By Dr William Wolf (Mi
Within the savage air strive against over Guadalcanal after which the both bloody air battles up Solomon chain, New Georgia and Bougainville, thirteenth Fighter Command took a again seat to Marine aviation in body of workers, gear, provide, operations, and exposure
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Extra resources for 13th Fighter Command in World War II : air combat over Guadalcanal and the Solomons
But the fact was this assertion was cOlTect, as the newer and better aircraft-the Lockheed P-38, the Republic P-47, and North American P-51were either in the developmental or prototype stage and not ready for mass production. The P-39 and P-40 truly were all that was readily available in the American fighter arsenal. The AAF had known of the shortcomings of the P-39/P-400 several months before Guadalcanal. Col. Boyd "Buzz" Wagner, who had scored three victories flying a P-39D for the 5th Fighter Command over ew Guinea, had forwarded a report to Gen.
As they headed out of a rainsquall they were attacked by six Zeros. Two pilots, Lts. Robert Chilson and Keith Wythes, were lost and listed MIA. Capt. John Thompson landed with 15 bullet holes in his fighter and one in his shoulder. About an hour later Lt. Peter Childress limped back into camp. as I floated down in my parachute I was worried that I was going to land in Japanese territory. On my way down I was able to get my bearings and landed about two miles from Henderson. I made my way back through a no-man's land encountering a Jap body along the way.
Brannon and Lts. Fincher and Head taxied their P-400s out onto the runway loaded with a 500lb. bomb and a full load of fuel and ammunition. Brannon taxied to the end ofthe runway, followed by Head and Fincher. Brannon, with half flaps, stood on the brakes and put the engine in full throttle. He released the brakes and the plane moved slowly forward, swaying and picking up speed, and finally lifted out of the sucking mud into the air. Next Lt. Head tried the same procedure, but his plane, in trying to pick up speed, skidded and soaked the plane with mud as it sloshed through pools of water.