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  • Lend-Lease: Aircraft to the Soviet Union

    North and South Atlantic Routes During World War II, the Soviet Union received almost 15,000 U.S.-built aircraft under the lend-lease program. About half of these were delivered by sea via the North Atlantic or were flown across the South Atlantic Ocean to the USSR via North Africa. Each method was difficult. The North Atlantic route was subject to
  • Luftwaffe General Staff Oil Painting

    This oil painting, done in Germany approximately 1941, was brought to the U.S. at the end of World War II. Reichs Marshall Hermann Goering (front center), Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, and Colonel-General Ernst Udet (left of Goering), General of Luftwaffe Supplies, were both famous German aces of World War I. Click here to return to the
  • Lt. Jack A. Sims Uniform Items

    Knapsack, knife and sheath, ammo clips with case for .45-cal Colt pistol, first aid kit, helmet and goggles, parachute "D" ring, Mae West life vest, canteen and A-2 flying jacket worn or carried by Lt. Jack A. Sims on the Tokyo Raid. Sims later wore the A-2 jacket during a combat tour in North Africa in 1943; the insignia is that of the 89th Recon
  • Lt. Phillip Rasmussen and His P-36A

    A Day that Will Live in InfamyThe Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, completely surprised American forces. Japanese carrier-borne bombers and fighters devastated the Army Air Forces, Navy and Marine installations on the island of Oahu. The attack killed or wounded almost 3,500 Americans. Opposition to the
  • Lockheed P-38L Lightning

      P-38 Lightning DevelopmentThe P-38 was originally conceived as an advanced, high-performance twin-engine interceptor. On Feb. 11, 1939, Lt. Ben Kelsey set a coast to coast record of 7 hours, 48 minutes in the sleek prototype Lightning, but crashed while landing. Despite the accident, development continued and the first of 13 service test YP-38s
  • Laister-Kauffmann TG-4A

    Laister-Kauffmann built the TG-4A in response to an urgent U.S. Army Air Forces requirement for a glider to train assault glider pilots. The TG-4A was a military version of the Laister-Kauffmann Model LK-10 Yankee Doodle two-seat soaring glider. Laister-Kauffmann delivered the first prototype XTG-4 in late December 1941; the company delivered the
  • Lockheed AC-130A Hercules

    The C-130 was originally designed as an assault transport capable of operating from unpaved, hastily prepared airstrips. On Aug. 23, 1954, the Hercules made its first flight. By 1976 more than 1,200 C-130s had been ordered, including aircraft equipped for radar weather mapping and reconnaissance, mid-air space capsule recovery, search and rescue,
  • Lockheed C-60A Lodestar

    Note: This aircraft has been placed in storage.The C-60 is a twin-engine transport based on the Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar. During World War II, the Army Air Forces used the aircraft for training and for transporting personnel and freight. First flown in 1940, the Model 18 was originally designed as a successor to the Lockheed Model 14 and the
  • Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews

    Before his premature death in 1943, Frank Maxwell Andrews played a major role in building the small U.S. Army Air Corps of the 1930s into the powerful U.S. Army Air Forces of World War II. Furthermore, he had become one of the key military commanders in the United States' armed forces. Born in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 3, 1884, Andrews entered the
  • Lt. Stephen W. Thompson

    The first man in U.S. military service to shoot down an enemy airplane was Lt. Stephen W. Thompson of Dayton, Ohio. Since his American squadron had not yet started flying missions, Thompson visited a nearby French bombing squadron on Feb. 5, 1918, to observe preparations for a combat flight. A French observer became ill and Thompson was invited to
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