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Berkshire County This program is supported in parts by Grants from the Local Cultural Councils of Northern Berkshire, Pittsfield, Dalton, Sheffield, Hinsdale-Peru, Richmond, Egremont-Alford, Windsor, Lee, Stockbridge, Sandisfield, Tyringham, and Washington Local Cultural Councils, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."

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Lockheed P-38 "Lighting"

The Lockheed P-38 "Lighting" was one of the United States finest production fighter aircraft during WWII. Engineered in 1937, the U.S. Army Air Corps specified for a high altitude fighter-bomber with rapid climbing ability and long full throttle endurance. The versatility of the aircraft and performance was a credit to its twin 1,600 hp engines configured on a mono wing with a distinctive twin boom and rudders connected by a rear stabilizer. One benefit was system placement of engine, landing gear, oil coolers and superchargers. Another was the disregard to the need of synchronizing the the aircraft's (4) .50 caliber machine guns and single 20mm cannon with its propellers since they and the pilot were located between them within a stubby centered fuselage. In addition, the ability of the aircraft to carry a 2,000 lb payload of munitions, a maximum range of 2,100 miles and with a maximum speed of 414 mph, found action in all campaigns of WWII.

A total of 10,000 P-38's were constructed by the end of the war. The aircraft was configured either as a fighter, medium bomber, reconnaissance aircraft and later equipped with radar for night fighter-bombing missions. The aircraft role in the Pacific is credited with downing more Japanese aircraft than any other United States model and specifically (2) P-38's from Guadalcanal, intercepted and shot down the aircraft of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the man credited with planning the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941.




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Christy Butler **** www.shoeboxphotos.net **** **** butts@bcn.net