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  P-38H-5-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-66846  
USAAF
5th AF
8th FG
35th FS

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
c1944 via Kieth Hopper

Pilot  1st Lt. Charles A. Cours, O-797820 (survived)
Crashed  April 30, 1944
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 1357. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 35th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
Took off from Nadzab Airfield on a training flight to practice strafing runs. Near Nadzab, this aircraft hit a tree and was damaged. The plane continued to fly for about five miles before crashing into a hillside. Pilot Cours survived the crash and returned to duty.

Wreckage
Afterwards, the wreckage was visited by American forces.

Keith Hopper adds:
"I purchased some photos on Ebay recently that were advertised simply as, "WW2 Aircraft Crash". The wreckage appeared to be P-38, the grassy slope looked like Port Moresby and the personnel looked like hot, thirsty American ground crews along way from home. I was intending to seek opinions from this group as to the identity of the wreckage (only a certain number of P-38s ended up on Moresby hillsides), but when I scanned the photo at 1200dpi and enlarged it, something jumped out at me. Stenciled under the starboard tail plane stub wing was "P-38H 42-66846" . It doesn't get any easier than that!"

References
35th Fighter Squadron History
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38H Lightning 42-66846
Thanks to Keith Hopper for additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38
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