of the 8th PRS flying over Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay c.1942. The
small coastal inlet under the nose of the aircraft is now the location
of the Tangalooma Resort. This photograph also appears in Wings
Magazine (Vol. 8 No. 4 of August 1978) with the following caption:
"The first P-38 type to be assembled at Eagle Farm in Australia is shown in flight with Maj. Frederick G. Hoffman at the controls. It was the first combat product of the 81st Air Depot Group (ADG) on August 20, 1942. Hoffman was chief test pilot under Lt. Col. Ralph Fry, group C.O. The 81st was activated on May 11, 1942 at Brisbane, but much of their early P-38 work was done at Tocumwal with the 4th ADG. The aircraft shown was an F-4-1-LO (serial no AC41-2217), one of but a handful of photo recon aircraft available to support Gen. MacArthur. (Col. Frederick Hoffman)"
It should be noted that the history card for 41-2217 indicates that it did not depart the U.S. mainland until 4th October 1942 arriving in Australia in November 1942.
In December 2020, Kevin Herrick, grandson of Frederic Grant Hoffman, confirmed that Major Hoffman did indeed test fly the first P-38 to be assembled at Eagle Farm but it was not the aircraft depicted here. However, Major Hoffman was flying 41-2217 in the above photo. Clearly Wings Magazine have confused two separate events.
Photo: State Library of Queensland (#156806)