The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was one of the most important American fighters of WWII. Although its operational record was somewhat mixed, in general the P-38 was a fast, powerful and capable aircraft that performed well in a wide range of roles.
The P-38 served throughout the Pacific, from the Aleutians to New Guinea to Burma and China. The Lightning gained fame in the hands of Army Major Richard I. Bong, whose 40 aerial victories were scored in the P-38, making him the highest-scoring American ace of the war. P-38 pilots were also credited with the downing of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto. A P-38 piloted was the first American aircraft to land in Japan after VJ-Day, when the pilot and his wingman set down because his wingman was low on fuel.