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|Signatures on this item|
|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
Captain James Kunkle
*Signature Value : £35
|Before he was eighteen and could join up, Kunkle had a job with Lockheed assembling P-38 wing sections, but as soon as he was old enough he enlisted for pilot training. In May 1944 he joined the 401st Fighter Squadron, 370th Fighter Group at Andover, England. His first mission was an armed reconnaissance across the Channel after D-Day. In July the squadron flew to an airfield on Omaha Beach, and flew air-support missions that devastated the German 7th Army at Falaise. He was shot down after a dog-fight with Fw190s and Me109s but managed to bail out over American lines. He later became a test pilot.|
Lieutenant Colonel William Willis
*Signature Value : £30
|William Willis joined the service in October 1942. Posted overseas to England, he flew P-38s with the 343rd Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group. Based at Wormingford, the Group was equipped with P-38 Lightnings, which they were flying over Normandy at the time of the D-Day invasion. Shortly after they were converted to P-51s, on which Willis went to Berlin on a strafing mission.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Lightning||Designed by Kelly Johnson the P38 made its maiden flight on the 27th January 1939 and introduced into service in 1941. they cost $134,284 at the time each and a total of 10,037 were built. The Lockheed P-38 was introduced as a inceptor fighter but soon proved a valuable long range bomber escort for the 8thUS Air Force's B-17 and-24 bombers as they bombed targets further into Germany.|
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