Williams Arizona Sunset. From the 43-I Class book .
We are a non-profit veterans organization dedicated to the P‑38 "Lockheed Lightning," and those who designed, built, maintained and flew it.
Our Museum is adjacent to March ARB in Riverside, CA, and we receive no funding from Lockheed, the USAF or MFAM. President: Art Newman Vice President: Scott Frederick Secretary: Jim Bridges Treasurer: Howard Ramshorn Historian, co-Editor of Membership Publication "Lightning Strikes", Membership Chair: Steve Blake Director of Air Shows: Dayle DeBry Director of Internet Operations, co-Editor of "Lightning Strikes":: Kelly Kalcheim
Mission: The P‑38 National Association is a non-profit, veteran's organization whose purpose is to preserve and perpetuate the memory of this classic WWII aircraft, the P‑38 "Lockheed Lightning," and those who designed, built, maintained and flew it.
Williams Arizona Sunset. From the 43-I Class book .
"In the fall of 1947, the company Industrie Meccaniche Meridionali was commissioned to modify five F-5 Lightnings to a dual control training version. At least two airplanes remained in service with the Italian Air Force until the mid ’50s."
Lt. Colonel Earl Hedlund. 474th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force. European Theatre of Operations.
Since this is from the Bong Center, I'm sharing the link for you guys. (Richard Bong was the highest scoring American Ace during WWII, for those you may not know.)
Help Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center spread the word about 17th Annual Flying to New Heights Auction!
Just a reminder that our site and our organization is about our favorite plane, and, while emotions are certainly running high today, this is not a place for political commentary, please.
COVID-19 exposure closes Planes of Fame temporarily
A potential risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus has temporarily closed the Planes of Fame Air Museum at the Chino Airport, officials announced Friday morning.
We are taking proactive safety actions by implementing our COVID-19 protocol," according to a museum statement. "Effective immediately, the museum will be closed to the public. During the next several days, we will be deep-clearning the public areas of the museum and taking other measures to ensure a safe environment for our guests, volunteers and staff." A flying demonstration of a World War II Lockheed P-38 was cancelled for today (Nov. 7).
The front cover of our membership print publication, "Lightning Strikes." http://p38assn.org/join.htm
War and Peace. 429th and 428th Fighter Squadron P-38's of the 474th Fighter Group somewhere in Europe. Photo courtesy of Michael Bates.
Home at last...
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Earl W. Smith, 22, of Oakland, California, killed during World War II, was accounted for March 23,
54th Fighter Squadron. The Aleutians.
It is with great sadness that I report that my father, Bob Shoemaker, passed away on the afternoon of September 25 from pneumonia. He passed peacefully with family present. He flew many different airplanes, military and civilian, but his great love was the P-38 Lightning. Bob had an excellent memory until the end, and he could recall the specifics of D-Day, his belly landing in Normandy, and shooting down a Messerschmidt during the dogfight on Black Friday.
One of his favorite recollections was having an 88-caliber explode 10' ahead and 3' beneath his left wing, knocking out his left engine. He traveled 2 1/2 hours over the North Sea on one engine. He was concerned about fuel as well as the prospect of having to ditch the plane. He considered peeling off to Sweden, but kept heading toward England. Finally, he saw some green through a hole in the clouds and made it home.
Being a lover of flying, Bob really enjoyed when he was assigned to ferry allied planes across the Channel to France following D-Day. He got to fly P-38's, P-51 Mustangs, P-47 Thunderbolts and two Spitfires. He said that he was one of only 500 Americans to ever fly a Spitfire.
Bob Shoemaker was a pilot in the 430th Fighter Squadron, 474th Fighter Group. Bob was 99 years old. Bob's call-name was "Ditto".
Bob bringing his damaged P-38 in. Flak damage that knocked out his left engine.
I'm thinking if you live in the DC area, this is something you won't want to miss.
Look to the sky: 70 WWll planes to fly overhead
Thought you guys would like to see a photo of the Lockheed Engineers exhibit that Howard Ramshorn and some of the other volunteers just completed at the P-38 Museum.
