to encounter this effect in dives from very high altitudes (where the air is thin), the P-47 and F4U both suffered the same problem. However, the P-38 was different. The big radial engine fighters would dive uncontrollably toward the earth until they reached the thicker air at lower altitudes. There two things happened: 1. The speed of sound increases as an inverse function of altitude (that is, the speed of sound goes up as the altitude gets lower) 2. The increased drag of the thick air on their large frontal surfaces would tend to limit further speed increases.

The result was that when the speed of sound went up as the airplane got lower, the shock waves started to dissipate (the airflow over the wings began to fall back below the increased speed of sound), and as the increased drag started to affect the airplane, the speed of the airflow also decreased, and the shock waves dissipated more. Finally the pilot would begin to get some control back, and still pulling back as hard as he could on the stick, would wind up in a screaming zoom climb (unless he was unfortunate enough to have begun the process over mountains high enough to intrude before he reached the thicker air of lower altitudes).

The way in which the P-38 differed was in its extremely "clean" (streamlined) design. Its drag was so low that the thicker lower air often (not always, some pilots did survive compressibility dives in P-38's) did not have enough effect for the pilot to regain control in time: the P-38 just dove straight into the ground like an arrow. The problem was magnified by a "flutter" (increasing amplitude vibration) set up in the tail by these excessive speeds, which often caused the tail to come off.

Lockheed and the Air Corps lost a number of test pilots and aircraft trying to understand and solve these problems. The P-38 had taken them into flight regimes unknown (or at best poorly understood) at that time.

A harrowing series of test dives, at progressively steeper angles, was required to plot the boundaries of these effects. The eventual solution included counter balancing and raising the tail of the airplane some 30 inches, and developing high speed dive flaps to control the rate of descent.

My father was at this time a young aeronautical engineer in the AAF, and he was the flight test engineer on some of those test dives. Years later he told me that he fully expected to be killed in that program many of his friends were.

Lockheed produced dive flap kits to retro-fit to planes in the field, but it was not until they began producing the P-38J-25-LO model that dive flaps were incorporated in the new aircraft coming off the assembly line.

An interesting tidbit of Lightning lore is that during the war Charles Lindbergh traveled to the Pacific theater to teach pilots there some fuel conservation tricks for long range flights. He took the opportunity to fly a few P-38 combat missions (without authorization), and scored at least one aerial victory. The War Department was horrified (he was still a civilian, and far too famous to risk in combat), and whisked him home. A brief chronology of the major P-38 combat models follows.

The P-38D appeared in August of 1941. This was the first model to benefit from changing the angle of the tail, and re-balancing the elevator, which largely eliminated tail flutter. The "D" also introduced self sealing gas tanks.

The P-38F went into production in March 1942, and into combat in the Pacific in December, where they were to reverse the fortunes of AAF fighter pilots facing the previously unbeatable Zero. The "F" had an up rated 1,325 hp. Allison engine. Top speed was 395 m.p.h. at 25,000 ft.

P-38G models had strengthened Fowler flaps which could be used at combat speeds up to 250 m.p.h. to tighten the turning radius. In Europe, pilots of the big Lightnings now found that they could turn inside of the smaller German fighters, particularly at low altitudes. They also had more powerful engines (a 100 hp increase). Production began in August 1942. The "H" model was similar.

The P-38J began production in mid-1943. It incorporated many improvements, including more powerful engines, improved superchargers, relocation of the intercoolers from the leading edge of the wings to beneath the nose of the engines, a bulletproof windscreen, and, at the J-25-LO model, the factory installed dive flaps. Speed was up to 426 m.p.h., and best climb to 3,900 ft./min. It would climb to 20,000 ft. in 5.9 minutes.

The "K" was a special high altitude model, and the subsequent P-38L of 1944 was the final and best Lightning. It incorporated many of the improvements of the "J" and "K" models, and provided the greatest margin of combat superiority over Axis fighters of any Lightning model. Specifications of the P-38L-5-LO follow.


Lynch, Kearby, and Bong: Who Shot Down More Enemy Fighters?

Another top-scoring fighter pilot in the theater was Colonel Neel Kearby, a P-47 pilot and commander of the 348th Fighter Group. Until March 1944, Lynch, Kearby, and Bong were in a neck-and-neck race for the top ace slot. Kearby and Lynch died within days of each other, Kearby on March 4 and Lynch on the 8th. Kearby was shot down by a Japanese fighter, while Lynch was hit by ground fire during a strafing run. Bong, alone, remained of the three top scorers. Kenney allowed him to continue to fly combat until April 10 when he broke World War I ace Captain Eddie Rickenbacker’s score of 26 enemy aircraft. A second enemy aircraft shot down the same day brought Bong’s official score to 27. Kenney promoted the young pilot to major and promptly sent him back to the United States to attend a gunnery school.

