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Frank Cronin
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D-Day plus 20 days. P-38J 55th FS, 20th FG

June 26, 2014 · in Aviation · · 17 · 2.7K

P--38J, 42-67916 KI * S of the 55th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Group, 8th AF. Kingscliffe UK.

This Lightening, “California Cutie” was flown by 1st Lieutenant Richard O. Loehnert. I was unable to find any information on Loehnert in an effort to find out how he came upon the name of this aircraft. I do know he is not listed as an ace.

This is the 1/48 P-38J that I think is an excellent kit. It is simple to build and I think very accurate. For the most part I built it straight out of the box with a few exceptions. I used the True Details etched seatbelts and the resin wheel set for the . The decals are from AeroMaster. I cut the oleo strut section out of the nose gear and replaced it with a longer piece of tubing. This gives the aircraft a definite raked look.

This is my final entry for the . I enjoyed building this as I like the scheme and I like the P-38 but I wish I had more information on the pilot and why he named it thus.

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. Nice build...I especially like the way you've given that pilot the " I was, diving outta the sun, and..." type of look. Never thought of doin' that ('course, I don't give a lotta thought to figures anyhow). Good work on those invasion stripes, too.

  2. Very nice, i guess the invasion stripes around the twin booms are difficult.


  3. Brilliant Frank! Excellent choise of markings too. I was looking at photos of the restored P-38 in this scheme when deciding how to build my Monogram kit, and really liked this one. Well done.

  4. @frank-cronin Frank! Academy kit? That's what I call taking a short-cut 🙂 ! It sure looks good in D-day stripes.

    Best regards


    • Magnus,

      I again compliment you on your Monogram build and realize that the Academy kit is easier to build. Your build is without a doubt very well done and is a compliment to the Monogram kit. That being said, during my modeling time I have built the Monogram P-38 in every variation it allows one to build from their kit. I think the Monogram kit is excellent and I have no problems with it and still have a couple of the old kits, Since that time the Academy and the Hasagawa kits have come on to the scene. I have built most all of those kits and have found them to be very good kits. My personal preference is the Academy kit and I have found it to be the best to my liking. The way you did your Monogram model is excellent.

  5. Great work Frank.
    Looks good.
    Well done sir.

  6. Another excellent entry to the D-Day build.
    Well done Frank.
    Are you in the next Group Build"?

  7. Frank - D-Day +20: you should be in Caen by now.

  8. beautiful frank...i'm building that right now

  9. Nice clean build, I never get tired of viewing a great P-38.

  10. Very nice build - I like that you included a shot of the real thing as well. And that is a heck of a lotta stripes - well done!

  11. Great job, Frank. I love it. My favorite WWII aircraft, done in my (almost) favorite scheme. My dad was in the 38th FS/ 55th FG. Same white triangle. I got to hear the stories of the painting of the stripes for D-Day. Not very glamorous, but they got the job done, then went back to bed.

  12. Frank,
    Very nice job on one of my favorites. I like the subdued weathering you did. Boy, this is a "tails-a-draggin" P-38 (which they were prone to do), nose gear leg looks like at about full extension!
    PS, I think I saw you working on this not long ago. Well done, and thanks!

  13. Excellent. "California Cutie" is a great name for a fighter.

  14. I want to thank you all for the very kind comments on "California Cutie".
    But most of all I want to express my gratitude and thanks to Neil Foster for the fine job he has done to bring D-Day into focus. My compliments to Neil. Let us all get behind Seamus for his effort to bring the "Battle of France" to the forefront. Thank all of you again.

  15. Frank, I can only congratulate you on producing such a superb build for the D-Day group, and fully support your thanks to Neil and Seamus.

  16. Hi Frank, simply beautiful, i like it very much !


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