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P-38J Lightning "Pudgy IV" 431st FS, 475th FG, Maj. Thomas McGuire 

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Air Force 1 1:48 0150
P-38J Lightning "Pudgy IV" 431st FS, 475th FG, Maj. Thomas McGuire

Historical Note:



The second highest-scoring American pilot of World War II, Major Thomas McGuire of the 475th Fighter Group tallied his first kill on August 18, 1943 — a day he took down three Imperial warbirds. The following day, after two more victories, he was already an ace. 

All of Major McGuire’s kills were scored in P-38 Lightnings of which he flew numerous iterations, each nicknamed after his new wife: “Pudgy.” While piloting “Pudgy IV” on October 24, 1944, McGuire shot down two Oscars over the Philippines before being forced to land and give up his cherished warplane to the 49th Fighter Group, a unit which suffered heavy attrition.

This 1/48 scale, die cast reproduction of McGuire’s “Pudgy IV” features a striking attention to historical detail including authentic nose art, a glazed canopy, optional-position landing gear, and an all-metal display stand.

Info: P-38J Lightning "Pudgy IV" 431st FS, 475th FG, Maj. Thomas McGuire

Product Videos

Lockheed P-38 Lightning "fork-tailed devil" (10:14)
Copyright © 2012 Malcolm Auld This video and audio material may not be used in any form without written permission. The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a World War II American fighter aircraft built by Lockheed. Developed to a United States Army Air Corps requirement, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and a single, central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. Named "fork-tailed devil" (Zwieselsteißteufel) by the Luftwaffe and "two planes, one pilot" (2飛行機、1パイロット, Ni hikoki, ichi pairotto) by the Japanese, the P-38 was used in a number of roles, including dive bombing, level bombing, ground-attack, photo reconnaissance missions, and extensively as a long-range escort fighter when equipped with drop tanks under its wings. 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. The P-38 was unusually quiet for a fighter, the exhaust muffled by the turbo-superchargers. It was extremely forgiving, and could be mishandled in many ways, but the rate of roll in the early versions was too slow for it to excel as a dogfighter. The P-38 was the only American fighter aircraft in production throughout American involvement in the war, from Pearl Harbor to Victory over Japan Day.
  • Lockheed P-38 ...
    Copyright © 2012 Malcolm Auld This video and audio material m...

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