This first of two volumes presents the P-38 story by focusing on the early models of this historic fighter -- XP-38 through P-38H. Each type is examined through carefully researched archival photos, as well as photographs of currently preserved examples. Known to the enemy during World War II as the "Forked-tailed devil", the Lockheed P-38 Lightning was piloted by those who were charged with the responsibility of escorting American bombers deep over heavily defended Europe during the early years of the air campaign against Nazi Germany. Detailed text and captions illustrate not only the design and construction of the early-war Lightnings, but also their combat use in WWII. Large, clear photos, coupled with descriptive and informative captions, put the reader on the airfield and in the sky with this historic aircraft. Part of the Legends of Warfare series.