Lockheed P-38 Lightning
1x 20mm +
4x .50 mgâ€™s
The Story of the P-38 Fighter: The US built many fine fighter aircraft during the war, but none were as radical in design or as distinctive in profile as the â€œfork-tailed devilâ€ (as the Germans called it), the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Itâ€™s unique layout allowed it to use long, powerful, supercharged engines and yet still carry a very heavy armament in a nose unencumbered by an engine. It also possessed a good range, expanded to a remarkable range with drop fuel tanks. These two charactersitics together also made it a perfect platform for a reconnaissance plane, a secondary role, often overlooked, in which it performed a vital service, checking out targets and bomb damage for the air campaign in Europe and helping map little-known regions in the South Pacific so that the allies would know what they were getting themselves into! Itâ€™s size gave it a less-than-stellar roll-rate for a fighter, but it was nonetheless a dangerous opponent in both theatres. It was in the vast open reaches of the Pacific, though, where it really came into its own, forming the bulk of the Armyâ€™s land-based fighter strength in the Pacific for much of the war. One of its finest hours was when a squadron of them managed to intercept an air convoy carrying the Japanese admiral Yamamoto and shoot down his plane, killing the revered leader and dealing the Japanese a crushing psychological blow.
Usage Notes: Use this piece for â€œGlobal 1939â€ and â€œInvasion of Italyâ€ Variants as a fighter unit. Other US aircraft of interest may be: the Grumman F6F Hellcat Fighter, the Douglass SBD Dauntless Tactical Bomber, & the Boeing B17 â€œFlying Fortressâ€ Strategic Bomber.