‘L’ Plane Lineage

Reprinted from Vintage Airplane magazine, June 1982, by E. E. “Buck” Hilbert The Army Air Corps had a whole series of “O” planes in use long before the Army asked the manufacturers to participate in the “Great Maneuvers” in Tennessee and Louisiana in 1941. These “O” types included some names still very familiar today, and

Rare collection features WWII liaison aircraft

San Antonio Express, Friday, May 28, 1982, by Joe Fohn. Nobody will mistake Hardy Cannon’s back yard for the hedgerows of Normandy. But the grass airstrip behind his home on loop 1604 near Somerset provides a natural habitat for an antique airplane collection unique in the world: Six World War II liaison planes, one example

Lessons from the Liaisons

The Grasshoppers’ wartime operations record can point the way toward safer lightplane flying in the future. Reprinted from Flying magazine, January 1947, by Wilfred Owen. When lightplanes joined the Army shortly before Pearl Harbor they didn’t look very much like war­riors. But they soon proved that you don’t have to be big and tough to

Evolution of the Liaison-Type Airplane

Evolution of the Liaison-Type Airplane 1917-1944, Army Air Forces Historical Studies: No. 44, produced by AAF Historical Office, April 1946. A detailed look into how the U.S. arrived at the point where a diminutive airplane, collectively known as L-birds, or liaison aircraft, became some of the most imposing forces in the Allied victory of WWII.

Air Evacuation of Wounded U.S. Troops – Video

This WWII documentary film titled, “Perishable Rush,” shows how the Army Air Forces during World War II flew wounded men from Pacific battle areas to mobile army surgeons hospitals, hospital ships, and finally major hospitals and eventually home towns in the United States. Fast forward to the 3:18 mark to see L-4 in action. At

AAF Combat Digest Features L-4 & L-5 – Video

Flying unarmed Piper L-4 Grasshopper, Stinson L-5 Sentinel and Noorduyn UC-64A Norseman light aircraft, the 159th Liaison Squadron flew courier and aerial reconnaissance missions and dropped munitions and supplies to American and Philippine forces fighting in the Battle of Luzon, and rescued many wounded soldiers. While the film is 20 minutes in length, the liaison

Wing Talk – Grasshoppers

Collier’s for February 17, 1945Wing Talk, Edited by Frederick R. Neely FROM Mrs. W. B. Mohney, Topeka, came the suggestion that “an article in your magazine on Grasshopper planes would be interesting—not the Grasshopper of the Air Corps, but of the Field Artillery. It is a very important part of the Army and most people

Combat Film Unit 1944: Grasshopper – Video

Sixth in a series of incentive films made “exclusively for the men and women of American industry,” this mid-1944 official US War Department film depicts the use of “pint-sized” planes in directing artillery fire. Beginning at the 09:35 mark, it shows the “Grasshopper” and features light aircraft used for observation and transportation. The roughly two-minute

Lightplanes Are Warplanes

Reprinted from Infantry Journal, by Private John Wolbarst, July 1941. Six thousand airplanes of less than 100 horsepower produced in 1940 attest recognition of the great sport to be found in a lightplane. That the same lightplane is potentially a military instrument of real value is less well recognized. There have been proposals for the