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

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Richard E. Smith 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army, serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron. Nose number 26. Assigned to pilot Lt. Richard E. Smith who nicknamed the aircraft "The Japanese Sandman" on the left side of the nose. Six Japanese flags representing Smith's claims were painted on left side of the nose, forward of the cockpit.

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 42-66905 that he nicknamed "Japanese Sandman II".

Thanks to Keith Hopper for additional information

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018


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