Originally designed as a high-altitude interceptor, the P-38 was the first U.S. fighter of WWII to compare with the Spitfire and Me-109. The twin-tailed, single seat "Fork Tailed Devil"carried four .50-caliber machine guns and a 20mm cannon, and could fly at speeds above 400 mph. An extremely successful design, it was the primary long-range fighter for the Army AirForce until the appearance of the P-51 Mustang. It also produced devastating results in the ground attack mission.Over 9500 Lightnings were built by V-J day in 1945, including reconnaissance and pathfinder variants. Originally printed by Lockheed and the U.S. Army Air Force in 1944, this Pilot's Flight Operating Handbook taught pilots everything they needed to know before entering the cockpit. Classified "Restricted", the manual was declassified and is here reprinted in book form. Care has been taken to preserve the integrity of the text.