It represents a Lockheed Engineer's office (Ben Salmon). They have put his name on the glass pane in the door. There is an enlarged photo of the plant floor on the far right side to give the illusion that the office is one floor up and looking down on the P-38 assembly line. Above the drafting table there is an engineer's drawing (which had Salmon's name on it - that's how they came up with the name on the door). And so much more. BTW, this is not the same Salmon who was a Lockheed test pilot with the nickname of "Fish" - entirely different guy. What are the odds that Lockheed would have two guy named Salmon. LOL.
We will have more images and full details in the next membership issue (November, "Lightning Strikes"). Membership is open to the public. http://p38assn.org/join.htm
Lt. (then Captain) Robert Bobo Hanson, 428th Fighter Squadron and friends. Thanks to Scott Frederick for the beautiful colorization of the photos. See individual photos for identification.
Photos of Lt. Joe Moser, 429 Fighter Squadron. Thanks to Scott Frederick, 474th FG for sharing and colorizing the photos.
Lt. Moser was a P-38 pilot who spent time at Stalag Luft III as a prisoner of war. He wrote and excellent book about his experiences (see photo), "A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald: The Joe Moser Story."
Flight Officer John "Jack" Greaves. 428th Fighter Squadron.
I have written the tale of Jack's escape from captivity and his life as a fugitive pilot sheltered by a French family as he told it to me in 1944. The story is as accurate as can endure 70 years of memory. Some dates and details have been checked with members of our family and against a year 2000 interview of Jack by the Kalispell Daily InterLake.
According to Army Air Force flight records, August 23, 1944, was a spectacular day for the 428th Fighter Squadron (P38s).The previous days had seen the first heavy rains since the 428th had arrived in Normandy. About noon on the 23rd ground conditions had improved enough for takeoffs. Mission 131, eight planes, each carrying two 500 pound bombs accompanied by four planes for cover and led by Colonel Wasem, flew off. They found roads jammed with German vehicles trying to get to the "safe" side of the Seine. Thirty-one trucks were demolished and two tanks damaged. Within two hours, Mission 132, led by Major Hedlund, was sent back to the same area. The pilots found so much flack "you could walk on it." They also found that German tanks were crossing bumper to bumper across a pontoon bridge over the Seine about twenty miles upriver from Rouen. In attempting to knock out the bridge by dive bombing, the 428th lost Flight Officer John H. Greaves who was flying as Major Hedlund's wing man. He was not seen nor heard from after the bombing run.
Jack recalled,"...we'd set up our dive bomb run. The flack was really heavy, but I had a good bomb run set up, so I just kept going on in. I got hit in the right wing and, then, the seat armor. I lost all horizontal control and, after I had dropped my bombs, I finally pulled up by using the trim tabs. I stood up in the cockpit, not sliding off the wing like you're supposed to. I went out in the slipstream and pulled my parachute rip cord. Just after the chute opened, I slammed into a tree."
Two distinct memories remained with Jack to the end of his life. One was how difficult it had been to open the hatch above his head in the P38 Lightning as it headed toward the ground at incredible speed. The second was the difficulty in opening the parachute before he landed in an apple tree some distance from the indentation.
At the base of the apple tree was a German soldier preparing to shoot him. From behind him came a voice demanding, "Half' which meant don't shoot. Apparently, the officer thought the American soldier was valuable for public relations and information. The officer asked Jack if he was wounded.(In later years Jack told me that he thought at the time that he would have been dead had not the German officer been so polite and kind to him.) Then he ordered him into a jeep-like German vehicle. (In later years Jack recognized the vehicle as a Volkswagen Beast.) The vehicle headed to the nearest prison camp to imprison Jack and, also, to rejoin the retreating regiment from which the soldiers had become separated.
They traveled for three days, leaving Jack unshackled when they saw that he had a serious limp from an ankle injury. Each night they took over a French farm, kicking out the owners, eating produce and killing and eating a farm animal. The third night, while the guards were playing cards by the light of a kerosene lantern, the edge of their vigilance removed by the warmth of a nearby stove, Jack made his third attempt at freedom. He jumped from his resting corner, upsetting the card table and breaking a window. The lantern crashed to the floor and went out. Confusion ensued. Jack jumped through the window, counted the fence posts to a space he had predetermined he could surmount the fence and flee. Over the fence, he sprinted for safety, his ankle not being nearly as damaged as be had pretended it to be. His guards continued to shoot at him until he was lost to them in the dark.
