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44-23156

P-38 Lightning

P-38J field modified to 'Droop Snoot*' configuration and fitted out with equipment and aerials for Elint** work. Detached to 192 Sqn*** RAF for Elint** missions. "Reported to have been converted to radar search aircraft and operated by 36th BS (a radar countermeasures unit), not sure if before or after RAF service"****.

* The 'Droop Snoot' field conversion entailed the removal of the nose armament and associated equipment to make room for a prone bombardiers position with the installation of a plexiglass nose, a Norden bombsight, side windows and an emergency hatch. The theory was for a formation of P-38's to drop their bombs on the formation lead 'Droop snoots' signal with the precision of the Norden bombsight ensuring the accuracy of the formations bombing. An idea championed by Lt Col Cass Hough and Lt Col Dan Ostrander.

** Elint - Electronic intelligence, the collection for analysis of electronic signals [radio and radar] from enemy transmissions.

*** 'Between September 1944 and February 1945, USAAF two seat lightnings were attached to the squadron and in November 1944 much time was spent in searching for radio signals from V-2s, though these were later found to be uncontrolled' [V2's had on-board guidance systems].

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Command

  • 801st Bomb Group

    801st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 801st Bomb Group was established as part of the Eighth Air Force in late March 1944 to carry out 'Carpetbagger' missions. These were night missions over France and other parts of occupied Europes to support resistance forces by dropping in agents,...

  • 36th Bomb Squadron
  • Base Air Depot 3

Places

  • Foulsham

    Military site : airfield
    Foulsham was built for the RAF in 1940-42, then used by RAF bombers and RAF special electronic warfare aircraft. An Eighth Air Force Radio Countermeasures detachment was based here in 1944-45 (it also used nearby RAF Oulton. The airfield was closed at...

  • Harrington

    Military site : airfield
    Harrington was built by the 826th and 852nd Engineer Battalions of the US Army in 1943. Completed in 1944, it was the furthest Eighth Air Force combat airfield from the east coast.The Eighth's Special Operations Group was based at the airfield, first...

  • Langford Lodge

    Military site : airfield
    Planned to be a Satellite Landing Ground for No. 23 Maintenance Unit at RAF Aldergrove, Langford Lodge was selected in October 1941 to be developed as an air deport for the maintenance and repair of USAAF aircraft. A scheme was devised whereby the...

Events

Event Location Date
Manufactured Burbank, CA, USA August 1943

Built by Lockheed as a P-38J.

Delivered Long Beach, CA, USA September 1943

Delivered to USAAF.

Field Modified Langford Lodge, 55-57 De La Warr Rd, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN40 2JE, UK April 1944 – May 1944

Field modified to 'Droop Snoot*' configuration and fitted out with equipment and aerials for Elint** work.

Assigned Harrington, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN6, UK May 1944 – September 1944

Assigned to 36th Bomb Squadron, 801st Bomb Group, 8AF USAAF.

Detached Foulsham, Dereham, Norfolk NR20, UK September 1944 – February 1945

Detached to 192 Sqn RAF for Elint** missions.

Converted - radar search A/C March 1945

"Reported to have been converted to radar search aircraft and operated by 36th BS (a radar countermeasures unit), not sure if before or after RAF service"****.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2016 14:23:39 Al_Skiff Changes to description and events
Sources

http://www.geocities.ws/jackilfrey/droopsnoot.html
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net
www.littlefriends.co.uk
http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/192squadron.cfm
**** http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1944_1.html

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2015 18:42:34 Al_Skiff Changes to place associations
Sources

http://www.geocities.ws/jackilfrey/droopsnoot.html
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net
www.littlefriends.co.uk
http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/192squadron.cfm

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2015 18:40:31 Al_Skiff Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, markings, description, events, unit associations, place associations and media associations
Sources

http://www.geocities.ws/jackilfrey/droopsnoot.html
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net
www.littlefriends.co.uk
http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/192squadron.cfm

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