34th PRS: Lockheed F-5E-4-LO


The P-38 had long been known as a plane that was slow to roll, and suffered compressibility problems in a power dive. In the rush to get higher performance aircraft into the field, which addressed these key issues, Lockheed produced an "interim" P-38L. This was known as the P-38J-25-LO and embodied the improvements of the forthcoming "L-model" in the "J-model". With 105 of these "J-25" airframes being modified by LAC at the Dallas Modification Center, these airframes were designated F-5E-3-LO. Almost identical to the F-5E-4-LO, the F-5E-3-LO can be best identified by serial number.

Following the P-38J-25-LO in production was the P-38L-1-LO. This airframe is the basis for the subject of this page, the F-5E-4-LO. These improvements included, among others, the long awaited aileron boost as well as compressibility "dive" flaps. These Dallas modified airframes started seeing their way to the ETO in the summer of 1944 and started to replace the older "B", "C" and "E" models still in service.

a/c name: type: s/n: sqdrn code(s): notes:
Sandy's Bandwagon F-5E-4-LO 44-24235 XX*? Pilot: Sanders
John Sander's second ship wore the name "Sandy's Bandwagon". She is seen here at Hagenau wearing overall PRU blue with red nose and spinner caps. Ship was fitted with a sheet metal extension for long focal length K-17 vertical camera in forward station. (Richard Kill)

a/c name: type: s/n: sqdrn code(s): notes:
Viola II F-5E-4-LO 44-24272 XX*L Pilot: Siek
A well worn "Viola II" sits on the ramp at F�rth in the Spring of 1945. Hans Siek's second ship, "Viola II" carried on the proud name worn by his earlier F-5C-1-LO (s/n 42-67134) "Viola" which had been transfered to the French at Colmar. Overall color is PRU blue with red nose and spinners. A lens extension tube is included for the forward K-17 and is painted gold as are the wingtips and vertical stabilizer tips. (Leo Landry)

a/c name: type: s/n: sqdrn code(s): notes:
Yankee Rebel F-5E-4-LO 44-24281 XX*Q Pilot: Dempsey
After the loss of "Snooper Man" at Azelot-Lupecourt, Jim Dempsey received a new mount. This was a F-5E-4-LO dubbed "Yankee Rebel" by it's C/C Benny Gronowicz. With nose art by Photo Lab's T/Sgt. Plouff, "Yankee Rebel" was adorned with a circus style script in red, white and blue. The name was derived from Jim's wife Del Dempsey (a native New Yorker) and Lt. Dempsey (from Alabama). NOTE: Gronowicz was the awarded the Bronze Star on 10-June, 1944 for being the first crew chief to achieve 50 non-abort missions. (Ted DeMuth)

a/c name: type: s/n: sqdrn code(s): notes:
  F-5E-4-LO 44-24287 XX*N Pilot: Byrd
Photographed at Hagenau, 287 is seen here from the background of the shot of 304 seen on the F-5E-2-LO page. It is strongly believed that this is the F-5 belonging to Carlton Byrd. Note the way this ship has been stripped of paint. Often times the work was done in "chunks" and the F-5s took on a wierd mottled appearance. It could well be that 287 was being stripped at the time of this photo, but considering mechanical soundness and performance were everything, physical appearance didn't make that much difference. As more details and new photos are found they will be posted. (Jane Ellsworth via Jim Crow)

a/c name: type: s/n: sqdrn code(s): notes:
Haughty-Helen F-5E-4-LO 44-24290 S9*T/XX*T Pilot: Guy
Known as #290B, 44-24290 was received by the squadron on 20 January 1945. With so many new planes coming into the Squadron, new crew chiefs had to be selected. In this case 290B went to newly selected crew chief Sgt. Richard Sondergren. The second of two F-5s bearing the number 290, she is seen here at Hagenau. 290B wore the standard 34th red nose, spinner caps and tail bumpers...otherwise overall PRU Blue with limited striping of paint to bare metal. The name "IRENE" is painted on the port nacelle. (Richard Sodergren via Jim Crow)

a/c name: type: s/n: sqdrn code(s): notes:
  F-5E-4-LO 44-24300 XX*J Pilot:
Seen here at A-95, 44-24300 joined the 34th on 20 January 1945 along with #961 and #290B. The addition of this new plane required that a new crew chief be selected, and in this case #300 went to Sgt. Prater. It is seen here wearing the standard PRU Blue with the distinctive 34th PRS red nose, spinner caps and prop skirts. (Harold Vaughn)

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