P-38, Rosie's Roving Rascal,#119

Discussion in 'Basic' started by AZ Larry, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. AZ Larry

    AZ Larry New Member

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    Hello All,
    Could anyone help me to ID this plane. My Dad is the shirtless guy and he was stationed near Naples. I believe he might have been a crew chief. I have another picture with him in uniform and he has a 12th AF patch on. He has dementia and cannot remember anything. Thanks so much for your time and help.

    Larry
     

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  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    #2 Colin1, Feb 7, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
    I'm putting this together as I go along, so I'll add to it as I find stuff:

    In May 1943, the 12th AF were based on north-west African bases for Operation Husky and during the course of this, destroyed in the region of 1,000 Axis planes. The 12th then dug in on Sicily and continued the air umbrella into Italy.

    The 12th AF comprised three FGs; the 1st, 14th and 82nd and these were supported by the 3rd PRG.

    Most of the P-38s in-theatre at this time would have been P-38G-10s or -15s.

    In November 1943, the 15th AF was formed in Italy, with the Foggia airfields being its principal home. All 12th AF P-38 FGs, the 1st, 14th and 82nd were transferred into the 15th, along with the photo recon group.

    Missions hereafter switched to the support of Anzio, comprising strafing and dive-bombing. Route into and out of the target area would have been across Italy to Naples, out to sea and up the coast to Anzio, reciprocating the course on the return leg. I haven't found any mention of 12th or 15th AF presence on the ground in Naples itself.

    During February 1944, the 15th coordinated with the 8th in the UK for attacks on Germany, the long-legged P-38s took this in their stride, even from Foggia.

    By this stage (late February), P-38Js in the form of the P-38J-15 were beginning to arrive.

    The P-38J possessed the flat, bullet-proof windscreen, not apparent in your photo so I would suggest one of the earlier models mentioned, variant of the P-38G.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice work Colin. Yes, the aircraft in the pic is earlier than a 'J' - it doesn't have the 'chin' radiators, the under cowling sweeping back smoothly, just visible on the port nacelle. Presumably '119' is the last three of the serial/ BuNo., often repeated on the nose, particularly in this theatre.
     
  4. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't look to have any guns either so it's probably a photos-recon aircraft but I may be wrong.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right Arron, it looks like a F-4B Recon version.
     
  6. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    You can even see the ports for the cameras in the side of the nose. So deffently a photo plane.
     
  7. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Good eyeballs fellas, so likely a:

    i. P-38F-4 of the 3rd PRG or
    ii. P-38F-5 of the 5th PRG

    the 5th joined the 12th AF round about mid-August 1943, just as the 12th were beginning to concentrate their attacks on the Naples-Foggia area.
     
  8. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to go with the F-4 based on the sweep of the under cowling. I thought the F-5 version was based on the J and after model, but I could be wrong.
     
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