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  P-38G Lightning Serial Number ? Tail 90
5th AF
49th FG
9th FS

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April 12, 1943
Pilot  1st Lt. Martin P. "Big Pete" Alger (survived)
Force Landed  April 12, 1943
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 9th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. Tail Number 90.

Mission History
On April 12, 1943 one of twenty-four 9th Fighter Squadron P-38s that took off from Dobodura Airfield to find and intercept Japanese aircraft that had raided Port Moresby. Only three managed to find the enemy formation: Flight leader 1st Lt. Ralph L. Wire, 1st Lt. Martin P. Alger and 2nd Lt. Grover E. Fanning.

During the air combat, a Zero dived after Alger's Lightning, hitting his right engine, boom and tail with with 20mm cannon shells and 7.7mm bullets that also shattered his cockpit canopy. Chased by the Zero, he flew southward over Fairfax Harbor off Port Moresby until the attacking Zero gave up. Finally, he was able to force land at 7-Mile Drome. After landing, this P-38 was written off.

Protect & Avenge pages 137-138

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Last Updated
June 29, 2019


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