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MARCH 2008    
 

 

Hello P-38 Fans!

Lots of good articles and info this month, so let's press on.

Blue skies,

Kelly


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IN THIS EDITION

 


Planes of Fame Airshow?

The Planes of Fame in Chino has launched their 2008 Airshow page, and you can visit there to get discount tickets to the show on May 17-18.  Since the PoF houses a couple of P-38s, it's only natural that they would have one participating in the show -- which rumors tell us they will. We'll keep you posted.

You should also stop by to see us (the P-38 National Association) at our booth at the airshow.  We'll be there, and we're rounding up as many P-38 veterans as we can to man our autograph table. So make sure you take advantage of this rare opportunity to speak with one of them and get an autographed P-38 picture.

You can read about the Chino show here.

My Ride in a P-38

Wayman Dunlap, Editor of the Pacific Flyer newspaper, sent us this great story of a recent ride he had in the P-38 "23 Skidoo" with stunt pilot and Planes of Fame President, Steve Hinton.  Have a look-see.

 

New Photos

Jeff Harris has send us some great new P-38 photos, for which we've set up a photo gallery on our website.  Have a look.

Cheerful P-38 Ditty sent in by Association member, Elwyn Sneed.  Think the guy who wrote it missed part of the training.

We also received an absolutely beautiful lyric from P-38 Newsletter reader Mark Gronemeyer. Real poignant tribute to all those P-38 pilots we've known and loved.

A few more (huge), vintage, beautiful photos from P-38 Newsletter subscriber, Pat Carry.  They include some very cool photos of P-38s being moved through a tiny town in New Caledonia.
Set one
Set two (New Caledonia pix)
Another one (this is a similar photo of a P-38 being moved through a small village sent to us by Association Member, Aileen Lim.

Pretty new shot of Ruff Stuff sent in by Association Member, Marty Potts.

New addition to our "You Just Might Love the P-38" section.  This one sent in by Hayman Tam, who said he MIGHT start producing them for sale. If he does, we'll be the first in line. They're great!

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Interview & Video

The Orange Country register just did an interview (with video) of one of our members which I think you'll enjoy.  Not only is Bruce Bauer 90+ years old now, he was also one of the original engineers on the P-38 and was intimately involved with its development.

Read the interview and watch the video.

 

I Wouldn't Have Shot Him Down if Only I'd Known...

Many of you know the story of P-38 pilot and famous author (of The Little Prince), Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  There's been lots of speculation over the years as to what happened to "Saint-Ex" when he and his P-38 disappeared one day in 1944. The wreckage has recently been found, proving that he did, in fact, crash -- although under what circumstances they were not sure.  This German pilot thinks he may have the answer -- he shot down one of his favorite authors.

Don't Forget to Switch Over to the Internal Fuel Supply!

Interesting History Channel reenactment video of P-38 "triple ace," Robin Olds (who passed away in June of 2007) during a combat mission.

 

The Classic and the
New Kid

A fun photo of the "original" P-38 and the new kid on the block

 

 

 

 

 

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Website Focus

Visit us on the web. Here's a sample of one of our current website sections:

 
Many of you may not realize that women also flew P-38s during WWII.  True, they weren't permitted to fly combat missions, but they played a significant ferrying roll.  So much so that Walt Disney had a logo drawn for them, Fifinella, the WASP.

Read all about the Ferrying Command and see why General "Hap" Arnold had this to say:

"You have shown that you can fly wingtip to wingtip with your brothers. If ever there was doubt in anyone's mind that women could become skilled pilots, the WASPs dispelled that doubt. I want to stress how valuable the whole WASP program has been for the country."

General H. H. "Hap" Arnold
Sweetwater TX Dec 7, 1944

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P-38 Hardstand
By John Stanaway

Greatest Lightnings of them all

I have heard it said that there were about one in a thousand P-38s that were made just right, perfect enough to be exactly what Lockheed had intended. That means that only about nine or ten were paradigms of the breed. Two of those P-38s were identifiable, and they were coveted mounts in their respective squadrons.

One of these was P-38F-15, serial 43-2112, named SAD SACK. This P-38 was assigned to the 82nd Fighter Group, and in fact scored the first 82nd victory in North Africa when 12-victory ace Lieutenant William “Dixie” Sloan shot down a Messerschmitt 109 on January 7, 1943. SAD SACK was assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron, and was responsible for most if not all of 95th commander Major Ernest Osher’s five confirmed victories. Others who claimed victories were Major Bob Kirtley of the 95th, who claimed a Ju 88 bomber and an AR 196 floatplane in the air, and Joe Solko who flew SAD SACK during the remarkable strafing attack of August 25, 1943 during which he was credited with damaging no fewer than nine Ju 88s.

It is sobering to reflect on the fact that P-38s were in such short supply in the Mediterranean that many early examples of the P-38 were kept in service well into 1944. Fortunately, SAD SACK was up to the task, serving at least into April 1944. Eventually it received flak damage that finally ended its service life, but it was credited with at least sixteen air victories before it ended its combat days.

The other identifiable P-38 was P-38G-5, serial 42-12806, named G. I. ANNIE. A particular favorite of mine because the model used for the majorette decoration on the side was film star Frances Rafferty (see left), who was my first crush when I fell head over heels at her portrayal of Ruth Henshaw on television’s "December Bride."

Anyway, this P-38 was assigned to John Jones of the 80th Fighter Squadron in New Guinea, and was also involved in a number of aerial claims by various pilots, including Jones who claimed at least half of his eight confirmed victories in ANNIE. Other pilots who claimed victories were Cy Homer with two of his fifteen, and Ken Ladd with at least one of his twelve. Sadly, Annie was lost with F/O Robert Gentile on November 7, 1943.
 

 

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Carl Abejon

Bill Hart

John Herlosky

Kenneth Nielsen
 

 

 

 

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For questions regarding anything in this newsletter, please send an email to the Editor, Kelly B. Kalcheim at:  newsletter@p38assn.org

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