He limped four days through woods. He had eaten only cabbage from farm fields till he came to a forest he couldn't get through. On the fifth day around dawn he heard the chopping of wood. As he emerged from the edge of the forest, he saw the man who was chopping. He thought he must be a French farmer.
He tried to explain that he was a downed American pilot. The farmer, who spoke only French, seemed not to believe him. American pilots did not carry identification because the Germans had entered farms dressed as American pilots and killed people who tried to help them. In desperation, Jack dug into the knee pocket of his flight suit and located a Band-Aid wrapper. The farmer took the wrapper and read in broken French/English, "Bauer and Black Made in U.S.A."
He told Jack to come on in.
The farmer called to his wife who appeared from the cottage door baffled and doubtful. She later told Jack that because he said "Ya," she thought he could be German. However, she joined her husband's invitation for Jack to enter the cottage. Once he was inside they fed him the last of their precious eggs and warm milk, tended to his injured ankle, and put him to bed where he slept for two days. They were near the city of Rouen fairly close to a German artillery camp and not far from the Canadian front line.
Life with the French family was a revelation. The family consisted of two boys ages five and six and a girl about eleven. The boys had an in-house pet pig which they leaned on while arguing or playing. An aviary with colored birds was in the hall next to the bathroom. A stove in the middle of the kitchen was the center of family life.
An SS patrol came daily to take animals and produce. At their advent, the farmer gave hand signals for Jack to hide on the other side of the house or in the haymow.
After about eighteen days with the family, they were alerted to a Canadian artillery barrage coming their way. Their means of protection was a slit trench covered with tarpaper and cordwood which ran from the barn to the pig yard. The barrage went on while the small group in the trench had only apples and Calvados (home-made apple brandy) to eat and drink. The farmer had forgotten the Calvados, and had to go back and get it.
Jack said," Sure enough, the Canadians came through, and we got right in the middle of an artillery battle with these three kids down in the slit trench with nothing but apples and calvados to keep us going for about 12 hours. That afternoon, after the battle had gone beyond us, we got out, and, soon, the whole town, I think, of Martin-Epperville was in the yard offering us cigarettes, wine, cognac and food. "The farmer's family hoped that Jack would stay with them longer, but Jack told them he had to get back to let his family know that he was alive and safe.
After the celebration, Jack and the farmer borrowed bicycles and "went looking for the Canadians. The Canadians took me to Corps who took me back to Brook Street in London where I stayed for 2 weeks for debriefing. They also let me go back to visit the 428th and then went back to the States via London.The Air Force policy at that time was that no escaped POW pilots could leave the continental limits of the USA. So that ended my combat flying career.”
Lt. Ralph Morand and others, 429th Fighter Squadron, colorized by Scott Frederick.
1) Lt. Morand and Lt. Scott Parker
2) Back row: Lt's. Robert Parker, James Pascoe, John Halford, John Northrup, Ralph Morand, Frank Reitz, Al Mills. Front: Ray Jones, Asael Olsen, Bill Chickering Lomita Army Air Base, CA.
3) Back: Captain Roland Levey, Lt. Ralph Morand, Lt. Robert Parker, Lt. Glenn Goodrich.
Front Row: Lt. Ernest Baillargeon, Lt. Dallas McPherson, Lt. John O’Neil
4) 429th on way to Brest, France.
5) June 5, 1944, Warmwell,England. Sporting new invasion stripes.
6) Lt. Ralph Morand in P-38 cockpit.
Lt. Jack Haggard, 430th Fighter Squadron On June 8th, 1945. Jack Haggard left Nice in a P-38 and headed back to Langensalza. He never arrived. Two days later "Pappy" Doyle flew up to see what was keeping him, and that was the first news received that he was supposed to be back. It was a full week later before his plane was reported as having crashed near Strasbourg and his body was recovered. The cause of the accident was never determined, but it was an ironic twist of fate that brought him safely through the war only to have him augur in with hostilities at an end. Lt. Haggard was the last 474th pilot to be killed.
Thank you to Scott Frederick and the 429th FS for the information and photos, colorized by Scott Frederick.
