Historic P-38 found in Wales

p-38-found-in-wales.jpgSixty-five years after an American P-38 fighter plane ran out of gas and crash-landed on a beach in Wales, the long-forgotten World War II relic has emerged from the surf and sand where it lay buried.Beach strollers, sunbathers and swimmers often frolicked within a few yards of the aircraft, unaware of its existence until last summer, when unusual weather caused the sand to shift and erode.

The revelation of the Lockheed “Lightning” fighter, with its distinctive twin-boom design, has stirred interest in British aviation circles and among officials of the country’s aircraft museums, ready to reclaim another artifact from history’s greatest armed conflict.early-photo-of-p-38.jpg

Based on its serial number and other records, “the fighter is arguably the oldest P-38 in existence, and the oldest surviving 8th Air Force combat aircraft of any type,” said Ric Gillespie, who heads a U.S.-based nonprofit group dedicated to preserving historic aircraft. “In that respect it’s a major find, of exceptional interest to British and American aviation historians.”

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  1. Awesome plane. Back when 31 was the most efficient route to Indy for me, there was one parked at Grissom AFB along the highway. I wonder how many people I ran off the road while rubber necking as I drove past it.

  2. R30 you are absolutely right, the P-38 was one of the most successful aircraft of the war. Especially in the Pacific where it was credited with destroying more Japanese aircraft than any other Army Air Force Aircraft. Its high speed, long range, and lethal firepwer made it a dangerous opponent to any enemy pilot.

    Thanks for your comment.


  3. Not only all of what you’ve mentioned about it Darrell, it was all of that and HUGE for a fighter.

  4. Harried

    Wish I happened upon this sooner. It was an awsome aircraft and feared by all enemy pilots. Germans called it the ‘forked tail devil’. It knocked Admiral Yamamoto out of the sky after a long, precision timing flight. Thanks for having it on the site. Read my book, ‘Two Sons of Nippon’ it too is full of info.

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