In mid-October, Major Dick Bong returned to the Far East Air Forces. During his absence, Major Thomas McGuire had been racking up a pretty good score and was within eight kills of tying Bong.

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a Mainstay of U.S. Fighter Squadrons in Europe and the South Pacific.

Bong told Kenney he had learned a lot in the gunnery school and wanted to put the knowledge to use. Ironically, Bong was not a very good shot and had never attended gunnery training prior to coming to the Southwest Pacific. Now that he had learned the tactics of aerial gunnery, he wanted to put it to the test. Kenney denied his request to return to a squadron but put him on his staff and assigned Bong to go around to the various squadrons and teach them what he had learned in the States.

Bong was allowed to fly missions and continued shooting down Japanese planes until he reached 40, at which point Kenney decided that he was too valuable to lose and sent him back to the States permanently. By this time, McGuire was within two kills of Bong’s score. On January 7, 1945, McGuire was killed when he stalled and spun into the ground while trying to get in position to help a fellow pilot who was under attack by an especially aggressive Japanese fighter pilot.


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Lynch, Kearby, and Bong: Who Shot Down More Enemy Fighters?

Another top-scoring fighter pilot in the theater was Colonel Neel Kearby, a P-47 pilot and commander of the 348th Fighter Group. Until March 1944, Lynch, Kearby, and Bong were in a neck-and-neck race for the top ace slot. Kearby and Lynch died within days of each other, Kearby on March 4 and Lynch on the 8th. Kearby was shot down by a Japanese fighter, while Lynch was hit by ground fire during a strafing run. Bong, alone, remained of the three top scorers. Kenney allowed him to continue to fly combat until April 10 when he broke World War I ace Captain Eddie Rickenbacker’s score of 26 enemy aircraft. A second enemy aircraft shot down the same day brought Bong’s official score to 27. Kenney promoted the young pilot to major and promptly sent him back to the United States to attend a gunnery school.

In mid-October, Major Dick Bong returned to the Far East Air Forces. During his absence, Major Thomas McGuire had been racking up a pretty good score and was within eight kills of tying Bong.

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a Mainstay of U.S. Fighter Squadrons in Europe and the South Pacific.

Bong told Kenney he had learned a lot in the gunnery school and wanted to put the knowledge to use. Ironically, Bong was not a very good shot and had never attended gunnery training prior to coming to the Southwest Pacific. Now that he had learned the tactics of aerial gunnery, he wanted to put it to the test. Kenney denied his request to return to a squadron but put him on his staff and assigned Bong to go around to the various squadrons and teach them what he had learned in the States.

Bong was allowed to fly missions and continued shooting down Japanese planes until he reached 40, at which point Kenney decided that he was too valuable to lose and sent him back to the States permanently. By this time, McGuire was within two kills of Bong’s score. On January 7, 1945, McGuire was killed when he stalled and spun into the ground while trying to get in position to help a fellow pilot who was under attack by an especially aggressive Japanese fighter pilot.


