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USAAF pilots Colonel MacDonald and Al Nelson in the Pacific Ocean with MacDonald's P-38J Lightning aircraft "Putt Putt Maru" 1944.

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USAAF Major Richard Bong with his P-38 Lightning aircraft "Marge".

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Two F-35s Thundering Together for the First Time

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P-38J Lightning aircraft with the 'droop snoop' conversion in practice bombing, probably in the United States, 1943-1945.

RAF English Electric Lightning F6 fighters following Handley Page Victor XH587 Air-Air Refuelling drogues, Laverton, 1971

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[Photo] P-38 Lightning aircraft being built at the Lockheed factory in Burbank, California, United States, date unknown

P-38 Lightning aircraft being built at the Lockheed factory in Burbank, California, date unknown

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[Photo] Close-up view of a P-38G Lightning aircraft cockpit, 23 Dec 1942; note the yoke rather than stick control and the bullet proof glass panel above the instrument panel. Photo 1 of 3.

Close-up view of a P-38G Lightning aircraft cockpit, date unknown; note the yoke rather than stick control

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Lockheed P38 Lightning aircraft and a corsair. The P-38 was used most successfully in the Pacific Theater of Operations and the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations as the mount of America's top aces, Richard Bong (40 victories) and Thomas McGuire (38 victories). In the South West Pacific theater, the P-38 was the primary long-range fighter of United States Army Air Forces until the appearance of large numbers of P-51D Mustangs toward the end of the war.

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