Flying the P-38 Lightning by Bill Harris: 15.5 victories, 339FS and 18FG

Intermission – P-38 Lightning

Weapons and Warfare

During training at Muroc Dry Lake, later named Edwards AFB, I learned to pre-flight the P-38. With two engines etc. it did take longer than a single engine fighter but it was simple to do so. Also, it was my first fighter and one that I had dreamed of for years to fly, so it was an act of love to check it out and just be around it. Later in combat the pre-flight was second nature and you trusted your Crew Chief and ground crew.

The cockpit was about perfect in size for me at 5’8′ but some of my taller pilot friends could be a bit cramped. A 6’6″ wingman and former B-25 pilot was not able to wear a seat pack parachute when flying but adjustable seat and rudder pedals helped. Early cockpit heating was poor. Even in the tropics at altitudes over 25,000 feet the cockpit…

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