The right engine had stopped, the left engine had thrown its oil, and its propeller was bent out of line, but Major Jack N Gary, Elkhart, IN, brought back his P-38 well over one hundred miles from Albania to a safe landing at a 15th Air Force base in Italy.
After a mid-air collision in a dogfight, the right engine stopped immediately, having been smashed through the cowling. The left engine kept turning, but the propeller had been jarred four inches out of line. Vibration of the good engine shook open oil seals in the nose, the prop spinner of which had been gashed, and gallons of oil streamed back over the fuselage. The oil gage read zero by the time the plane landed, and as the Lightning came to a full stop, the giant three-bladed propeller of the right engine toppled from the plane to the ground. It had been held in place by air pressure only!
This news clip was originally published in the "Shop Talk" column of the July, 1944, issue of Air Tech magazine, vol 5, no 1, p 64.
The original clip includes 1 uncaptioned photo of the crash-landed P-38.
Photo credited to USAAF.
Note: The writer seems to have confused the engines in the photo, the left engine is missing its propeller, but the photo does not seem to have been flipped. JLM