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Frank Cronin
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P-38J Flown by Philip Goldstein/Graham 49th FS, 14th FG, Triolo, Italy 1944

May 30, 2013 · in Aviation · · 15 · 3.2K

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 . 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 P-38J. For my money the Academy kit is the best.

Reader reactions:
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4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. Believe it or not, IIRC this is the first model of the P-38 presented here at iModeler, which may sound strange considering how many other a/c types are represented in quantity. Clearly we need more Lightnings! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Another great story and another great gift for one of our veterans. You are to be commended for your thoughtfulness, Frank (and your modeling talent).

  3. Frank...Great story and a beautiful model. A good example of getting the most out of your hobby. What a terrific experience.

  4. Extremely presentable P-38. What was the build time frame &what did you use for the NMF?
    I suppose I could be a "smartie" & ask who's who in the photo but I won't do that.
    Again, very well done &thanks for sharing what sounds like a very rewarding experience.

  5. that is a stunning model and wonderful story...but not too smart of him...a lot of Jews where separated from their cohorts and sent to work camps and starved and worked to death in mines and forced labor if their dog tags betrayed them

  6. Al,

    I'm the one in the sweater... What I have been using and have found successful is Floquil RR colors, Bright or Old Silver. Which ever tone I want. There is a slight difference. I mix it with lacquer retardant, spray it on and I let it sit for at least 24 hours. So far, and I have been using this for a long time, it has worked well. When it is fully dried you can mask over it. BUT! I don't push this issue. The majority of time I paint on whatever color first then go for the silver. Also unlike a lot of folks, I prime everything I do first. I use Floquil primer.

    Thank you for the compliment

  7. Bob,

    We talked for quite a while and the subject of "JewBoy" was one of the first questions that I asked him. He said he knew the implications of using it and the ramifications if he were captured. He said he "did not give a damn". He said he had a job to do and knew who he was and was not concerned about others opinions or prejudice's. At 91 he is feisty and I can only imagine what he was like in his early twenties. In the Osprey book "P-38 Aces in the ETO/MTO" on page 41, there is a photo of him. In the caption he is described as a "hot and aggressive pilot"

  8. Thank you all for the nice compliments.

  9. wonderful build wonderful story the p-38 is my all time favorite you have captured its beauty and strength great job

  10. said on May 8, 2014

    What an inspirational story from a true American hero! Can you imagine the reaction of German pilots to seeing a plane with "Jewboy" written in large letters. How many missions did this hero fly and how many German planes did he shoot down?

  11. Fascinating! Thank you for posting.

    My uncle, Lou Benne was with the 49th FS in Foggia, Italy Jan-Jun 1944. He became an ACE on the same day that he was shot down over Budapest, 14 Jun 1944. Earlier this year, I found the last "Forty-Niner" survivor and Lou's "roommate" prior to that fateful mission. Four other pilots were also shot down that day and all were taken prisoner.

    My uncle passed away in 1978 from latent effects of radiation and I'm doing my best to fill the holes in his biography. I and flew down south in March to interview Lou's now 93 year-old roommate and I would be interested in any further info on the men pictured in the June 1944 photo taken in Foggia, Italy.

  12. Denise,
    I wish I could give you further info on the group picture. I know that Goldstein / Graham is seated on the far right in the first row as you look at the photo. He may have mentioned a name or two when I talked with him but that was in passing and I never made a note of it. As in my note, he was 91 when I spoke with him. That was in 2013. I talked on the phone with him a few years later and was supposed to meet again but a short while after I had spoken with him I was never able to make contact with him again. He may not be with us anymore but I have never seen anything to confirm that. He did have children but I have no idea where they are as he spoke mostly about flying the P-38. I can provide you with his address, e-mail, and phone number if you would like. Just know that the last few times I have tried to get a hold of him I got no response. Send me a note on my e-mail and I will give you his info. [email protected] I would put the info here but it would go world wide and if he is still with us he may not want to hear from so many people.


  13. My email is [email protected].
    I recently learned that Moses Long passed away just over a year ago. He actually lived very near me so I am beyond disappointed that I didn't start this research decades ago. He particularly interested me because I have a 1st person note from my uncle that Lou and Moses escaped as POWs together and, like The Great Escape, procured a motorcycle to temporarily get away.

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