P-38J Flown by Philip Goldstein/Graham 49th FS, 14th FG, Triolo, Italy 1944
May 30, 2013 in Aviation
Through another friend I found out that Philip Graham lives in San Francisco so I gave him a call. We agreed to meet for lunch and chat about his service. Prior to the lunch I made this model of his airplane so that I could present it to him.
At the time of our meeting he was 91 years old and I can only say I wish I had half of his zeal. He plays golf three times a week and is enrolled in a night time history course at USF. We talked for almost two and a half hours and could have gone on except the restaurant was setting up for dinner and we had to move on.
He talked a lot about his experiences with the 49th and about the P-38. He said he was prejudiced but he feels the P-38 was the best airplane ever. He said he used “JewBoy” to p**s off the Germans mostly. He had “Juden” on the right side for a short while but he felt that went too far and he removed it.
He explained the confusing story of his name as Goldstein/Graham. His Father was Goldstein and of course his Mother was Graham. His parents for a period of time were on the vaudeville stage as a dance and comedy routine.He said In those early days it was more advantages to use Graham plus they thought it sounded better for their act. Although his birth certificate shows his true name as Goldstein, he was raised and always known as Graham. When he was drafted into the Army the name discrepancy came to light and he was drafted by his birth name of Goldstein. He went into the Army as a private and soon qualified for pilot training and thus to the P-38. During his entire time in the service he was Goldstein and when he was discharged he went back to Graham as that is what all of his relatives and friends knew him as. He was discharged from Hamilton Field and fell in love with SF. He married his wife shortly after he was discharged and they are still together. Age has definitely not slowed this gentleman down.
The model is the Academy 1/48 P-38J. For my money the Academy kit is the best.
4 additional images. Click to enlarge