RAF- P38 for use in Germany ?

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by gironimo, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. gironimo

    gironimo New Member

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    Hello , yesterday I learned from a witness that a P38 1944-45 in Lower Bavaria ( was shot between Passau and Grafenau .
    total there were 4 or 5 machines at the train station Kalteneck in use in a flak hit was a machine. The parachute of the pilot was not able to open at altitude. The accident pilot was after the other planes flew back with the wheelbarrow to the cemetery gekarrt.Die the remains of the machine with the engines were brought after it was burned to the roadside . There the parts were about 2 years, the piles became smaller and smaller and eventually the engines were from the scrap dealer disposed of The eyewitness , stated at the time 12 years , the P38 had a British insignia .
    Anyone knows what Airfield 1944-45 the machines started their use ?
    May be that the P38 operated under the British flag in Germany ?
    Attempts at community or cemetery to learn about the injured pilot, will be back next year install a plaque at the crash site .
    Google translator !
    Regards gironimo
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The P-38 never became operational with the RAF. So either your witness confounds the correct type of the plane with another one or it wasn't the RAF kite.
     
  3. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    The USAAF used them in the ETO.

    I met the pilot of one at an air show years ago. He was selling a print of one of his operations. He captured a German fighter, escorting it back to base. The print is in my stash somewhere.
     
  4. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    #4 pbehn, Nov 12, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
    Adrian Warburton was a British pilot lost in a P38 recon version but was flying for an American squadron

    By the beginning of 1944, he had been promoted to the rank of Wing Commander and his gallantry recognised by the award of the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Bars, and an American Distinguished Flying Cross. By this time he had flown nearly 400 operations and claimed 9 enemy aircraft destroyed.
    On 1 April 1944, he was posted as the RAF Liaison Officer to the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, US 8th Army Air Force, then based at RAF Mount Farm in Oxfordshire.
    Warburton was the pilot of one of two Lockheed F-5B photo-reconnaissance aircraft (a version of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter) that took off together from Mount Farm on the morning of 12 April 1944 to photograph targets in Germany. The aircraft separated approximately 100 miles north of Munich to carry out their respective tasks; it was planned that they would meet and fly on to a USAAF airfield in Sardinia. He failed to arrive at the rendezvous point and was not seen again.
    Years of speculation about his fate came to an end in 2002, when his remains were found in the cockpit of his plane, buried about 2 m (6 ft 7 in) deep in a field near the Bavarian village of Egling an der Paar, 34 miles west of Munich. According to witnesses, the aircraft fell there on 12 April 1944, around 11:45. One of the propellers had bullet holes in it, which suggests that Warburton had been shot down. Parts of the wreck can be seen today in the Malta Aviation Museum.
    Only a few pieces of bone and the odd part of flying clothing were actually found. As Warburton was flying a USAAF plane with USAAF markings he was thought to be an American. Most of Warburton's body was removed from the P-38 and buried in a grave in the town of Kaufering's cemetery. The grave was marked "unknown American Airman" and was right next to a Halifax crew that were shot down and died on the night of 6–7 September 1943. When the area came under Allied control (particularly American), the graves were moved.
    A memorial service was held on 14 May 2003, in the St Aegidius Parish church, Gmund am Tegernsee, followed by burial at the Dürnbach Commonwealth War Cemetery.[12] The ceremony was attended by his widow, Eileen (known as Betty) and by Jack Vowles, a former colleague who had served with him in Malta in the early 1940s.
     
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  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    That's right.

    The RAF did test three P-38s in May 1942, they were "borrowed" from the USAAF. They make an interesting subject in their RAF markings.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They never went anywhere near Bavaria though :)

    "Lightning" was the name given to the type by the British. Lockheed wanted to call the aircraft "Atalanta"

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Steve, those are not P-38s. And those were bought for cash.
    You're right about the origin of the name, though :)
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    If they're not P-38s, as shown in trials records, then what are they?
    Although the P-38 was not on the RAF inventory, having been rejected following the trials of the three aircraft posted by Steve, there was actually one P-38J 'droop snoot' which carried RAF markings, and was on 'loan' to Air Cmdr Sharp, at Coningsby. This was (US) serial number 44-23515, apparently painted PRU blue overall (although the one photo of it appears to show mainly a 'natural metal' finish), and was used for target marking in late 1944.
     
