View Full Version : Great read about the P-39

11-28-2004, 11:34 PM
Concise, accurate account of the "Iron Dog's" initial failure and ultimate success:


11-29-2004, 01:29 AM
Good link!

11-29-2004, 06:35 AM
A great read..... and a good site too!!

11-29-2004, 06:40 AM
Good reading. Thx. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

TgD Thunderbolt56
11-29-2004, 07:46 AM

11-29-2004, 09:25 AM
Very interesting - I've been fortunate enough to have a thorough crawl-all-over and sit in a P39 (recovered from Cape York, Australia).

Anyone travelling in Far North Queensland can find this plane in a privately owned and publicly displayed military collection at a town called Mareeba (inland from Cairns).

The fellow who owns that collection related a story to me that one of the American aces (I thought he said it was Bong - whoever it was visited the collection some years earlier when it was in Townsville and had a nice long chat) and another American were in the Northern Australia / New Guinea region in a couple of P39's on a sort of "fact finding" mission prior to American units arriving "officially".

He indicated that this was the period when the Aussies were doing it tough out of Moresby in P40's and said these Americans engaged Zeros along with the P40's when they were visiting Moresby.

Apparently this American praised the P39 tho he specifically criticised it's altitude performance and the cannon jamming problem. He related a story about a factory rep who was sent out to the Pacific to sort these cannons out - apparently (so the story goes) after a period of no success, the rep was made to go up in the lap of one of the fighter pilots and told he'd have to keep going up until all was fixed. Well apparently on the next flight all the cannons miraculously worked and fired thru their full magazines - as soon as he was back on the ground the rep disappeared on the next transport - and then the very next time the P39's with previously working cannons went up they all started jamming again. Needless to say they had no luck getting another rep to come out.

I've no idea how accurate any of that is but it was fascinating and very entertaining to hear about it. That same fellow accurately related the history of a P38 wreck I've visited on Horn Island in the Torres Strait - a wreck which is not listed in official Australian records that I'm aware of. An army team visited the Island with a listing of wrecks to verify their locations but that list did not include this P38 - which at that time was undiscovered - it was seen from the air by a commercial pilot a few months after the army team's visit (I think that visit prompted some of the pilots operating in the area to start looking down thru the trees when overflying). Apparently it was lost during a refuelling stop enroute to New Guinea - the pilot stalled and spun in from low altutude while in the circuit to land (maybe weather was bad?).

The wreckage suggests it went in almost vertical nose down but not at huge speed.

11-29-2004, 09:42 AM
Interesting read, M8!
I'm surprised by how many times the Colt firm's name comes up in reference to the P-39's armament.
The original M4 37mm aerial cannon was made by a firm called the American Armaments Corporation. It was then built under license by Oldsmobile (so the legend goes).
Can anyone shed light on Colt's involvement, if any?

11-29-2004, 10:05 AM
"Perhaps the biggest reasons for the P-39's bad showing in the Pacific were the lack of knowledge about Japanese aircraft, numerical inferiority, and veteran enemy pilots."


11-29-2004, 10:25 AM
The Russians enjoyed great success with the P-39.

The big reason...the big gun, but they had to get in close, just like the German aces who enjoyed the large number of kills.

Get so close the enemy aircraft fills the cockpit and BOOM, down he goes.

Sprinkling the enemy aircraft with machinegun fire wasn't the successful Russian way.

The P-39 is an awesome aircraft even in this sim, when it's used effectively.

11-29-2004, 11:21 AM
I'd say the P-39 in this sim greatly exaggerates the P-39's abilities. Almost always has.

11-29-2004, 11:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stiglr:
I'd say the P-39 in this sim greatly exaggerates the P-39's abilities. Almost always has. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>