History, Reference, Research, and GrogTalk > Military (and other) History

P-38 In the ETO

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Can't verify this, but some old pilots who flew F6 Hellcats on Yorktown (CV-10) got the chance to try out a bunch AAF planes on Ulithi during the war.
At a reunion, they got to comparing notes, and argued that the P38 was only marginally better than zeroes and zekes.
To them, what made the difference was the attrition the Japanese had gone through in the Solomons.  Their replacement pilots were poor, and not in a class with the group that began the war.
The P38 advantages of long range, durability, speed, and concentrated firepower, coupled with realistic tactics made them better than the enemy flyers and planes.
For what it is worth, they felt the best AAF plane of the Pacific was the P47M.  A great dogfighter.  However the P47N, which emphaiszed long range, was preferred by the planners.
Their vote for best USN fighters was the last version of the F4 Corsair, or the F8 Bearcat.


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