Lockheed F-4 Photo Lightning - History

List by U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) Serial Number
P-38E
P-38E 41-2006 crashed and abandoned Cold Bay Airfield
P-38E 41-2027 crashed and abandoned Cold Bay Airfield (confirm SN vs B's - wrecked March Field June 1, 1942)
P-38E 41-2276 pilot Ambrose crashed November 28, 1942 discovered during 1998, remains recovered 2004
F-4-1-LO (Photo Reconnaissance P-38E)
F-4 41-2014 pilot Kneeskern crsahed July 31, 1943
F-4 41-2098 pilot Peterson MIA September 14, 1942
F-4 41-2122 transfered to RAAF displayed at Darwin Aviation Museum
F-4 "Fainting Flozzie II" 41-2123 pilot ? crashed November 28, 1942
F-4 41-2125 pilot Staller crashed August 13, 1942
F-4 "Hellapoppin Hepcat" 41-2137 pilot Murphy MIA June 26, 1943
F-4 "Pouting Peggy" 41-2139 salvaged September 26, 1944 at Brisbane
F-4 41-2140 pilot Morton crashed March 16, 1943
F-4 "Limping Lizzie" 41-2156 condemmed April 26, 1944
F-4 "Dotin' Donna" 41-2177 pilot Blackard crashed May 21, 1943
F-4 "Alice The Goon" 41-2209 pilot Erb MIA December 30, 1943
F-4 41-2217 scrapped September 26, 1944 at Brisbane
F-4 pilot Connelly MIA May 2, 1942
P-38F
P-38F 41-7520 pilot McChristy crashed June 22, 1943
P-38F-5-LO
P-38F 42-12623 pilot Faurot MIA March 3, 1943
P-38F 42-12633 pilot Eason MIA March 3, 1943
P-38F 42-12637 pilot DeGraffenreid crashed August 21, 1943
P-38F "Synchronized Sal" 42-12646 pilot Rowsey crashed December 4, 1942
P-38F 42-12647 pilot ? force landed January 1944 salvaged 1975-1978, displayed PNG Museum parts removed
P-38F "Thumper" 42-12644 ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38F 42-12649 pilot Cella ditched November 4, 1942
P-38F 42-12650 pilot Morgan force landed July 16, 1943 rescue
P-38F 42-12652 abandoned Finchafen, salvaged 1999, exported to United States circa 2003-4
P-38F 42-12653 ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38F "Regina I" 42-12654 ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38F "Sooner" 42-12655 pilot Haniotis MIA November 5, 1943, 1 missing
P-38F 42-12665 pilot Mangas MIA January 8, 1943
P-38F 43-2178 assigned to Chandler. ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38G-1-LO
P-38G 42-12690 pilot Holmes "Yamamoto Mission" ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38G 42-12698 pilot Hays MIA October 13, 1943
P-38G "Veni Vidi Vici" 42-12705 pilot Craig crashed March 4, 1944
P-38G 42-12709 pilot Strommen crashed September 15, 1943
P-38G 42-12711 pilot Hawthorne crashed January 22, 1944
P-38G 42-12715 pilot Shifflet MIA March 3, 1943, 1 missing
P-38G-5-LO
P-38G "Dumbo!" 42-12847 pilot Laing crashed September 2, 1943
P-38G 42-12848 pilot Love crashed November 2, 1943
P-38G 42-12849 pilot Sells crashed April 14, 1943
P-38G 42-12850 piloted Fagan MIA September 6, 1943
P-38G 42-12856 pilot Wunder MIA October 13, 1943
P-38G 42-12857 pilot Wilson crashed April 12, 1943
P-38G 42-12863 pilot Lidstrom force landed February 20, 1943
P-38G 42-12866 pilot Bauhof force landed February 20, 1943
P-38G-10-LO
P-38G 42-13361 pilot Hoyle MIA July 17, 1943
P-38G 42-13381 pilot Hensley ditched May 28, 1943
P-38G 42-13400 pilot Nesmith force landed January 1, 1945
P-38G 42-13415 pilot Harmon crashed October 30, 1943
P-38G-13-LO
P-38G 43-2199 pilot Johnson MIA November 7, 1943
P-38G 43-2208 pilot Wandrey crashed October 8, 1943
P-38G 43-2200 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38G 43-2201 pilot Smith crashed August 20, 1943, 1 missing resolved
P-38G 43-2203 pilot Evers crashed November 2, 1943
P-38G "Beautiful Lass" 43-2204 pilot Powell MIA December 28, 1943
P-38G 43-2205 pilot Harrington crashed April 21, 1943
P-38G "Matilda" 43-2206 pilot King ditched July 17, 1943
P-38G "Ruff Stuff" 43-2212 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38G 43-2215 pilot Douglas force landed February 20, 1943
P-38G 43-2218 pilot Whitaker MIA April 29, 1943
