Special Plane, Special Role: How the P-38 Lightning Helped Win World War II

By U.S. Air Force - https://media.defense.gov/2004/Mar/12/2000593925/-1/-1/0/021001-O-9999G-005.JPG, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4012931
December 30, 2020 Topic: History Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Reboot Tags: MilitaryTechnologyWeaponsWarLockheed Martin

Special Plane, Special Role: How the P-38 Lightning Helped Win World War II

The P-38 joined the war late, but it quickly became a famous workhorse.

Photo reconnaissance Lightnings played important roles in both Europe and the Pacific. In fact, the first P-38s to fly combat missions in the Pacific Theater were converted reconnaissance planes that were sent to Australia early in 1942. In early 1944, the modified P-51 Mustang was introduced to the European theater. The inclusion of additional fuel tanks in the wings and fuselage greatly extended the airplane’s range, and the P-51 soon became the favored fighter in Europe. Not so, however, in the Pacific, where the P-38 continued its reign right up to V-J day.

This article was first published by the Warfare History Network. This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest.  

Image: Wikimedia.