Lockheed P-38B/C Lightning

Last revised June 13, 1999




Based on combat reports coming in from Europe in the spring and early summer of 1941, the Combat Command and Air Materiel Command decreed that all aircraft in production incorporate certain items to make them "combat capable". Among these were self-sealing fuel tanks, no magnesium flares, a low pressure oxygen system, improved armor protection, and provision for bulletproof glass. The AAF specified that all aircraft with these capabilities be given a "D" suffix. Beginning in August 1941, all production P-38s bore the new designation P-38D. As a result, there never was a P-38B or P-38C References:

  1. Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1987

  2. The P-38J-M Lockheed Lightning, Profile Publications, Le Roy Weber Profile Publications, Ltd, 1965.

  3. War Planes of the Second World War, Fighters, Volume Four, William Green, Doubleday, 1964.

  4. Famous Fighters of the Second World War, William Green, Doubleday, 1967.

  5. The American Fighter, Enzo Anguluci and Peter Bowers, Orion Books, 1987.

  6. Wings of the Weird and Wonderful, Captain Eric Brown, Airlife, 1985.

  7. United States Military Aircraft since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.