I missed most of the argument at the beginning but I need to add it now.
P38 = Awesomeness
I guess everyone is forgetting what plane our best ace got his kills in?
We’re not forgetting. The reasons the P38 excelled in the Pacific theater were because they were flying against planes that were the lightly armored without selfsealing tanks, had absurdly long range (so pilots had to use her because it’s the Pacific), was heavily armed with no convergance zone, and it was warm (no problems with freezing and the engines were more reliable). She could fire on a target accurately from further away and so as long as she didn’t turn (or dive until the J model fixed the compression problem) and used her speed and climb rate, no japanese plane could catch her to respond to a head on attack. But once a lightning got into a turning fight, those japanese flying zippo lighters burned her out of the sky.
And in the European theatre, she was completely outclassed by the armoured German fighters, especially once the German’s realized she couldn’t dive or turn.
I think most of us have a problem with the fact that it’s not at all appropriate as a carrier plane, not that it wasn’t a reasonably effective machine.