P-38G 43-2238 pilot Lanphier "Yamamoto Mission" ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38G "Old Ironsides" 43-2239 #138 written off March 29, 1943
P-38G "Oriloe" 43-2242 pilot Murray Shubin
P-38G "Miss Virginia" 43-2264 pilot Barber "Yamamoto Mission" ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38G 43-2269 pilot Yeager crashed June 2, 1943
P-38G 43-2271 pilot Sibley MIA July 10, 1943
P-38G 43-2281 condemned missing, enemy aircraft August 24, 1943
P-38G 43-2290 ultimate fate unknown
P-38G-15-LO
P-38G 43-2382 pilot Bennett crashed April 12, 1943
P-38G 43-2384 assigned to the 80th FS tail letter I (Constructors Number 322-3493)
P-38G "Lil-De-Icer / G.I. Annie" 43-2386 pilot Gentile MIA November 7, 1943
P-38G 43-2387 pilot Planck crashed November 2, 1943 pilot rescued
F-5A-1-LO (Photo Reconnaissance P-38G)
F-5A 42-12678 pilot Nord MIA February 14, 1943
F-5A 42-12679 ultimate fate unknown
F-5A 42-12680 pilot Roberts MIA May 8, 1943
F-5A-10-LO (Photo Reconnaissance P-38G)
F-5A 42-12967 pilot Mancini MIA April 22, 1943, 1 missing
F-5A 42-12977 pilot Peterson MIA August 17, 1943, 1 missing
F-5A 4212983 pilot Baird MIA July 2, 1943, 1 missing
F-5A 42-12984 pilot Martin crashed January 17, 1944
F-5A 42-13070 pilot Post crashed June 20, 1943 rescued
F-5A "Eager Beaver" 42-13073 pilot Hargersheimer crashed June 5, 1943
F-5A 42-13084 pilot Leonhardt force landed 1943 salvaged 1978 PNG Museum until 2001
F-5A 42-13088 pilot Taylor MIA September 10, 1944
F-5A 42-13102 pilot Jones MIA July 2, 1944
F-5A pilot Weckel ditched May 5, 1943 rescued May 13, 1943
F-5B-1-LO (Photo Reconnaissance P-38G)
F-5B 42-67328 pilot Herzog MIA April 18, 1944
F-5B 42-67360 pilot Copenhaver March 5, 1944
F-5B 42-67363 pilot Christian MIA March 3, 1944
F-5B 42-67383 pilot Clark crashed April 30, 1944
F-5B pilot Deutschman crash landed July 7, 1944
P-38H-1-LO
P-38H 42-66502 pilot Dunlop force landed August 30, 1943
P-38H "Skidoo" 42-66504 written off December 15, 1944 and scrapped
P-38H "Porky II" 42-66506 pilot Cragg crashed December 26, 1943
P-38H 42-66513 assigned Roberts written off December 13, 1943
P-38H "Charlcie Jeann" 42-66516 pilot Price MIA October 13, 1943
P-38H 42-66517 pilot Larson force landed July 21, 1943
P-38H 42-66522 pilot Seiber crashed October 15, 1943
P-38H 42-66523 pilot Bartlett MIA October 29, 1943
P-38H 42-66525 pilot Mathers crashed August 23, 1943
P-38H 42-66528 pilot Danson MIA March 14, 1944
P-38H 42-66534 pilot Weldon force landed January 18, 1944, 1 missing
P-38H 42-66538 pilot Smith force landed September 2, 1943
P-38H 42-66539 pilot Danforth MIA January 23, 1944
P-38H 42-66542 pilot Phillips MIA September 8, 1943
P-38H "Hot Box Annie" 42-66545 pilot Robertson MIA January 18, 1944
P-38H "Charlcie Jeann II" 42-66546 pilot Meyer crashed November 9, 1943
P-38H 42-66547 pilot Garrison MIA September 22, 1943
P-38H 42-66554 pilot Ritter MIA January 18, 1944
P-38H 42-66555 pilot Mikucky crashed April 16, 1944
P-38H 42-66556 pilot Morris crashed September 5 1943
P-38H 42-66561 pilot Hagan MIA October 17, 1943
P-38H 42-66562 pilot Gronemeyer, passenger Springer MIA December 31, 1944, wreckage found1980, resolved
P-38H 42-66563 pilot Adams MIA September 2, 1943
P-38H 42-66572 pilot Schmidt MIA August 18, 1943
P-38H 42-66578 condemned missing, enemy aircraft August 24, 1943
P-38H 42-66580 pilot Kirschner crashed September 24, 1943, 1 prisoner, executed, remains recovered
P-38H 42-66581 pilot Palmer force landed November 2, 1943
P-38H 42-66593 pilot Smith MIA November 8, 1943
P-38H 42-66596 pilot Smith crashed November 9, 1943
P-38H 42-66626 pilot Eubanks MIA October 19, 1943
P-38H 42-66631 pilot Myers MIA December 22, 1943
P-38H 42-66662 pilot Shea MIA November 2, 1943
P-38H 42-66665 pilot Richardson MIA November 2, 1943
P-38H "Corky Jr" 42-66668 pilot Keown MIA April 16, 1944
P-38H 42-66671 pilot Kincaid crashed January 7, 1944
P-38H 42-66680 pilot Brown MIA January 17, 1944
P-38H-5-LO
P-38H 42-66734 pilot Lundy crashed September 13, 1943
P-38H 42-66737 pilot Smith MIA November 16, 1943
