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  #1  
Old 27th November 2016, 18:53
ClinA-78 ClinA-78 is offline
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THE P-38 "California Cutie" fin?

Hello,

Last week, a P-38 fin was auctioned in France. In fact, this nice piece (which I missed by inch...) was found near former A-78, so Florennes airfield in Belgium.
No background story about it but it may come from either a 429th FS (474th FG) or 485th FS (370th FG) crash-landed P-38 - with pilot unhurt - as a material loss. Both units were stationned at A-78.

The serial, albeit uncompleted, may be of interest as it could be "42-67916", aka the 'famous' "California Cutie" previously flown with 55th FS (20th FG) ?
Perhaps likely as 8th AF P-38 were shifted to 9th AF unit when converted to P-51 (mid'44).

It seems there is any entry of P-38 loss whose serial ends with "7916" so mystery remains.

Moreover I am wondering if "(My) California Cutie" is a common nickname ?

By such a pure coincidence, there is - at least - "My California Cutie" (7F*O) flown by Lt. Stan Ordway (485th FS) from A-78... Interestingly, this ship was damaged in December 1944. However pictures show it unpainted (no olive drab color) and without serial...

There are others yellow numbers on the fin I managed to picture before this relic flew away from its nest...It is a shame this piece was not displayed in our "Spitfire Museum" at Florennes airbase. Money wins over History.

Anyway, enjoy.

ClinA-78
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  #2  
Old 27th November 2016, 19:15
KM1957 KM1957 is offline
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Re: THE P-38 "California Cutie" fin?

I believe "My California Cutie" of the 485th FS was a P-38J-20, 7F-O 44-23520.

Kent
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Old 28th November 2016, 15:05
Revi16 Revi16 is offline
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Re: THE P-38 "California Cutie" fin?

Hi-rez download 42-67916 http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/2791
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Old 28th November 2016, 16:39
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Buckeye30 Buckeye30 is offline
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Re: THE P-38 "California Cutie" fin?

ClinA---------must be 55FS / 20FG 42-67916 as it still has the 55th white triangle marking with a gap left for the serial typical in the 55th. This was a J-10-LO in OD / NG.
The 485 / 370 P-38J ( NMF) was "My California Cutie / Mary" co-incidentally their squadron marking was a triangle on the tail. Spinner was red-blue and had red-white checkered nose ( squadron colour was red). By the time the 370th. moved to Florennes ( 26 Sept.) the 20FG had been flying P-51s for 2 months. Their last P-38 mission was 21 July and first all-P-51 mission was 24 July. The only P-38 serial ending -7916 was 42-67916 , camouflaged; the first (known) unpainted P-38 was 42-68008 in this block.
Nick

Last edited by Buckeye30; 28th November 2016 at 18:55. Reason: Number
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Old 29th November 2016, 17:34
ClinA-78 ClinA-78 is offline
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Re: THE P-38 "California Cutie" fin?

Thanks for watching.

So how this 55th FS ship ended near A-78? We may not rule out 429 or 485 FS.

Asked naively, is it possible to track down the military service of this particular s/n ?

Perhaps the clue may lay in the other number visible on the fin?

ClinA-78
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Old 29th November 2016, 23:29
gilles collaveri gilles collaveri is offline
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Re: THE P-38 "California Cutie" fin?

ClinA78,

may I say that, unfortunately, your sentence "Money wins over History" is very good;

It is sad to see that money spoils ..

Gilles
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Old 1st December 2016, 17:38
ClinA-78 ClinA-78 is offline
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Re: THE P-38 "California Cutie" fin?

Opposite side, just for fun.

ClinA-78
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Old 2nd December 2016, 14:30
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Buckeye30 Buckeye30 is offline
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Re: THE P-38 "California Cutie" fin?

I think the "P" number on the tail is the batch number from the factory more common on P-51B/Cs rudders, eg. P32, P34, P40. These are the P-38Js transferred from the 20FG to Ninth AF when the Eighth groups changed to Mustangs.

From 55FS...........
42-67204 ( to 474FG)
42-67486 "
42-67649 "
42-67656 "
42-68153 "
43-28700 ( to 367FG)
42-67742 ( to 370FG)
From 77FS...........
42-67819 ( to 367FG)
From 79FS...........
42-104095 (to 474FG)
42-67206 "
42-67502 "
42-67511 "
42-67515 "
42-67672 "
43-28725 "
42-104086 ( to 370FG)
The ex. Eighth AF P-38Hs went to the Fighter Training Group and Twelfth AF; most of their Js went to Ninth and Fifteenth.
Nick

Last edited by Buckeye30; 2nd December 2016 at 14:32. Reason: Addition of number
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Old 2nd December 2016, 19:18
ClinA-78 ClinA-78 is offline
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Re: THE P-38 "California Cutie" fin?

Thanks Nick,

How and where ended "California Cutie" remain unanswered.

ClinA-78
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Old 2nd January 2017, 18:16
Revi16 Revi16 is offline
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Re: THE P-38 "California Cutie" fin?

Not much info on the aircraft history card, only shows movements within the USA.


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