The first american (Lightning 42-12738) to stay in Portugal










Aeroporto da Portela - Lisboa

USAAF    94FS/ 1FG

Lockheed  P-38F Lightning      42-12738



GB → North Africa


Cap   James Harman   USA

Harman landed some time after Ilfrey and his arrival caused such a confusion in the airport that Ilfrey, who had landed hours before, was able to escape to.

Harman was the first American internee and also the first pilot to arrive in Elvas, after the Portuguese government decided to use that border town for internment purposes.

The aircraft was sold to Portugal and was part of the "OK" Squadron that had this P-38 and a lot of P-39's who also landed in Portugal during WWII.

The P-38 was called the "general's plane" because he rarely flew and was mostly "exposed" in the airfield whenever a oficial ceremony was scheduled.

Harman was repatriated and died on April 17, 1943 in North Africa, while escorting B-17's bombers. He shot down one Ju-88 but his aircraft was also hit. He  jumped but was strafed while descending on a parachute.

*  “Aviões da Cruz de Cristo” – Mário Cannongia Lopes
* Jack Ilfrey
* Site ""