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History Presentation and Flight Demonstration Liaison Aircraft in World War II

History Presentation and Flight Demonstration Liaison Aircraft in World War II

In World War II, every artillery battalion needed “eyes” to identify targets and establish the coordinates of enemy positions in the field.  The Army relied both on spotters on the ground and on “flying eyes” in the sky––a group of pilots that has historically received little recognition.

Early in the war the Army began acquiring several types of light aircraft that were known as Liaison aircraft or “L birds”.  The most numerous were the Piper L-4 Grasshopper and the Stinson L-5 Sentinel. These aircraft and their valiant crews played a significant role in both Europe and the Pacific.  The L birds took on many diverse missions including courier work, reconnaissance, search & rescue,  artillery spotting, and forward air control for bombing missions.  They were also used to lay communication wire, spray pesticides, and drop cargo and leaflets by parachute.  In Burma, the L-5 was even used to evacuate wounded special forces who had been operating deep behind Japanese lines.

On Saturday, April 20th, at 9:00 a.m., retired Army infantry officer and lead docent Ted Severn will present the story of the L birds in World War II.  Focusing on the L-4 and L-5, he will highlight their use in artillery spotting and controlling close air support by fighter bombers such as the P-47 Thunderbolt.  He’ll also tell some of the fascinating personal stories of individual pilots who flew low and slow to accomplish their mission.

Doors to the museum open at 8am.  The presentation begins at 9am.

Weather permitting, the presentation will be followed by a flight demonstration of the museum’s L-5 Sentinel, “Miss Stitch”.

Wednesday - Sunday
10:00am ‒ 5:00pm

Adults: $15-$17
Seniors/Military: $13-$15
Children & Students: $11-$12