"Pat II, the ‘Fork-Tailed’ Devil"
Lockheed P-38G Lightning

The P-38 Lightning made its combat debut in Europe (ETO) in mid-1942, the first American fighters being flown to the UK before heading further east to units in North Africa and eventually to the Mediterranean (MTO) in 1943. Its service in this theater, and later over the heartland of Germany itself, earned the P-38 the nickname ‘der gabel-schwanzer teufel’ (the fork-tailed devil).

Pictured in this painting is P-38G-15 PAT II of Col. Oliver B. Taylor, CO of the 14th FG, Triolo, Italy returning from a sweep over Eleusis airfield, in Greece on December 20, 1943. Col Taylor achieved ‘ace status’ by May 1944 flying a later P-38J version.