It was fast, heavily armed and extremely versatile. And many believe the Lockheed P-38 Lightning to be the finest American fighter of WWII. Its low-drag, aerodynamic shape and heavy weight enabled this twin-engine, twin-boomed aircraft to accelerate to high speeds faster than any previous warplane, making it a potent fighter and a superb fighter-bomber. Popular among fighter pilots, P-38s carried out the intercept mission that downed Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the Mediterranean, Luftwaffe pilots showed respect for the Lightning by calling it "der gabelschwanz teufel" (the forked-tail devil). The ultimate P-38 was flown by Dick Bong and Tommy McGuire, who were among the most successful American fighter pilots in history.
Pictured here is an extraordinary 1:48 scale diecast replica of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning that was nicknamed "Little Buckaroo" and piloted by Major Robert C. "Buck" Rogers of the 392nd Fighter Squadron, 367th Fighter Group, then based at Peray, France during August 1944. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 12.75 inches
Length: 9.25 inches
Historical Account: "Buck Rogers" - Major Robert 'Buck' Rogers, CO of the 392nd Fighter Squadron, had his day of strafing aircraft on August 25th, 1944, when he led the squadron to an airfield south of Dijon, France, and found it packed with Ju-52/3m's all neatly lined up - USAAF intelligence later concluded that the transports had been assembled to fly important German personnel out of France. All 16 aircraft were destroyed on the ground, and it was determined later by eyewitness account that Rogers had destryed five aircraft in two passes. Unfortunately for him, there was no provision in Ninth Air Force policy to offically recognize ground claims, so Rogers had only the personal satisfaction of knowing that he destroyed five aircraft himself.