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P-38G Lightning Model, USAAF 339th FS - Corgi AA36615

P-38G Lightning Model, USAAF 339th FS - Corgi AA36615 - click to enlarge
P-38G Lightning Model, USAAF 339th FS - Corgi AA36615 - click to enlarge

Item No. CG-AA36615
Availability: Sold Out


Corgi Aviation Archive Series Diecast Model

Lockheed P-38 G Lightning – #43-2264 "Miss Virginia", 339th FS, 347th FG, USAAF, "Operation Vengeance", April 18, 1943

1:72 Scale.  Length: 6.25".  Wingspan: 8.7"

Limited Edition of 1,200 Models Worldwide

Having been forced to endure the horrors of the surprise Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, the American people found themselves dragged into a war that they had tried so hard to avoid, now determined to avenge this day of infamy. Their long fight back began with victory at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, but for the men of the USAAF 347th Fighter Group their chance to inflict a huge psychological blow against the Japanese nation and specifically against the man who had planned the Pearl Harbor attack would come in April the following year. U.S. Navy intelligence code-breakers had been monitoring Japanese communications for months and discovered that Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto planned to fly from Rabaul, New Britain to visit troops in the Solomon Islands to boost their morale in the wake of the Midway defeat.

Yamamoto, flying in one of two Mitsubishi G4M Betty bombers and protected by six Zero fighters was intercepted by sixteen U.S. Lockheed P-38 Lightnings, whose pilots had made the long flight from Guadalcanal with one specific aim – vengeance. In the ensuing dog fight, P-38G Lightning 'Miss Virginia' piloted by Rex T Barber, slipped in behind the bomber carrying Admiral Yamamoto and unleashed a torrent of bullets from his .50 calibre machine guns, sending it crashing into the jungle below. 'Operation Vengeance' was successful and one of America's most deadly enemies was eliminated in what proved to be one of the most significant aerial engagements of WWII.

The mission was entrusted to brilliant U.S. aviator Major John Mitchell, who would have to plot a course far enough away from islands inhabited by Japanese spotters and low enough to avoid detection by enemy radar, while ensuring his fighters intercepted the enemy formation at exactly the right moment. With only a map, his watch and a highly accurate compass borrowed from the U.S. Navy installed in his fighter, the mission had only a slim chance of success, but was a risk they had to take. The only aircraft capable of undertaking this perilous 1,000 mile round trip was the P-38 and even then only by using drop tanks containing additional fuel – indeed, due to short supply, each aircraft was fitted with a single large 330 gallon drop tank, as well as a smaller 150 gallon tank. As the sixteen Lightnings took off from Kukum Field, Guadalcanal at 7 A.M. on 18th April 1943, they had no idea of the size of the enemy force they would be facing or if they would manage to intercept them. In a feat of exceptional airmanship, the P-38 Lightnings arrived at the anticipated interception point just one minute behind schedule and to a shout of Bandits from one of the pilots. In the ensuing dog fight Operation Vengeance would strike a blow in the fortunes of the Pacific War and highlight that America would accept nothing less than total victory.

The P-38 Lightning was a twin-engine fighter aircraft operated by the United States and several allied countries during World War II. The aircraft had a distinctive twin boom design with a single central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. It was used in a number of roles, including interception, bombing, ground attack, night fighting, photo reconnaissance, and as a long-range escort fighter when equipped with drop tanks. First flown on January 27, 1939, the P-38 entered service in 1941. It was the only U.S. fighter aircraft produced throughout America’s involvement in the war. From 1941 to 1945 Lockheed built a total of 10,037 P-38s in over two dozen variants.

Corgi is a leading manufacturer of high quality, pre-built, die-cast model airplanes. Every model is crafted with meticulous attention to details, using specifications of the original aircraft. Corgi models are constructed with precision-made diecast metal and some plastic components.

This model of a P-38 Lightning features:

  • Detailed pilot figure
  • Realistic panel lines and antennas
  • Historically accurate printed graphics
  • Rotatable propellers
  • Optional extended landing gear
  • Display stand
  • Collector card
  • Box with P-38 Lightning artwork

  • Category: Corgi 1:72 U.S. Military Aircraft Models

    Not suitable for children under the age of 14 years

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