The P-38 Lightning was designed in 1939. It was the first fighter aircraft to achieve a speed of over 400 mph.
There is a photograph of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in the cockpit of his F-5B, basically a P-38 Lightning with the guns replaced with cameras. Saint-Exupéry's F-5B Lightning was shot down in 1943 off the coast of Marseille. The German pilot who shot him down had read The Little Prince and when he found out who was in the plane he was sorry and said he wouldn’t have shot him down had he known.