The Lockheed

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On a recent trip to the National Museum we were mesmerised bye the aircraft’s placed at the front of the Museum. here is one of the aircrafts that is located just before you enter the gates

LOCKHEED P-38F LIGHTNING

The American P-38 Lightning fighter was built by Lockheed Aircraft Corp in Burbank , Carlifonia.

The P-38 had a unique twin-engine, twin-boom design and was known for its ruggedness, heavy armament, high speed and performance, although it was not as maneuverable  as smaller single-engine fighters.

It filled long-range escort, interceptor, ground-attack, air-to-air, and even strategic bombing roles.

The P-38 was responsible for shooting down more Japanese aircraft than any other United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) type during the war; it is particularly famous for being the aircraft type that shot down Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s airplane over Bougainville in April 1943.

P-38 Serial No 42-12647 was delivered to the US Army in June 1942.

Disassembled, it was shipped to Australia as part of the first batch of P-38s to be sent overseas, and assigned to the USAAF 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group.

This P-38 had a long and illustrious career over the skies of Papua and New Guinea, flying many missions with many pilots and scoring many kills.

After the turbocharger explosion and forced landing at Schwimmer (14 Mile) Drome in May 1943, it was written off. However, it was later repaired and reassigned to the 8th Fighter Group, nicknamed ‘Dottie from Brooklyn’ by one of its pilots, Lt. Cornelius “Corky” M. Smith (after his wife).

In January 1944, the aircraft made an emergency landing on the salt flats near Lea Lea Village northeast of Port Moresby, remaining there until it was recovered in 1978 and brought to the former National Museum & Art Gallery Modern History Museum in Gordons. It was brought to its current location in 2014.

The tail and wing panels were taken to Australia for restoration in 2001 and have yet to be returned. It is believed that this is the earliest F model Lightning on display anywhere in the world.

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