P-38J-15-LO Lightning aircraft 'Colorado Belle', 1943-1945, photo 1 of 2; note 'droop snoot' glass nose for bombardier

Caption   P-38J-15-LO Lightning aircraft 'Colorado Belle', 1943-1945, photo 1 of 2; note 'droop snoot' glass nose for bombardier ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Government
More on...   
P-38 Lightning   Main article  Photos  
Photos in Series See all photos in this series
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 2 May 2010
Licensing  Public Domain. According to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
19 Apr 2010 09:10:46 PM

This is P-38J “Colorado Belle” in the Droop Snoot configuration. The Droop Snoot was a concept developed outside of Lockheed to use the high speed of the P-38 to reduce the risk for crews in level bombing missions. Later versions of the P-38 (J and L) had the same bomb load of a B-17 with one tenth of the crew. The idea was to adapt a P-38 with a housing in the nose for a qualified bombardier and the famous Norden bombsight to guide other aircraft to the target. The Droop Snoot flew lead and when it dropped its bomb load, the rest of the flight dropped too. Although Lockheed modified a number of P-38L to the Droop Snoot at the factory, dozens of conversion kits were also produced to enable field modifications on L and J models.
2. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
2 May 2010 12:53:36 PM

Once the Germans figured the P-38’s with the glass nose had no guns and were easier targets, many P-38 squadrons painted false “Droop Snoop” markings on all their P-38’s.

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