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44-23517

P-38 Lightning

RAF Air Commodore Alfred C H Sharp, a former Deputy Chief of Staff HQ 8th AF, was gifted this P-38 Lightning as his personal aircraft when he left to take up a new posting as 54 base commander. Initialy flown soley by Sharp. A 'Droop Snoot*' was lent to No 5 Grp RAF for a month, causing quite an impression, and upon its return to the USAAF, 44-23517 was sent to Langford Lodge for conversion. Used extensively on operations in the master bomber role until AC Sharp left Conningsby for a new posting at Northolt, later transferred to No 51 MU at Lichfield for diposal, thence onto Delft University, Netherlands in 1948 and finally back to the USAAF.

* The 'Droop Snoot' field conversion entailed the removal of the nose armament and associated equipment to make room for a prone bombardiers/observers 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.

Service

People

  • Alfred Sharp

    Military | Air Vice-Marshal | Air Liaison Officer
    RAF: - Plt Off (Probation): 16 Jul 1924, Plt Off: 16 Jan 1924, Fg Off: 18 Jan 1926, Flt Lt: 8 Oct 1930, Sqn Ldr: 1 Apr 1937, (Temp) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1940, (Temp) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1942, Wg Cdr: 20 Nov 1942 [1 Oct 1941], Acting A/Cdre: 1 Feb 1943. ...

Places

  • 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...

  • Northolt

    Military site : airfield
    At one stage the base of the 302nd Air Transport Wing.

Events

Event Location Date
Gifted as personal A/C R A F Station, Raf Coningsby, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN4 4SY, UK 6 August 44 – 1947

Former Deputy Chief of Staff HQ 8th AF, was gifted this P-38 Lightning as his personal aircraft when he left to take up a new RAF posting

Manufactured Burbank, CA, USA August 1943

Built at Lockheed Aviation.

Delivered Long Beach, CA, USA September 1943

Delivered to USAAF.

Field modified Langford Lodge, Ireland 30 August 1944 – 15 September 1944

Field modified to 'Droop Snoot*' configuration.

Operational RAF use R A F Station, Raf Coningsby, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN4 4SY, UK 15 September 1944 – 19 October 1944

Used extensively on operations in the master bomber role. 1st mission to Germany with Sq Ldr Owen. 23-9-44.

Transferred Lichfield, Lichfield, Staffordshire, UK May 1946 – November 1948

Transferred to No 51 MU. For disposal.

Passed to Delft, Netherlands November 1948 – 1949

Passed onto Delft University Netherlands.

Returned USAAF Germany 1949

Returned to USAAF.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 January 2016 23:43:50 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

The Forgotten Fighters by Phil H Listerman.

Date Contributor Update
01 January 2016 23:23:38 Al_Skiff Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, markings, description, events, unit associations, person associations and place associations
Sources

The Forgotten Fighters by Phil H Listerman.

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