Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

P-38, 2nd best US plane?

Discussion in 'Aircraft' started by chromeboomerang, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    141
    Nonsense.
    The de Havilland Mosquito night fighters were as good or better than anything the Luftwaffe had, and Allied night-fighters had superior radar.
     
  2. Butts

    Butts Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yes I agree totally, however there were never enough of them over Germany to gain air superiority. The Mossie was the best NF of the war and it had the best radar but there weren't enough of them.
     
  3. Kobalt04

    Kobalt04 Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    1


    Yes, it was generally held in all the major belligerents' air forces or air arms that the fuselage was a stabler, stronger, and better place to mount machine-guns (from rifle-calibre machine-guns upwards) and autocannon on aeroplanes than in the wings; also it kept the group or spread of the fired rounds in a closer and less-spread-out pattern than wing-mounted guns. It is easy to see why.

    And so it has pretty much been ever since in postwar designs of close air-support, fixed-wing aircraft. The P-51 Mustang always will be a beautiful aircraft and the 'fork-tail devil' 'jabo' that is the P-38 Lightning are both aeroplanes which performed admirably against the best aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Army or Navy Air Force
    and of course the Luftwaffe. These are the aircraft, with the P-47 Thunderbolt and the British Typhoon and Tempest series, that won and kept tactical air superiority and ferociously punished any ground target worthy of their exceedingly destructive attentions; and good tactical flying, and good shooting, performed by the tactical air forces of the US and the UK saved many a young Allied soldier's life in World War II in both the Pacific and the ETO. Indeed, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto could very well give witness to the extraordinary tactical flying and shooting skills of 1st Lt Rex T. Barber, the USAAF pilot of a P-38 Lightning, had he, Yamamoto, not suffered several highly lethal gunshot wounds sustained while flying as a passenger in a G4M Mitsubishi 'Betty' bomber, but used as a transport, which was ambushed and shot down by Barber over Buin, on Bougainville Island in Papua-New Guinea during Operation Vengeneance. Finding and assassinating Adm. Yamamoto is also historical testament to the very high standard of US wartime military intelligence and the ability to use that intelligence in a productive and constructive manner. US military intelligence and the ability of her armed forces to act on it accurately and with alacrity, that is use it efficiently, saved the lives of many Allied service personnel. Thank God for those magnificent young men in their flying machines!
     
  4. Butts

    Butts Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    2
    I hate to sound boring, but the best US plane of the war was the C-47. In fact it is arguably the best plane ever produced.
     
  5. justdags

    justdags Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think that the P-39 Air cobra was a devestating aircraft in the hands of the Russain air force and the second highest scoring ace had upwards of 60 kills in one (I love the planes that every one else forgets)
     
  6. Butts

    Butts Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    2
    P-39 was well suited to combat on the Eastern Front. It performed well at low altitude where the majority of battles took place. In Europe at the higher altitudes they fought at the Luftwaffe would of easily had their measure.
     
    brndirt1 likes this.
  7. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    It also would and did show its flaws in the Far East. It was not a truely capable adversary for any of the Japanese fighters, not just the zero, but all single engine fighters.

    It was a rather unique design, but not a real "dog-fight" winner above 10,000 feet. Very capable below that, and especially in the cold dense air of the Ost Front.
     
  8. Butts

    Butts Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    2
    Spot on. A good fighter in the circumstances that suited it. Once out of its comfort zone it was not competitive.
     

Share This Page