Author & Historian
It is with great sadness that we let everyone know our dear friend, John, passed away on December 18, 2019. John was our long-time historian and a great supporter of the Association and its mission. I’ve decided to leave this page active in case anyone would like to delve into some of John’s work and his lifelong love for the P-38.
John Stanaway was the most prolific author on the subject of the P‑38 Lightning that we know. He knew his stuff, and was good enough to share his knowledge with the rest of us. John wasn’t old enough to have had an opportunity to fly combat in a P‑38, but he knew more about them than most people you’ll meet.
He was a long-time member of the P‑38 Association and one of our highly valued Historians. We thank him for all his hard work in documenting so much historical data about this fantastic combat airplane and the men who knew it so well.
One of John’s passions was to document the feats of the P‑38 aces in the various theaters of operations. So, in his books (some of which are shown below) you’ll notice that many of them have to do with “Lightning Aces of…”
You’re going to have a good deal of fun digging into all of John’s excellent, well-documented books.
If you think you’d like to pick up a copy of the book, you can either click on the picture or the title and it’ll take you to the Amazon page for ordering info.
Click here to see all the aviation books that John Stanaway has written (including books on the P-39 Airacobra Aces, and Mustang and Thunderbolt Aces.
P‑38 Lightning Aces of the ETO/MTO
John Stanaway (Author), Tom+Tullis (Illustrator)
The P‑38 made its combat debut in Europe in mid-1942, the first American fighters being flown to the UK before heading further east to Twelfth Air Force units in North Africa.
Its service in this theatre, and later over the heartland of Germany itself, earned the P‑38 the nickname ‘Der Gabelschwanzer Teufel’ (the “Fork-tailed Devil”). This volume traces the careers of many previously unknown aces within the USAAF in Europe, and helps redress the balance which has in the past seen all the “glory” for the fighter victories in this theatre shared between the pilots of the P‑47 and P‑51. Some 17 pilots scored 7 or more kills on the P‑38 in the ETO/MTO.
P-38 Lightning Aces of the Pacific and CBI
John Stanaway (Author), Tom Tullis (Illustrator)
The P‑38 was used on virtually every front to which the USAAF were committed, but enjoyed its greatest successes in the Pacific and China-Burma-India (CBI) theatres.
The speed, range and firepower of the P‑38 made it the favorite of nearly all aircrew fighting in the Solomons, New Guinea and the Philippines. Over 1,800 Japanese aircraft fell to its guns.
From the first encounters at the end of 1942 until the Lightning scored the final Fifth Air force victories in August 1945, these pilots made the Pacific skies very much their own.
P-38 Lightning Aces
The first P‑38s became operational with the 1st Fighter Group in April 1941, and the initial combat deployments were made in Alaska, the Southwest Pacific and North Africa during the latter part of 1942.
Photographic reconnaissance versions of the P‑38 were in action even sooner when F‑4 (P‑38E) models were rushed to frontline units a few months after Pearl Harbor. Often using modified field measures to equip aircraft and train pilots in this demanding fighter, early pilots wrote a remarkable record of accomplishments that displayed a high degree of courage and innovation.
Every theatre in which the United States was involved saw deployment of the P‑38, and more than 60 Lightning pilots were credited with at least five victories by the end of 1943.
Featuring illustrations depicting P‑38 models from the E to the H‑5 previously not known to the general public, unpublished photographs and new data, this volume presents a comprehensive and innovative account of some of these lesser known aces.