P-38H 42-66738 pilot McWhorter force landed July 13, 1944
P-38H 42-66739 pilot Hancock MIA January 16, 1944
P-38H 42-66743 pilot Hedrick MIA October 17, 1943
P-38H 42-66745 pilot Northrup crashed August 24, 1943
P-38H 42-66747 pilot Mayo MIA November 2, 1943
P-38H "Blood & Guts II" 42-66748 pilot Ryrholm crashed September 4, 1943 wreckage reported 2005 case resolved
P-38H 42-66752 pilot Badgett MIA February 8, 1944
P-38H 42-66803 scrapped June 1944
P-38H "Pudgy II" 42-66817 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38H 42-66818 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38H 42-66821 pilot Lutton MIA November 2, 1943
P-38H 42-66826 pilot Dirkin force landed November 16, 1943 Western Province
P-38H "Maiden Head Hunter" 42-66827 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38H 42-66828 pilot Hawkins crashed June 23, 1944
P-38H 42-66832 pilot Reeves MIA April 16, 1944
P-38H 42-66833 pilot Sims shot down September 20, 1943
P-38H 42-66834 pilot Roberts crashed November 9, 1943
P-38H 42-66835 ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38H 42-66836 pilot McGuire crashed October 17, 1943
P-38H 42-66837 pilot Bellows crashed September 13, 1943
P-38H "Little Grace" 42-66840 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38H 42-66841 pilot Wolgemuth force landed June 10, 1944
P-38H 42-66843 pilot Giertsen crashed November 2, 1943
P-38H 42-66846 pilot Cours crashed April 30, 1944
P-38H 42-66849 pilot Czarnecki crashed October 23, 1943
P-38H "Mareelee II" 42-66851 pilot Sullivan force landed September 20, 1943
P-38H "Regina Coeli" 42-66856 pilot Jeakle crashed December 18, 1943
P-38H 42-66857 pilot King MIA November 2, 1943
P-38H 42-66864 pilot Whistler MIA September 30, 1943
P-38H 42-66865 pilot Jennings crashed January 7, 1944
P-38H 42-66869 pilot Illnicki ditched November 27, 1943
P-38H 42-66888 pilot Richards MIA October 19, 1943
P-38H 42-66892 pilot Cox MIA December 25, 1943, POW executed March 3/4, 1944
P-38H "Jan II" 42-66893 pilot Livsey force landed October 7, 1943
P-38H 42-66897 pilot Hart crashed January 17, 1944
P-38H "Jandina" 42-668?? ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38H 42-66902 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38H 42-66904 pilot Bateson MIA October 8, 1943
P-38H "Japanese Sandman II" 42-66905 pilot Dawson crashed December 4, 1943
P-38H "We Dood It" 4 2-66908 pilot Pare crash landed October 17, 1943
P-38H 42-66909 pilot Taylor crashed December 23, 1943
P-38H 42-66911 pilot Quinones MIA November 7, 1943 POW survived the war
P-38H "T-Rigor Mortis" 42-66912 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38H 42-67001 pilot Goodrich crash landed June 6, 1944 pilot POW, died, remains recovered
P-38J-5-LO
P-38J "Strictly Sex" 42-67140 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38J 42-67142 pilot Donaldson MIA December 22, 1943
P-38J 42-67152 pilot Gidley MIA January 23, 1944
P-38J 42-67155 pilot Head ditched January 18, 1944
P-38J 42-67171 pilot Langen MIA January 17, 1944
P-38J 42-67179 pilot Black January 17, 1944
P-38J-10-LO
P-38J "Corky III" 42-67580 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38J 42-67584 pilot Barton MIA April 3, 1944
P-38J "Jandina II" 42-67590 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38J 42-67593 pilot Martin MIA June 11, 1944
P-38J 42-67611 pilot Schoettel MIA January 17, 1944
P-38J 42-67617 pilot Heckler MIA January 17, 1944
P-38J 42-67618 pilot Kelly crashed January 20, 1944
P-38J "Miss V" 42-67626 pilot Duke crashed June 6, 1944, 1 missing, wreckage found 2012 remains recovered, case resolved
P-38J 42-67638 pilot Kidder force landed February 2, 1945
P-38J 42-67762 displayed NASM Udvar-Hazy Center
P-38J 42-67773 pilot Byers MIA December 25, 1943
P-38J 42-67783 pilot McCloud MIA January 28, 1944 rescued
P-38J 42-67785 pilot Snell MIA January 17, 1944
P-38J 42-67788 pilot McDonald MIA April 18, 1944
P-38J 42-67793 pilot Crosswait MIA June 30, 1944 1 missing
