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Photo Caption: - "The plastic nose of the Lockheed P-38 photo plane showing K-22 aerial camera with the lens shade of the camera visible. Italy".
This is actually Lockheed P-38J 'Droop-Snoot*' Lightning 43-28352 'Lady Lou' 82nd Fighter Group, 15th AF, Vincenzo airfield, Italy early 1945. Either 95th, 96th or 97th Fighter Squadron. Plexiglass nosed and a lead bombardment A/C fitted with a Norden bomb sight for the bombardier. The access hatch panel sits on top of the nose and in this view the emergency escape hatch in front of the nose wheel strut is visible. Also clear in this view is one of the two additional windows let into the nose to let daylight into the nose section.

NARA Ref 342-FH-3A24145-60245AC.

* 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.



  • 15th Air Force

    15th Air Force

    The Fifteenth Air Force was one of two Strategic Air forces in Europe, along with the Eighth Air Force. ...

  • 82nd Fighter Group

    82nd Fighter Group

    The 82nd Fighter Group flew training missions from bases in Northern Ireland between October and December 1942. They then joined the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa, supporting the ground invasion of Tunisia, Sicily and Italy. Between October 1943...


  • 43-28352 'Lady Lou'

    P-38 Lightning
    Built by Lockheed as a P-38J, field modified at Langford Lodge into a 'Droop Snoot*' configuration. Assigned to 82nd Fighter Group, 12th AF, either to 95th, 96th or 97th Fighter Squadron. ...



Date Contributor Update
01 January 2016 19:40:45 Al_Skiff Created entry with caption, unit associations and aircraft associations