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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.

* 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].




  • Philip Algar

    Military | Major | Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    Flew 25 combat missions with the 384th bombardment Group from 22-Jun-43 to 4-Mar-44. Detached service (DS) with 1st Scouting Force. Transferred to 857BS, 492BG, 8AF USAAF flying Elint Droopsnoot P-38 lightning [gathering Electronic Intelligence]. ...

  • Carter Hitt

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Richard Quiggins

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group


  • Alconbury

    Military site : airfield
    Alconbury had been constructed as a satellite airfield for RAF Upwood and Wyton and was used by RAF Squadrons: Nos. 15, 40 and 156. In preparation for the arrival of American heavy bombers, the base was developed in 1942 with the runways extended. When...

  • 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...

  • Mount Farm

    Military site : airfield
    Originally a grass airfield satellite for the RAF Photographic Reconnaissance Unit at nearby RAF Benson, Mount Farm was built in 1940-1941. It had three concrete runways, 49 dispersals (24 concrete pan type plus 25 PSP squares), and eight blister...

  • North Pickenham

    Military site : airfield
    Built comparatively late during 1943-44 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, North Pickenham was rather cramped as an airfield site so the main runway was shorter than typical. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2...


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, Ireland 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.

Crashed Foulsham, Dereham, Norfolk NR20, UK 15 September 1944

Taxiing accident RAF Foulsham Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt Richard S Quiggins, 15-9-44.

Crashed Mt Farm Cottage, Dorchester, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 7PG, UK 1 January 1945

Crashed Belly Landing Mount Farm/Sta 234 Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt Carter E Hitt, 1-145
13PRS 7PRG 234 8AF

Crashed Alconbury, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 25 June 1945

Crashed Belly Landing Alconbury/Sta 102 Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt Philip M Algar, 25-6-45.
857BS 492BG 8AF


Date Contributor Update
30 December 2015 20:56:32 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, description, events, unit associations, person associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
01 January 2015 09:19:36 brx851b Created entry with serial number, aircraft type and manufacturer

8th Air Force records