Following are the details we have gathered on pilots who were qualified as “Aces” (five or more planes shot down) in the P‑38. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge, but if you find any errors or omissions, please let us know!

Search for Ace by last name:

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The Better Known P-38 ACES

Richard Ira "Dick" Bong

Richard Ira Bong
“Dick Bong”

24 SEP 1920 / 6 AUG 1945
America’s “Ace of Aces”
40 aerial victories

"Happy" Jack M. Ilfrey

Jack Ilfrey
“Happy Jack”

31 JUL1920 / 15 OCT 2004
Major…er Lieutenant…er Colonel! United States Army Air Corps

Cadet Thomas B. McGuire Jr.

Thomas B. McGuire, Jr. “Tommy McGuire”

1 AUG 1920 / 7 JAN 1945
38 aerial victories


– Col. Al Griebling, USAF Ret.

Some pilots are good.
Some pilots are great.
The best of them all
Flew the P-38


There are many excellent books written about WWII Aces. Here are a few of the best below.

Happy Jack's Go Buggy book
Buy Now on Amazon

Happy Jack’s Go Buggy: A Fighter Pilots Story

Schiffer Military Aviation History

Undoubtedly one of the finest stories of aerial combat that has ever been written.  You will fly through the skies with eight-victory fighter ace, Jack Ilfrey, in his P‑38 and thrill to the stories of aerial combat.  Join him on his incredible trip to becoming one of America’s first WWII aces.​

P-38 Lightening Aces of the ETO/MTO book
Buy Now on Amazon

P-38 Lightning Aces of the ETO/MTO

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces No 19

Written by one of our expert P-38 Association Historians, John Stanaway, this book traces the careers of many unknown Aces within the USAAF in the European Theater. Some 17 pilots scored 7 or more kills in the P-38 in the ETO/MTO.

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The Romanian Rescue Mission

The Romanian Rescue Mission

Flight Officer Richard T. "Dick" Andrews made an extraordinarily brave rescue of another P‑38 pilot under extreme combat conditions. Learn about the exceptional story by selecting a link here. >Story Map Photos Silver Star Citation Diorama of Rescue Vietnam Rescue...

Test Pilot: Tony LeVier

Test Pilot: Tony LeVier

Anthony William "Tony" LeVier 14 FEB 1913 / 6 FEB 1998 The P-38 National Association Museum is housed in the Tony LeVier Hangar, for whom it's named and to whom it's dedicated. For more details about the monument, click here.Tony became fascinated with planes as a...

“Hap” Arnold

“Hap” Arnold

Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold 25 JUN 1886 - 15 JAN 1950 "Hap" Arnold is primarily remembered by fans of the P‑38 as the man who approved its first, historic cross-country flight to New York. You can read more about this attempt and the results of that flight here. It met...