"Lindbergh's Redemption"
US Army Air Force Lockheed P-38J Lightning

The P-38 Lightning was one of the great fighters of the Second World War.  In the South Pacific, the P-38 was credited with more Japanese aircraft destroyed than any other fighter.

Pictured in this painting is a P-38 Lightning piloted by Charles Lindbergh flying as part of the 433rd FS, 475 FG. On July 28, 1944, Lindbergh shot down a Mitsubishi ki-51 Sonia, an armed, two-place reconnaissance-attack aircraft. This act to many could be seen as Lindbergh's redemption.

In 1932 Lindbergh's infant son was kidnapped and murdered. The family then move to England and from there, he was invited to Nazi Germany to review there armed forces.  After seeing the awesome numbers and quality, he became convinced that America should avoid any conflict in Europe.  He became a major figure in the strongest noninterventionist group, the America First Committee. This alienated himself from both the Administration  and the American public. 

It wasn’t until early 1944 that things in Washington loosened a bit  and, with Navy support, Lindbergh flew to the Pacific to use his undeniable expertise to extend the range of American aircraft.  First the Marines and then the Army pilots soon discovered they could double the range of their fighters by following Lindbergh’s advice. This was the situation leading up to the mission on July 28, 1944 - his first, and only enemy aircraft destroyed.