THE FIRST TO ESCORT bombers all the way to Berlin, P-38 Lightnings really hit their long stride in the Pacific. On overocean missions, two engines took the worry out of losing one. “You could do aerobatics on one engine,” pilot Bud Holecheck told Air & Space in 2004. With guns in the nose (instead of the wings, where they were on many fighters), Lightnings were real sharpshooters. Richard Bong chalked up all of his 40 kills in a P-38, but the fighter’s single best day may have been April 18, 1943, when P-38s chased a quarry as wanted then as Osama bin Laden was in this century. After an intercepted message revealed the target, P-38 pilots flew 600 miles to shoot down Pearl Harbor mastermind Isoroku Yamamoto. As with bin Laden, there was a later dispute over who fired the fatal shot.