It was really not vs. damage that those pilots were usually talking about. It was vs. mechanical failure.Originally Posted by P38 Pilot
The odds that after taking hits the P-38 was going to go down were much higher than for a corsair or hellcat. The fuel tanks are comparitavely exposed and the engines are no where near as robust vs. combat damage. An R2800 could take signifcant damage and still get the pilot home, where an inline would fail after almost any hit due to coolant loss. Even with two engines the liquid cooling aspect plus the fuel tank vulnerability made it less able to survive combat damage and get the pilot home.