Return to Andover… Aircraft: Lockheed P38-J Lightning

The 402nd Fighter Squadron, 370th Fighter Group, arrived at Andover, Hampshire in Feb 1944. The squadron was assigned multiple roles, from attacking ground targets such as railheads, radar installations and flak emplacements, to bomber escorts and fighter sweeps. These missions were all in support of the upcoming invasion of Europe.

On D-Day, the 402nd was assigned Channel patrol. The unique configuration of the Lightning with its twin booms was thought to be easily recognisable: essential for the nervous naval anti aircraft gunners in the Channel below.

My painting shows a flight of P38-J's of the 402nd returning to Andover from patrolling sectors ‘William' and ‘Yolk' mid-Channel. The flight is led by 402nd's commanding officer Major James Tucker (KIA 8-10-44). His wingman is 2nd Lt. Cy Coenen, whose son commissioned me to do the painting.

Original Painting

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Image size: 20" x 12"

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