Originally published December 1993
What was it like in North Africa flying P-38s accross the Mediterranean during WWII and sharing airspace with German ME-109s? How do you bail out of a P-38 when you're a piggy-back passenger sitting on the radio shelf behind your instructer pilot? What happens when the P-38 gets into a spin? To find some of these answers you can read the book Doorknob 52 or you could have gotten all the answers at the November 93 EAA Chapter 1000 meeting where the author of Doorknob 52 gave his presentation.
Fred Arnold came well prepared with his own gun camera footage of his exploits during the war, training films on the spin recovery characteristics of the P-38, and how to bail out of one if you really had to. He also brought slides and several extra copies of his book, Doorknob 52, in case anyone found his presentation interesting enough to learn all Fred had to tell of his experiences. I saw many people walking out of the meeting with newly purchased, personally autographed copies of the book and after having read it myself, there is no doubt that Fred Arnold is a very interesting man. An artist before the war, Fred was also one of the few who were responsible for illustrating flight manuals after World War II. Given another opportunity to hear Fred Arnold speak, I wouldn't miss it...and neither should you!
Contents of The Leading Edge and these web pages are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Revised -- 22 February 1997