The Shooting Star was the USA's first operational jet fighter. Development started in
1943 and it first flew in December 1944, only 143 days later, after an enormous effort
by a design team headed by Clarence (Kelly) Johnson.
The prototype was powered by a De Havilland H1 turbojet (as used for the
Vampire), but this British
engine became unavailable, so this meant re-designing to incorporate
the General Electric J33.
The first production aircraft was handed over to USAAF in December 1945.
In June 1947, a specially modified Shooting Star raised the World Speed Record
to 1103.9 km/hr.
It served in Korea, mostly in a Ground-Attack role, although in November 1950
one shot down a Mig-15, which was possibly the first conclusive combat
between jet fighters.
It left front-line service with USAAF soon after the Korean War.
In 1980 it was still in service with 28 air forces, 120 aircraft
still being used by USAF for target exercises or as an electronic
jamming platform in interceptor exercises.
85 of a reconnaissance/attack version were also built.
Some modified for reconnaissance purposes