P-38 Lightning Aces of the Pacific and CBI by John Stanaway

By John Stanaway

The P-38 was once used on almost each entrance to which the USAAF have been devoted, yet loved its maximum successes within the Pacific and China-Burma-India (CBI) theatres. the rate, diversity and firepower of the P-38 made it the favorite of approximately all aircrew battling within the Solomons, New Guinea and the Philippines, and over 1800 eastern plane fell to its weapons. From the 1st encounters on the finish of 1942 until eventually the Lightning scored the ultimate 5th Air strength victories in August 1945, those pilots made the Pacific skies a great deal their very own battleground.

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The 11th ACR substituted three Sheridans for two M113 Armored Cavalry Vehicles (ACAVs) in one of three scout sections per armored cavalry platoon. While this arrangement decreased the number of dismounted scouts in the sections, it substantially increased their firepower. In reality, the units often deployed Sheridans from one section with several ACAVs from other sections to create a mixed force. The bee-hive round proved to be the most popular projectile in the Sheridan’s arsenal; in the first three months of combat, the Sheridans fired 1,461 rounds of bee-hive compared to 350 rounds of M409 HEAT as well as 431,000 rounds of machine-gun ammunition.

In spite of this, the Army approved the production of the AGS on October 27, 1995, as the M8 with a first contract for 26 vehicles. However, on January 24, 1996, the Army finally decided to kill the AGS program for cost-cutting reasons, largely based on the decision against deploying it with the 2nd ACR; it was unaffordable if built only for a single battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division. In March 2004, the Army approved the transfer of four of the M8 AGS in storage to Ft Bragg for further examination of airborne armor requirements.

Another common modification was the addition of stowage bins on the rear of the turret to compensate for the small stowage rack provided on the baseline vehicle. qxd:NVG153 26/11/08 11:34 Page 33 In spite of the numerous difficulties with the Sheridan, it eventually proved to be a useful addition to the armored cavalry when used as a substitute for the M113 ACAV, but not as a substitute for the more robust M48A3 tank. The Sheridan’s main advantage was that it was more mobile on soft terrain than the heavier M48A3.

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