P-38J-15-LO
P-38J 42-103983 ultimate fate unknown
P-38J 42-103987 pilot Lynch crashed March 8, 1944
P-38J "Jandina III" 42-103988 pilot Robbins force landed May 7, 1944
P-38J "Marge" 42-103993 pilot Malone crashed March 22, 1944
P-38J "Putt Putt Maru" 42-104024 ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38J "Cillie" 42-104161 pilot O'Brien MIA August 4, 1944, 1 missing
P-38J 42-104355 pilot MacDonald crashed April 16, 1944
P-38J 42-104359 pilot Hasty crashed June 5, 1944
P-38J "Marge" 42-104380 crashed Manila Bay
P-38J 42-104385 pilot Neely MIA April 16, 1944
P-38J 42-104390 pilot Longman MIA April 16, 1944 wreckage found 2005, remains recovered 2009-2010, resolved
P-38J 43-28516 pilot Campbell MIA June 3, 1944
P-38J "Miss Gee Gee" 43-28525 damaged January 7, 1945 afterwards condemned and likely scrapped
P-38J "Virginia Marie" 43-28538 assigned to Anderson ultimate fate uknown likely scrapped
P-38J 43-28570 pilot Mathis crashed June 5, 1944
P-38J "Jandina IV" 43-28832 assigned to Robbins ultimate fate uknown likely scrapped
P-38J 43-28834 pilot Griffiths MIA January 27, 1945
P-38J 43-28836 pilot Rittmayer crashed January 7, 1945, remains recovered 1948, case resolved
P-38J 44-23122 pilot Russell MIA November 11, 1944
P-38J "Decatur Illinois" Nose 186 pilot Cochran ditched July 28, 1944
P-38J-20-LO
P-38J 44-23227 pilot Eastman crashed August 18, 1944
P-38J "Yippee" 44-23296 crashed January 29, 1945
P-38J 44-23314 displayed Planes of Fame Museum
P-38J 44-23394 pilot Westbrook crashed Novemeber 22, 1944, 1 missing
P-38J 44-23397 pilot Glenny MIA November 10, 1944
P-38J 44-23526 pilot Frank crashed September 11, 1944
P-38J 44-23552 pilot ? crashed March 6, 1945
P-38L-1-LO
P-38L "Pudgy V" 44-24155 assigned to McGuire ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38L 44-23935 pilot Laseter MIA November 10, 1944
P38L 44-23957 pilot Dahl ditched November 10, 1944
P-38L 44-23935 pilot Laseter MIA November 10, 1944
P-38L "Doots" 44-24876 assigned to the 475th FG, 431st FS ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38L 44-25455 pilot Shannon MIA January 20, 1945
P-38L 44-24519 pilot Smith MIA April 13, 1945, 1 missing
P-38L "Lizzie IV" 44-24842 pilot Purdy crashed December 11, 1944
P-38L "Putt Putt Maru III" 44-24843 pilot Condon MIA January 2, 1945
P-38L "Eileen-Ann" 44-24845 pilot McGuire MIA January 7, 1945, remains recovered 1948, case resolved
P-38L 44-24846 pilot Koeck crashed December 25, 1944
P-38L 44-24889 pilot Provencio crashed December 25, 1944
F-5E-4-LO (Photo Reconnaissance P-38L)
F-5E 44-24485 pilot Willis MIA July 10, 1945
F-5E 44-24559 pilot Gillespie MIA June 7, 1945, 1 missing
F-5E 44-24953 pilot Shannon MIA May 29, 1945
F5E "Well Bust Ma' Britches!" ultimate fate unknown
P-38L-5-LO
P-38L 44-25217 pilot Mahony crashed January 3, 1945
P-38L "Double Bourbon" 44-25239 operated Howard Field in Panama
P-38L 44-25427 pilot Hill crashed January 31, 1945
P-38L "Florida Cracker" 44-25432 assigned to Joseph M. Forster
P-38L "Blood & Guts" 44-25600 pilot Frazee crashed July 20, 1945
P-38L "Eileen-Anne / Kim IV" 44-25656 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38L "Lizzie V" 44-25930 crash landed January 9, 1945
P-38L "Jean Creamer" 44-26490 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped
P-38L 44-26538 pilot Stier crashed July 13, 1945
P-38L 44-26969 pilot Ethell crashed June 6, 1997
P-38L 44-27142 pilot Hochuli MIA August 12, 1945, 1 missing
P-38L 44-27231 owned by Ronald Fagen / Minnesota Airways in the markings of P-38G "Ruff Stuff"
P-38L 44-53015 displayed at McGuire AFB in the markings of P-38L "Pudgy V" 42-66817
P-38L 44-53097 displayed Museum of Flight in the markings of P-38L "LIzzy V" 44-25930
P-38L 44-53232 displayed USAF Museum
P-38L pilot Henderson crashed July 13, 1945
F-5G-6-LO (Photo Reconnaissance P-38L-5)
F-5G 44-27183 converted to P-38L-5 displayed at McGuire AFB
F-5G 44-53012 convered P-38L-5 displayed Yanks Air Museum

