Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 222-???? (last four digits unknown). Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38F-5-LO Lightning serial number 42-126?? (last two digits unknown). Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron. Squadron number 26 painted on the nose. Assigned to pilot Lt. Richard E. Smith who nicknamed this aircraft "The Japanese Sandman" on the left side of the nose. Below the left side of the cockpit was "Lt. R. E. Smith" and six Japanese flags representing Smith's aerial victory claims.
On April 12, 1943 took off from Port Moresby piloted by a 39th Fighter Squadron pilot (not Lt. Richard E. Smith) in a rush to scramble to intercept the Japanese air raid against Port Moresby. During the mission, this P-38 suffered engine damage from high rev stress. After landing, it was written off. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared. Afterwards, Smith was assigned P-38H Lightning 42-66905 that he nicknamed "Japanese Sandman II".
Thanks to Richard E. Smith, Edward Rogers and Keith Hopper for additional information
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September 25, 2018