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Corgi Aviation Archive Collector Series AA36617
Lockheed P-38L Lightning Diecast Model
USAAF 475th FG, Putt Putt Maru, Charles McDonald, Philippines, 1945

Limited Edition
1100
Pieces Worldwide

1:72 Scale   Length   Width
Lockheed P-38L Lightning   6.25"   8.75"

For US fighter pilot Charles Henry 'Mac' MacDonald, the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941 left him with a determination to do his duty in ensuring this disastrous day for America would only result in their eventual victory. Joining the USAAF and gaining his wings in May 1939, he would first be assigned to the 55th Pursuit Group and then on to the 18th Pursuit Group at Wheeler Field, Hawaii in early 1941 and was still there at the time of the Japanese surprize attack, arguably the darkest day in American military history. His continued service would see him gaining ever more responsibility and new postings, first back home in the US to train new pilots, then on to the savage fighting of the Pacific War. By October 1943, he had attained the rank of Major and was posted as the Executive Officer of the 475th Fighter Group's 'Satan's Angels', flying P-38 Lightnings out of Dobodura, New Guinea, where his reputation as a fighter ace and effective leader of men would soon be forged. Often asking his men to fly dangerous long range missions in their Lightnings over vast expanses of ocean, MacDonald, would often be the first aircraft into the air, leading from the from and inspiring his pilots to make their mark on the war.

Eventually attaining the rank of Colonel, MacDonald became the Commanding Officer of the 475th Fighter Group and during this time, would welcome the arrival of a rather famous civilian advisor to the unit, long range aviator and US national hero Charles Lindbergh, who was cleared to fly with the unit. During his time in the Pacific, Lindbergh would help the 475th unlock the awesome potential of the P-38, using his knowledge of long range engine management to alter the power and fuel settings of their aircraft, modifications which extended the range of the Lightning by an incredible 100%. Now, 'Colonel Mac' and the pilots of the 475th could provide fighter cover for bombers attacking the Japanese oil refineries at Balikpapan in Borneo, with flight times of between twelve and fourteen hours needing to be flown. This raid was pivotal in turning the tide of the Pacific War and preparing American forces for the final push towards the Japanese home islands.

Colonel 'Mac' Macdonald would end the war with 27 aerial victories, with several others either damaged or probably destroyed, making him the third most successful fighter ace in the Pacific Theatre. All victories were scored using the Lockheed P-38 Lightning and whilst he would use several different machines, they were all named 'PUTT... PUTT... MARU'. It is not known for sure what this name refers to, but it is thought that it could be a reference to the Japanese supply barges the unit were often sent to destroy, vessels which were referred to as Marus, with their rather agricultural engines making a putt putt chugging sound. Whatever the case, if they were in the sights of a 475th Fighter Group P-38 Lightning, they were on borrowed time.

Lockheed P-38L Lightning

Designed to meet a USAAC requirement for a high-performance fighter, the P-38 Lightning was first flown on January 27th, 1939. The easily recognizable P-38 had twin-booms, twin turbo-supercharged engines, a central pod for the pilot, contra-rotating propellers and tricycle landing gear. Its roles included dive bombing, level bombing, ground strafing and photo reconnaissance. When equipped with drop tanks it was also flown as a long-range escort fighter. The Lightning's armament was clustered in the nose of the plane, which gave the pilot a direct line of site to the target and also gave the weapons a "buzz saw" effect that was useful for strafing.

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Corgi's 1:72 scale P-38s have separately applied turbocharger detail and accurate twin engine radiator scoops mounted on the booms. The large canopy provides a clear view of the pilot figure and radio equipment located in the rear bay. Most releases include landing gear complete with tires that have a textured tread pattern, and gear doors that are easy to install for ground display. Some of the most remarkable releases in this series are fighter bombers with four machine gun barrels surrounding a center-mounted 20mm cannon barrel.

© Copyright 2003-2023 The Flying Mule, Inc.

Corgi Aviation Archive Collector Series

The Corgi "Aviation Archive" range presents highly-detailed, ready-made diecast models of military and civilian aircraft. The vast Aviation Archive range has become the standard by which all other diecast airplane ranges are judged. Each Corgi model is based on a specific aircraft from an important historical or modern era of flight, and has been authentically detailed from original documents and archival library material. Famous airplanes and aviators from both military and commercial airline aviation are all honored.

Corgi "Aviation Archive" diecast airplanes feature:

  • Diecast metal construction with some plastic components.
  • Realistic panel lines, antennas, access panels and surface details.
  • Pad printed markings and placards that won't fade or peel like decals.
  • Interchangeable extended/retracted landing gear with rotating wheels.
  • Poseable presention stand to display the aircraft "in flight".
  • Many limited editions with numbered certificate of authenticity.
  • Detailed, hand-painted pilot and crew member figures.
  • Authentic detachable ordnance loads complete with placards.
  • Selected interchangeable features such as speed-brakes, opened canopies and access panels.
  • Selected moving parts such as gun turrets, control surfaces and swing-wings.

© Copyright 2003-2023 The Flying Mule, Inc.    

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