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  P-38F-5-LO "The Japanese Sandman" Serial Number 42-126?? Nose 26
USAAF
5th AF
35th FG
39th FS

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Richard E. Smith Jan 1943

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Richard E. Smith 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 222-????. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38F-5-LO Lightning serial number 42-126?? (last two digits unknown). Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron. Squadron number 26 painted on the nose. Assigned to pilot Lt. Richard E. Smith who nicknamed this aircraft "The Japanese Sandman" on the left side of the nose. Below the left side of the cockpit was "Lt. R. E. Smith" and six Japanese flags representing Smith's aerial victory claims.

Mission History
On April 12, 1943 took off from Port Moresby piloted by a 39th Fighter Squadron pilot (not Lt. Richard E. Smith) in a rush to scramble to intercept the Japanese air raid against Port Moresby. During the mission, this P-38 suffered engine damage from high rev stress. After landing, it was written off. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared. Afterwards, Smith was assigned P-38H Lightning 42-66905 that he nicknamed "Japanese Sandman II".

References
Thanks to Richard E. Smith, Edward Rogers and Keith Hopper for additional information

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Last Updated
July 24, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38

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