Robert Carl Milliken (Bob) was born on June 6, 1921, in Hanna, Wyoming. After surviving the close call with death on the birthing table and with appendicitis during boyhood years. He grew up as most boys did on the High Plains, learning to hunt, herding sheep, and attending school as the family managed to cope with day-to-day living. If a year was to be assigned to the time that Bob showed an interest in flying, the year would be 1927. It was in that year that Father Robert paid $5 – a very handsome sum in those days – for Bob to sit on the lap of a passenger in a two-seat biplane. He was so enthralled by the event that it was became determined that he was going to fly. His resolve to fly was heightened further in 1927 when Charles Lindbergh flew across the United States in the Spirit of St. Louis using the iron compass as his guide – the iron compass being the tracks of the Union Pacific railroad. As Lindberg flew over Hanna, the whole town (having been forewarned by a signal from the mine whistle) watching as the Spirit of St. Louis flew over Hanna at about 500 feet. Bob was so enthralled by the sight that it was probably at that moment that he made a knew that someday, somehow, he was going to fly.
After graduation from Hanna High School, Bob enrolled at the University of Wyoming to study Civil Engineering. At that time, 1940, America’s peace was fragile, to say the least. To the realists, it seemed inevitable that the United States would soon be in the fight against the Axis powers. To the pacifists, America should or would not enter the conflict. Being a realist, Bob enrolled in the University of Wyoming Civilian Pilot Training Program. When war came, he wanted to be ready to fight for his country – in the air.
His studies were interrupted by the attack on Pearl Harbor – within three days of the attack Bob had registered for military service. He focused on flying and became a P-38 pilot in the United States Army Air Corps.
Bob trained at various bases in the United States before being transferred to England where he was stationed at the Warmwell Air Base located approximately three miles inland from the south coast that overlooked the English Channel in the county of Dorset.
When he was assigned his own P-38, Bob dubbed the plane “Swat” in honor of his father. The name and a cowboy on a bucking horse were painted on the nose of his ship – the cowboy and bucking horse were brown on a yellow background, brown and yellow being the colors of his alma mater, the University of Wyoming.
He flew many missions from Warmwell before being transferred (after D-Day) to a base in France and then to a base in Belgium. On Tuesday June 6, 1944, Bob’s twenty-second birthday, but known as D-Day for thousands of other military personnel who were about to invade Europe by way of Normandy, he was on alert – the mission was to provide coverage to the invasion fleet.
The missions that Bob flew varied from fighter cover for bomber groups or conducting sweeps with flight time lasting anywhere from minutes to several hours. The fighter cover mission for bomber groups included a six-hour mission to Berlin as the fighter escort for a B-17 bomber group. His sweep missions included missions on D-Day (June 6 1944). With the intensity of the war now building, Bob and his colleagues, along with other squadrons, were given predominantly low-level bombing and strafing missions almost daily to cover and assist the Allied invasion forces and to stall German reinforcements and troop deployments. The squadron was also involved in tracking and shooting down the infamous V-1 rockets that were launched from Germany to hit allied installations and cities.
Bob completed his active flying duty on December 24, 1944, when he made his fifth and final kill (destruction) of an enemy aircraft that gave him Fighter Ace status. The nosecone of his P-38 was decorated with a series of painted bombs – one for each mission he had flown – and five swastikas (painted in reverse) signified his aerial victories. In total, Bob flew sixty-eight combat missions during which time he became a Fighter Ace.
As a result of his service and combat missions, Bob was awarded six bronze oak leaf cluster (each cluster representing ten competed missions) to the Air Medal. He was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight. He was further honored in 2006 when Corgi Toys – the name of a range of die-cast toy scale-model vehicles produced by Mettoy Playcraft Ltd. in the United Kingdom – featured his P-38 as one of its new releases. The scale model release was accompanied by a short biography describing Bob’s war experience.
In memory of Lt. Robert Milliken, 429th Fighter Squadron.
PO Box 6453, March ARB
Annual membership (or renewal) dues are: $30: US $35; Canada & Mexico $40: All other international dues Included in your Welcome Pack is: Our Book: "P-38 Lightning: Unforgettable Missions of Skill and Luck" Embroidered 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 Association Patch P-38 Hat/lapel Pin P-38 Membership Card P-38 Association brochure P-38 Business card, so you'll know who all the players are P-38 Postcard-Style Data Card with beautiful image Three issues of our membership publication "Lightning Strikes" thoughout the entire year of your membership.
|Saturday||10:00 - 16:00|
|Sunday||10:00 - 16:00|
Be the first to know and let us send you an email when P-38 National Association posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Send a message to P-38 National Association: