Lightning Strikes

The Lockheed P-38

Steve Blake

This book is a comprehensive history of one of the most successful and versatile aircraft of the Second World War. It covers the P-38's design, production and technical details as well as its service in every USAAF combat theater, with foreign air forces and as postwar civilian aircraft—supplemented by detailed appendices.
Date Published :
November 2020
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
392 black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781557884
Pages : 320
Dimensions : 9.76 X 6.77 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Lightning Strikes—The Lockheed P-38 tells the full story of one of the most successful and versatile aircraft of the Second World War. The P-38 (including its F-4 and F-5 photo reconnaissance models) eventually served with all the USAAF's numbered overseas air forces, from early 1942 to VJ Day. The book describes the Lightning's design and its technical details as it gradually evolved and improved, from the original XP-38 to its final variant, the P-38L-5. The main focus is on its service in the combat theaters, from the frigid, windswept Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific to the steaming jungles of the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, the burning sands of North Africa and the more temperate climes of Europe. All the units that flew the Lightning are included, as are the experiences of many of their pilots and groundcrewmen as they fought the Japanese Empire and the European Axis. Also related are the P-38's service with foreign (non-U.S.) air forces, its postwar commercial utilization as civilian aircraft and the surviving examples in museums around the world. The book is extremely well illustrated with nearly 400 high-resolution photographs, artworks, and graphics, and is supplemented by detailed appendices.

About The Author

Steve Blake, a U.S. Civil Service retiree, has researched and written about World War II fighter aircraft, units and pilots for forty years. He became the P-38 National Association's historian in 1987 and the editor of its publication, ‘Lightning Strikes’, in 2000. He has written many articles for ‘Lightning Strikes’, and for numerous other publications including ‘The Hook’, ‘Aviation History’ and ‘Mustangs International’, and has authored or co-authored four books: ‘P-38 Lightning Aces of the 82nd Fighter Group’, ‘The Pioneer Mustang Group, ADORIMINI—A History of the 82nd Fighter Group in World War II’ and ‘P-38 LIGHTNING—Unforgettable Missions of Skill and Luck’.


Acknowledgements; Glossary; Introduction; 1 The Lockheed Corporation and the Design and Production of the Early P-38s; 2 Stateside Lightnings; 3 Lightnings in Action—The Pacific Theatre of Operations (Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eleventh and Thirteenth Air Forces); 4 Lightnings in Action—The European Theatre of Operations (Eighth and Ninth Air Forces); 5 Lightnings in Action—The Mediterranean Theatre of Operations (Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces); 6 Lightnings in Action—The CBI (Tenth and Fourteenth Air Forces); 7 Post World War II Lightnings; 8 Lightnings: The Good and the Bad/Problems and Solutions/Comparisons; 9 The Survivors; Appendix I: P-38 Production Models, Modifications, Conversions and Experiments; Appendix II: Lightning Combat Squadrons; Endnotes; Further Reading.

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