My father started in the U.S. Army Air Corps flight training program in 1940. Before that, he went through a CPT course to see if he was qualified. Throughout the course, he wanted to fly fighters and at the time, the P-38 Lightning was the hottest thing on the drawing boards. This was the machine he wanted to fly.

Unfortunately, the airplane had some problems during development which delayed production almost a year and a half. So, what did the Air Corps do with a group of pilots who were supposed to fly the P-38 and were already multi-engine trained? They sent them to A-20, B-25 and B-26 squadrons.

Fast forward to after the invasion of North Africa. My dad is in the 34th Bomb Squadron and P-38s were based on the same airfield and he desperately wanted to fly one. He managed to get a couple of hops in a P-38F and this is the story of his first one.

Again, the link will take you directly to the story as published on the ANA Grandpaw Pettibone chapter’s web site. Have fun reading… http://gpsana.org/?p=2742

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