About this P-38
This P-38L (S/N 44-53236) was manufactured in Burbank, California, and delivered to the Army Air Force on July 19, 1945. Over the next few years, it served in fighter groups at bases in Delaware, Ohio and Florida. The plane was modified to a ZF-38L in August 1948 and dropped from the USAF inventory in December 1948. The Richard I. Bong American Legion Post 435 acquired it from the Air Force and brought it to Poplar in July 1949.Years of exposure to Wisconsin's extreme weather took its toll on the plane. In 1994 the Minnesota Air National Guard 148th Fighter Wing moved the plane from Poplar to their base in Duluth, where volunteers began the painstaking process of restoring the aircraft. Completed in 1997, the restored plane has the markings of Richard Bong's famous P-38J Marge. According to restoration crewmember Pat Clancy, the Heritage Center's Marge "represents just a blink in history, in Dick Bong's career" -- a "blink" that will never be forgotten.This aircraft is owned by the Bong P-38 Fund, Inc.
Click here to view all markers / memorials at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center.