Archaehistoria

The Sikaiana P-38 Lightning fighter

Figure 1
Late in the South Pacific war, one pilot decided to make a one way flight to “paradise” and live there until the war ended. Lt. Walker of the 419th Night Fighter Squadron based at Fighter II airfield on Guadalcanal had gone ‘tropo’ or mentally flipped out. On March 20, 1944, he put a plan into action, and took off from Green Island with extra long range fuel tanks on his Lockheed P-38 Lightning night fighter and flew all the way to Sikaiana. He arrived at Sikaiana but one engine was stopped and he crashed  into the ocean offshore. He did not survive. Depicted is perhaps the most famous Guadalcanal based P-38 Lightning fighter- the one which shot down Admiral Yamamoto. [As published p. 312 of “13th Fighter Command in World War II” by William Wolf, 2004].

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