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  P-38J-15-LO "Jandina III" Serial Number 42-103988  
5th AF
8th FG
80th FS

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80th FS c1944

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80th FS May 7, 1944

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Richard Leahy 1999

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Artwork Jack Fellows
Pilot  Captain Jay T. Robbins (survived) Coolidge, TX
Force Landed  May 7, 1944
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. This aircraft had an unpainted aluminum finish. Constructors Number 2822. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38J-15-LO Lightning serial number 42-103988. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 80th Fighter Squadron "Headhunters". During early 1944 assigned to pilot Captain Jay T. Robbins with crew chief S/Sgt H. P. Mosback.

Nicknamed "Jandina III" in block letters with the nose art of a Buddha with both hands hands raised upward. On the left side of the nose was the pilot's name "Capt Jay T. Robbins" in red. Below was a scoreboard with Japanese rising sun flags indicating aerial victory claims in five rows of four flags each. Below was the crew chiefs "S/Sgt H.P. Mosback".

The nickname "Jandina" was the name of all five of the P-38 Lightnings assigned to pilot Jay T. Robbins and was an abbreviation for his nickname "Jay" and his wife's "Ina", joined to form "Jandina". His five aircraft were: P-38H "Jandina" 42-668??, P-38J "Jandina II" 42-67590, P-38J "Jandina III" 42-103988, P-38 "Jandina IV" 43-28832 and P-38 "Jandina V".

This P-38 was flown by Jay T. Robbins between April 1944 and May 7, 1944 when it force landed. Flying this aircraft, Robbins claimed his 18th aerial victory and possibly his 19th aerial victory claim that was not officially credited.

Mission History
On May 7, 1944 took off piloted by Captain Jay T. Robbins on a mission. Returning, the aircraft suffered a loss of nose wheel hydraulic pressure and was unable to lower the nose gear. Robbins was instructed to force land at Yamai Airfield near Saidor. Afterwards, Robbins was assigned a new aircraft P-38J "Jandina IV" 43-28832.

Afterwards, the P-38 was written off and abandoned. This P-38 was stripped for usable parts and abandoned on fuel drums. Until 1999, this aircraft remained in situ at Bilau. Largely intact, this Lightning was missing the tail booms and outer wing panels and engines. Previously, the nose art and 19 kill markings were cut off the nose and were missing. All that was visible was the name of the crew chief. Identified as "Jandina III" from traces of "J. T. Robbins" and the crew chief's names on the nose. The nose art and kills were cut off the wreck previously.

During the late 1999s, this aircraft was recovered by '75 Squadron' (no association with the RAAF unit). The group claimed wreck was reportedly dug up while the group was recovering aircraft from Finschafen, where they had a salvage permit. In fact, this wreckage was actually recovered from Bilau.

On November 28, 1999 this aircraft was placed into a container at Lae and shipped to Melbourne with other salvaged aircraft including P-38F 42-12652, P-47D 42-75284, P-47D 42-22521, P-47D 42-8074.

In 2002, the aircraft were transported by truck to Carnovale's property in Victoria and caught in Melbourne morning rush hour traffic and identified as P-38s and P-47s by many drivers and reported.

Later, this P-38 was likely shipped to Westpac Restorations at Rialto Airport. During 2003-2004, this wreckage was stored at their facility but was not acknowledge due to their non-disclosure agreement with the owner/client Paul Allen / Flying Heritage Collection.

In 2006, the export of this P-38 came under question as it was outside of their area covered by their export permit, and was cited as an illegal recovery in the PNG Government Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report.

Today, this P-38 is reportedly in storage at the Flying Heritage Collection but is not acknowledge or confirmed.

Robbins passed away on March 3, 2001 at age 81. He is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at section 11A site 65.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38J-15-LO Lightning 42-103988
"103988 restoration project from PNG salvage; current status and location unconfirmed"
USAF Historical Study No. 85 USAF Credits For The Destruction of Enemy Aircraft, World War II Alphabetical: Robbins Jay T., Alphabetical, by theater of operation (SWP) Robbins, Chronological List, 80th FTR SQ
P-38 Aces of the Pacific and CBI (1997) by John Stanaway
Attack & Conquer (1995) by John Stanaway pages 189 (photo) 190, 192, 291 (photos)
Jandina III painting by Jack Fellows
FindAGrave - LTG Jay Thorpe Robbins (photo, grave photo)

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Last Updated
August 11, 2019


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