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  P-38J Lightning Serial Number ?  
5th AF

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Richard Leahy 1957

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38J Lightning serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force. This aircraft had U. S. star and bar markings.

Mission History
This P-38 force landed near Pyramid Hill and Maralumi Creek with the flaps extended near Nadzab Airfield.

Until at least 1957 this aircraft remained in situ with the tail section broken off or removed. During the late 1950s or by the early 1960s, this aircraft was salvaged by scrapper Arthur Scott and smelted at Nadzab. Nearby was another P-38 Lightning crash site that was also scrapped in the same era.

Richard Leahy adds:
"A very good P-38J Lightning was just to the east of Pyramid Hill, Erap area around three or five NM SW of Nadzab Airfield. It was about 100 meters west of the Maralumi Creek. There was another P-38 (not sure if it was a J or earlier, it had been burnt) about a mile to the north of the J model. Both these aircraft were salvaged by one Arthur Scott and smelted in the late 1950s. I visited and photographed this P-38J in the late 1950s, possibly 1957. The aircraft was (scrappers got it in the early 1960s) located between Pyramid Hill and the Maralumi Creek, closer to the creek than the hill. Approx Lat and Long; 06 degrees 36 Minutes SO Lat, and 146 Degrees 37 Minutes East Long. This places it about 7 NM WSW of Nadzab and maybe half to one NM North of the Markham River. I would say that the pilot was on board when he hit the ground. Hard to say if he survived. The centre gondola was double backed partly under the wing root. From memory, the gondola broke off between the instrument panel and the pilot’s seat."

Thanks to Richard Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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