P-38 Lightning and F4U Corsair Play In The Sky
The P-38 Lightning was one of the most effective fighters that the US brought to World War II. A product of Lockheed, its twin tails and its ease in dispatching opposition, earned it nicknames like “two planes, one pilot”, given by the Japanese and “the fork-tailed devil”, a moniker used by the Germans.
- While considered a fighter plane, the P-38 was able to carry large amounts of ordinance, yet still maintain maneuverability and quickness due to its twin V-12 engines and the power that came with them.
- Its offensive capabilities lied in four M2 Browning machine guns and one 20 mm Hispano cannon.
- It had a wingspan of 52 feet and could reach a maximum altitude of 44 thousand feet.
A high-altitude fighter, a reconnaissance plane, an escort for bombers, the P-38 Lightning could do it all. What it excelled at, however, was acting as a long range fighter. On April 18 1943, 16 P-38 planes were sent to intercept Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto and his Mitsubishi Zero escort. The Lightnings flew for 435 miles at low altitudes over the Pacific and gave the Allies a resounding win.