List by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Serial Number
F-4 Lightning A55-1 (41-2158) crash landed September 2, 1944 undercarriage collapsed landing at Coomalie
F-4 Lightning A55-2 (41-2159) pilot Cridland crashed November 20, 1942
F-4 Lightning A55-3 (41-2144) force landed December 10, 1943 displayed Australian Aviation Heritage Centre (Darwin Aviation Museum)

Other Known Aircraft
P-38 crashed Bensbach force landed near Bensbach
P-38 crashed near Nobnob crashed at Nobnob near Amron
P-38 ditched near Samar wreckage found near Samar
P-38 ditched near Segi ditched off Segi
P-38 Morehead crashed near Morehead
P-38 pilot E. McGuire force landed October 24, 1943
P-38 pilot Feehan MIA August 21, 1943
P-38 pilot Guttel MIA August 21, 1943
P-38 pilot Krisher MIA August 21, 1943
P-38 pilot McCarthy crashed July 21, 1943
P-38 pilot Perkins crashed March 21, 1944
P-38 pilot Darcey MIA October 6, 1944
P-38 pilot Love crashed July 13, 1943
P-38 pilot Bauhof crashed May 14, 1943
P-38F pilot Sparks damaged December 27, 1943 repaired ultimate fate unknown
P-38F pilot Porter ditched November 4, 1942
P-38F ditched off Guadalcanal displayed Vilu Museum
P-38 pilot 1st Lt. George I. Gombert, Jr. MIA February 27, 1944, 1 missing
P-38F "The Japanese Sandman" written off after April 12, 1943
P-38G "Elsie" force landed April 5, 1943 ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared
P-38G pilot Alger Force landed April 12, 1943 at 7-Mile Drome
P-38G pilot Rist MIA February 13, 1943
P-38G pilot Blythe damaged August 16, 1943
P-38G pilot McIntyre crashed April 29, 1943
P-38G pilot Morton ditched February 13, 1943
P-38G pilot Cramer ditched February 13, 1943
P-38G #113 pilot Lockridge ditched February 13, 1943
P-38G pilot Finkenstein MIA February 14, 1943
P-38G pilot White MIA February 14, 1943
P-38G pilot Mulvey ditched February 14, 1943
P-38G pilot Hine MIA April 18, 1943 "Yamamoto Mission"
P-38G pilot Huey MIA/POW February 14, 1943
P-38G pilot Neater KIA July 11, 1943
P-38G pilot Dinn MIA January 5, 1943, 1 missing
P-38G pilot Hilken MIA January 5, 1943, 1 missing
P-38G "Daisy 2nd" Nose 125 pilot Rex Barber on March 29, 1943
P-38H piloted by Corrigan MIA September 24, 1943, 1 missing
P-38H pilot Weiss MIA March 19, 1944
P-38H pilot Durkin ditched November 8, 1943
P-38J "Corky IV" assigned to Cornelius M. "Corky" Smith
P-38J pilot Munson MIA January 17, 1944
P-38J pilot Glenny ditched October 12, 1944
P-38L "Pudgy IV" assigned to Thomas B. McGurie
P-38L pilot Fulkerson (MACR 11684 & 11887 related to other pilots, find SN & details)
P-38L "Nulli Secundus" pilot Ladd MIA October 15, 1944
F-5 crashed Siar Island crashed on Siar Island north of Madang
P-38J Lightning force landed, scrapped late 1950s or early 1960
P-38 Lightning force landed near Pyramid Hill scrapped late 1950s or early 1960
P-38 pilot Steele MIA July 16, 1943, 1 missing
P-38 pilot Woodward MIA October 24, 1943, 1 missing
P-38H pilot Camp crashed August 20, 1943. remains recovered
P-38 pilot Studley shot down January 20, 1944 rescued
P-38 pilot Woods MIA December 15, 1942, 1 missing
P-38 pilot Wilson crashed September 26, 1943 rescued
P-38 Number 74 pilot Wandrey crashed October 8, 1943 survived

