p. 38

Airworthy P-38 Lightnings, 2017

A short guide to the survivors, and how to quickly identify them.

Unnamed, 44-53254, Aircraft Guaranty Title Corp. Trustee

Unpainted fuselage, olive drab inner cowlings, red-and-white painted rudders, Red Bull nose art.  This aircraft was formerly owned by the CAF and flown as White Lightning until it was sold after a forced landing.  She is operated out of Salzburg, Austria, by the Red Bull company.

Glacier Girl, 41-7630, Lewis Air Legends

Olive drab fuselage and wings, pre-war national insignia, yellow identification markings.  This aircraft was crashed in Greenland in 1942 on the way to England, and eventually recovered after over a decade of hunting for the “Lost Squadron.”  She is based out of San Antonio, Texas.

White 33, 42-12652, WestPac Restorations

Dark green fuselage, blue propeller spinners, “33″ numbers on vertical fins and nose, white shark-tooth markings on engine nacelles.  This aircraft served in New Guinea and Australia with the 475th and 8th Fighter Groups before crashing in 1944 and being written off.  She is currently based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

23 Skidoo, 44-23314, Planes of Fame

Olive drab fuselage, yellow detailing on propeller spinners, vertical fins, and tail booms, “162″ aircraft number on fins and nose.  This aircraft entered civilian hands shortly after the end of WWII and has been flown by the Planes of Fame since 1988 in various colors.  She is based out of Chino, California.

44-26981, Allied Fighters

Unpainted fuselage, invasion stripes under the outer wing panels and tail booms, red propeller spinners, aircraft number 981 on the nose.  This aircraft entered civilian hands in 1946, and has changed hands dozens of times since.  She is based out of Sun Valley, Idaho.

Relampago, 44-27053, War Eagles Air Museum

Glossy black fuselage, silver propeller blades.  This aircraft was used as an aerial surveyor after the end of WWII, before being purchased by the museum in 1994.  She is based out of Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

Tangerine, 44-27083, Erickson Aircraft Collection

Olive drab upper fuselage, light grey lower fuselage, yellow detailing on propeller spinners and vertical fins, extensive nose art on both sides of the nose.  This aircraft was sold into civilian hands in 1946 and restored to airworthiness in 1996.  She is based out of Madras, Oregon.

44-27183, Yanks Air Museum

Unpainted except for national insignia, original F-5 camera nose fitted instead of a fighter nose.  This aircraft is airworthy although not flown by the museum.  She is based out of Chino, California.

Scat III, 44-27231, Fagen Fighters WWII Museum

Dark green fuselage, “W” code on inside of vertical fins, “SCAT III” nose art, red rudders.  This aircraft flew as a racer post-war, before being restored in 1999.  She is based out of Granite Falls, Minnesota.

Thoughts of Midnite, 44-53095, Comanche Fighters LCC

Olive drab fuselage, red band on propeller spinners, red band on tail booms, aircraft number “120″ on fins and nose, nose art of port side.  This aircraft served with the Honduran Air Force postwar, before being returned to the US in 1960; she flew formerly as Putt Putt Maru.  She is based out of Houston, Texas.

P-38 airframes are exceedingly rare today, although there are several under restoration for either display or airworthiness.  Hopefully more of these rare fighters will return to the air again soon.

The P-38 Lightning was the first fighter with sufficient range to provide air cover to the bombers all the way to the target and return. This long range capability, massive armament, high speed, & unusual twin tail design earned the P-38 the name “Fork Tailed Devil” from the enemy and “Angel in Overall” by the American bomber crews.

Allied gun sight aiming point camera footage from a Lockhead P-38 Lightning shooting down a Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe/ Sturmvogel. The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe of World War 2 became the first operational-level jet-powered military fighter in history.