Photo by By Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales | 673d Air Base Wing / Public Affairs

The P-38G going back on its display pedestal at JB Elmendorf-Richardson. Photo by By Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales | 673d Air Base Wing / Public Affairs

A couple of weeks ago, WarbirdsNews posted a short article HERE on the refurbishment of Lockheed P-38G Lightning 42-13400 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska. The aircraft is the last known complete example of this particular variant in preservation, and has been on outdoor display at the base air park since its restoration from a wreck in the late 1990s. Well, we are happy to say that the recent work on this historic aircraft is now complete. We thought you would enjoy seeing the images of the Lightning going back on display, along with the Air Force press release describing the event.


The world’s last known complete Lockheed P-38G Lightning  was returned to its vigilant watch over Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. A P-38G was the first airplane in Alaska to score an aerial victory over the Japanese in World War II. This plane crash-landed on Attu Island in 1945. The wreck was salvaged in 1998 and, after the restoration, it resides again on permanent display at 3rd Wing Headquarters.

The 3rd Maintenance Squadron crash recovery team and 773d Civil Engineer Squadron structure shop return the newly refurbished Lockheed P-38G Lightning to the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 26, 2017. The aircraft has been a static display at JBER since May of 2000 as a reminder of the sacrifices made in the ‘Forgotten War’ of the Aleutian Island chain; the restoration program started in August of 2016.

Photo by By Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales | 673d Air Base Wing / Public Affairs

Photo by By Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales | 673d Air Base Wing / Public Affairs


The aircraft has occupied pride of place on a special pedestal at Elmendor’s air park since May, 2000. Of course, being outdoors is not an ideal situation, but the aircraft is well maintained. She came inside recently for a bit of TLC, which also included a trip through the paint booth to get a fresh coat of paint. We thought our readers would find these images interesting. Long may she continue to serve as a reminder for the sacrifice of so many in the “Forgotten War” of the Aleutian Island Chain… the only US home territory actually captured and occupied by the Japanese during WWII.

Lockheed P-38g Lightning to the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson copy

Photo by By Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales | 673d Air Base Wing / Public Affairs

Read the P-38G Lightning Under Refurbishment in Alaska to find out more about this airplane.

10 Comments

  1. Should have been restored to flying condition and kept hangar inside.. What a waste to being outside in the weather elements of Alaska.

  2. It needs to be in a hanger ,not out side further decaying ??????????

  3. Herbert Erdmenger says:

    Ridiculous to put it on display on the outside. It is JEWL that has to be protected from the elements. MOVE IT INSIDE!

  4. Rick Linkous says:

    Last of its kind so let’s put it outside to rot in the Alaskan weather. Disgraceful way to memorialize those that fought and sacrificed. Let’s honor the last of its kind by respecting it and the heros they think they are respecting by putting this wonderful piece of history where it belongs … inside and protected!

  5. steve flinders says:

    Really should be inside chaps

  6. Please put it in a hanger where it should be!

  7. It’s a shame that all the work put into restoring this rare aircraft will be wasted by leaving it outside to the weather. The MEMPHIS BELL was almost left to the same fate and was only by the intervention of the Air Force, saved…..Looks like the USAF should know better.

  8. Duane "Tiger" Tolladay says:

    PLEASE, SELL IT TO SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEIR DOING
    WITH WWII FIGHTER PLANES!
    IF YOU WANT ONE TO DISPALY OUTSIDE, BUILD ONE FROM
    PLYWOOD!

  9. Looks like anybody that knows anything can’t believe that this rare piece of history is left outside. If they need a p38 out in the weather make one out of plastic.

  10. They should have left it where it was. Then someone could have done a proper restoration and care of the rare aircraft. A travesty to see this.

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