Fighter: P-38 - United States (Europe 1940)

Fighter: P-38 - United States (Europe 1940)

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Part Number:EU40_USFIG

Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Name

Length

Wingspan

Weight

Max Bomb-load

Armament

Speed

Ceiling

Range

Lockheed P-38 Lightning

37’ 10”

52’

12,800 lbs.

3,197 lbs.

1x 20mm +

4x .50 mg’s

414 mph

44,000’

1,300 mi.

 

Lockheed P-38 Lightning Fighter

 

ID: Plastic “fighter” gaming piece: Lockheed P-38 Lightning Hellcat fighter from the game Axis & Allies Europe 40 & Pacific 40.

 

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 “fork-tailed devil” (as the Germans called it), the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.  It’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!  It’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 Army’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 “Global 1939” and “Invasion of Italy” 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 “Flying Fortress” Strategic Bomber.

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