Lockheed P-38L Lightning “Putt Putt Maru”
Pilot & Markings
Charles Henry “Mac” MacDonald – 475th FG, Dobodura, New Guinea 1943
Model Builder: John Frazier
Scale & Kit
1/72 Hasegawa Scale Model
Charles Henry “Mac” MacDonald was from Dubois, Pennsylvania. After he graduated from Louisiana State University, he joined the USAAC’s pilot training program. As a Major in October, 1943 he was transferred to the 475th Fighter Group “Satan’s Angels” based at Dobodura, New Guinea where he became the group’s XO (executive officer). During his first month with the 475th, Charles MacDonald scored his first four victories. He scored his fifth and became an ace on November 9, 1943 when he shot down two Mitsubishi A6M3 Zeros. When the war finished, “Mac” had scored 27 victories as shown on the port fuselage. This made him the third most successful fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater. His aircraft was a P-38L Lightning “Putt Putt Maru” (44-25643).
The 475th FG was activated on May 14, 1943 to augment the then small number of P-38s in the South Pacific. With its relatively long range, the initial role of the P-38 was to bomb and destroy as many Japanese aircraft on the ground as possible. This was typically done during daytime strikes. Charles H. MacDonald commanded the 457th FG through most of its existence. MacDonald’s style was to lead from the front. He demonstrated this during one of his first missions while leading a seven-plane bomber escort group. The weather turned foul and two of the three escort units decided to turn back to base. Major MacDonald decided to proceed with his formation and give what protection they could to the bombers. In the process, he scored a victory during an hour-long dogfight after the bombers were jumped. The 475th FG ceased operations on July 21, 1945.