Replica
P-38J "Marge" replica displayed at Bong Heritage Center

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Lockheed F-4 Photo Lightning - History

Pilot F/O Roy L. Kross, O-186666, 25th PRS (WIA, died December 6, 1943) Cook County, IL
Force Landed December 5, 1943 at 10:00am
MACR none

Pilot History
Kross was a resident of Cook County, Illinois. He completed four years of high school and was employed in automotive manufacture. On August 20, 1940 enlisted in the U. S. Army on as a private in the Air Corps with enlistment for the Philippine Department. Married to Florence Latek. Kross was assigned to the 25th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (25th PRS).

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Construction Number 5340. This aircraft was originally ordered as a P-38E Lighting but was completed as the F-4 photographic reconnaissance version. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as F-4-1-LO Lightning serial number 41-2122. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group (PRG), 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (PRS). Squadron Number 22 on the tail and nose. No known nickname or nose art.

On June 7, 1943 this F-4 took off from 14 Mile Drome (Schwimmer) near Port Moresby piloted by Lt. Guerry on a flight for Dobodura.

Mission History
On December 5, 1943 took off from14 Mile Drome (Schwimmer) near Port Moresby piloted by F/O Roy L. Kross on a local orientation flight along with F-4 41-2130 piloted by Lt Danvers. While flying low over the sea, this Lightning apparently lost control and attempted to ditch off Hood Point. Instead, this F-4 Lightning overshot the landing and slid into Hula village. Pilot Cross was burned during the crash and severely injured. This aircraft was officially written off on December 6, 1943.

Rescue
After the crash, 5th Bomber Command phoned 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron to inform them of the crash. Captain Skyes borrowed a 5th Bomber Command L-5 to get a doctor to Hood Point Airfield. Meanwhile, F-4 41-2130 piloted by Lt Danvers landed at Hood Point Airfield and transported Kross to Port Moresby arriving at 9:30pm and Kross was hospitalized at the 171st Station Hospital and died the next day.

Memorials
Kross was officially declared dead on December 6, 1943. Initially, he was buried in Port Moresby. Postwar, his remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial. During June 1948, he was buried at Fairmount-Willow Hills Memorial Park in Willow Springs, IL.

References
Note, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) records incorrectly states F-4 Lightning A55-3 was USAAF serial number 41-2122.
Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC) - F-4 Lightning 41-2122
USAF Serial Number Search Results - F-4-1-LO Lightning 41-2122 [entry incorrect, entry related to A55-3]
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - F-4 Lightning 41-2122
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Roy L. Kross
The Eight Ballers Eyes of the Fifth Air Force (1999) by Stanaway and Rocker pages 94-95
"Sunday, December 5 – Another unexpected tragedy hit the Squadron today. One of the new pilots, F/O (Fred) Cross of the 25th Sq (L), 6th Gp, crashed in F-4 2122 near the Hood Point strip about 10:00 hours during a local hop designed to acquaint him with New Guinea. He was burned severely and was flown in a transport to the 171st Station Hospital in critical condition. He and Lt Danvers (2130) were flying together. Cross was apparently flying low over the water when he lost control of the plane. Bomber Command phoned Operations, and Capt Sykes flew to Hood Point in Bom Com’s L-5 to pick up the doctor and investigate the accident. Lt Danvers left 2130 at Hood Point and flew to the hospital with Cross. The ship was demolished. Part of a native village was struck before the plane hit a tree and burned. F/O Cross died early today as a result of burns sustained in his plane crash yesterday at Hood Point. The tragedy is made more severe when realizes that Cross’s father died a week ago. While none of the 8th Photo knew Cross well, his loss is felt deeply among the officers and men of the 25th Sq."
FindAGrave - FO Roy L Kross (grave photo, obituary)
"Chicago Tribune 6/6/1948 Roy L. Kross, F/O 25th Photo Recon. Sqd., at New Guinea, 12/5/1943, late of 1401 W. 82nd St., husband of Florence, nee Latek, son of Lillian and the late Fred, brother of Joan. Resting at funeral home, 1844 W. 63rd st. until 11 a.m. Thurs. Service 2 p.m., at Hope Ev. Luth. Church, 6400 S. Washtenaw av. Interment Fairmount."
The Lockheed File - 44 Reasons to be Confused mentions 41-2122

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