  8. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #8 tomo pauk, Nov 13, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
    They are Lightning Mk.I, the non-turbo V-1710-C15 (same as in P-40/A/B/C) engines making them unique. Lockheed's designation was Model 322-F (for France) and Model 322-B (for UK), purchase being contracted in April 1940. Another designation was also allocated for the 322-B, the 'Model 322-61-04'. With collapse of France the British wanted to took over the whole order of 667 fighters.
    The Lightning Mk.II was the British name for the version of the plane with turboed V-1710F5R/L (plane being, basically, the equivalent of the P-38F), and the contract was again changed to cover purchase of 524 Lightnings Mk.II instead of last 524 Lightning Mk.Is from those 667 contracted.

    The US Army was calling the Lightning Is as P-322-I, and in June 1941 The 'US. Joint Aircraft Comittee' decided that only F series of engines, along with turbos was to be used; the Allison started the switch from C to the F series from second half of 1940, 1st Fs going to the YP-38s. Out of 143 of Model 322-61-04 aircraft, two of them reached Britain in Jan 1942, and, by that time, with single stage C-15 engines, they will not cut it as capable fighters for RAF needs. Price was another issue. The other 322s were coming from the production line, waiting British tests of the two fighters delivered and take over of the aircraft, the finished fighters being placed at open storage
    In the meantime, Pacific erupted, and USA was short of capable fighters, so the USAC purchased the remainder of the British contract. Most of the 141 non-turbo aircraft received the F2R/L engines (and remained turbo-less; the props turning in opposite directions, contrary to the C-15 engines), planes were named Model 322-62-18, and were used by USAC as advanced trainers, called P-322-II. One of them was also shipped to Britain in March 1942, receiving name AE978.
    Twenty two of the P-322-Is that remained in the USA haven't received the 'handed' F series engines, 'for variety of reasons'.

    source: 'Vee's for victory', pg. 140-141
     
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  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Terry, could you please shed some lights about trial records of the Lightning Is? I was unable so to find any credible data about their performance figures.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #10 stona, Nov 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
    Lockheed can give them any model number they like. Where does the Model number come in US designations anyway? Technically you are probably correct. The British referred to the P-38 as the Lightning and those are Lightning Is. I'd love to see the original order and see what's on that!

    I know the propeller rotation was a British specification but opinions seem to differ on why the turbocharger was not fitted.

    It's always surprised me that the British dropped the US designation (P-40, P-51 etc ) completely and referred to the types almost exclusively by the name which they had given the type.

    Cheers

    Steve

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    USAC designation was P-322-I for the aircraft with C-15 engines (same rotation, those were used at early P-40s up to P-40C, British designation Tomahawk). The USAC designation P-322-II was for the aircraft with F2R/L (right or left rotation). We can recall the P-400 here too, those being the sub-type of the more known Bell P-39 that British found unfit for ETO combat.

    Of course, it's their product. In the contracts the airplane needed to be named and specified. Whether a costumer (US or foreign) wants to give another name to it, it was not manufacturer's concern. For example, the initial P-47D was named AP-16 by Republic, the 1st to-be-Mustang was named NA-73X by NAA; the P-51D-1 was NAA-110.

    That makes at least two people that want the same :)

    It was to be fitted, only the 1st 143 of the original 667 were to be without turbos and with C-15 engines. The initial Anglo-British contract was amended shortly after France fell, covering the turboed Lightning II (F5R/L engines).

    British seem to prefer words instead of numbers for their planes. The Mustang was in RAF service before the P-51 was in US service, and so was the Boston I/DB-7 (French being the 1st costumers actually), the USAC/USAF bought the improved models of the DB-7 later. The Americans were prompt to adopt the British names themselves, actually.
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    And recycle them! Tornados and Typhoons fly today, though they look a bit different!

    I guarantee that there will never be another Spitfire or Hurricane. Those seem to be sacrosanct though I do remember someone suggesting Spitfire for the Eurofighter "Typhoon".

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Tomo, like you, I have been unable to find any data from the trials. All references seem to gloss over the 'technicalities' - (possibly due to lack of available records?), and just mention that the aircraft was found unsuitable for the requirements of the time, for that model. Whether it was technically a Lightning 1, a Lockheed pre-production prototype or whatever, most accounts dealing with the P-38 series include this as part of the series, which is why I asked, not knowing the actual type number.
     
  14. Nicolaas

    Nicolaas New Member

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