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  P-38G-13-LO "Miss Virginia" Serial Number 43-2264 Nose 147
USAAF
13th AF
347th FG
339th FS

Click For Enlargement
USAAF c1943

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructor Number 3373. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 347th Fighter Group, 339th Fighter Squadron. Nose Number 147 painted in white on both sides of the nose. Assigned to pilot Lt. Robert Petit. Nicknamed "Miss Virginia". Two victory Japanese flags were painted on the nose, for a pair of A6M2-N Rufes claimed by Petit on February 27, 1943. This aircraft operated from Fighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal.

On March 29, 1943 took from Fighter 2 (Kukum) off piloted by Petit on a mission over the Shortlands. He claimed a destroyer sunk, and painted a ship silhouette on the nose. In fact, this was a subchaser badly damaged not sunk.

On April 18, 1943 took off from Fighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal piloted by Rex T. Barber on the "Yamamoto Mission". Over southern Bougainville, Barber shot down G4M1 Betty 2656 Tail T1-323 with Admiral Yamamoto aboard. Afterwards, he joined two others P-38G #100 piloted by Holmes and P-38G piloted by Hine attacking the second bomber G4M1 Betty T1-326.

Holmes dove at the bomber, firing at it and causing the left engine to smoke. Hine next fired at it. Finally, Barber fired into the fuselage and claimed to cause it to explode. Barber's P-38 was damaged by debris from this bomber that left a hole in the left wing, damaged the left intercooler and other superficial damage. The bomber ditched into the sea off Moila Point off southern Bougainville.

The three attacking P-38s were attacked by Zeros, but Holmes and Hine intercepted, allowing Barber to escape and successfully returned to base.

After the mission, this P-38 had over 100 holes from damaged suffered on the mission, and an inter cooler damaged by escorting Zeros.

Later, during 1943 (exact date unknown) this P-38 suffered a belly landing (date unknown) and was written off and salvaged for parts. Ultimate fate uknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

James Lansdale adds:
"I do not recall who was flying her when she bellied-in, but the story I got was consistent with the view. One of the 347th FG pilots told me that the pilot did not or could not lower the landing gear and it slid to a stop next to a new latrine!"

References
13th Fighter Command in World War II pages 80 (photo), 120 (photo) 137 - 162, 312 (profile)

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Last Updated
September 25, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38
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