Hey, That Bush is Shaped Like an L-5

Check out this great image of a row of camouflaged Army Vultee-Stinson Sentinel L-5s undergoing maintenance “somewhere in Korea” on 12 July 1950.

U.S. Army Transportation Museum photo.

The pokey little L-5, introduced late in WWII to replace the Army’s Grasshoppers, was Big Green’s primary liaison and spotting aircraft in Korea– a conflict that came just three years after the Air Force was split away from its parent service, taking just about everything fixed-wing with it in the move.

Notably, unlike the Grasshoppers, Birdogs, and Piper Cubs used by the Army for the same purpose, the L-5 was purpose-designed for military use and had no commercial variant.

Capable of buzzing around at 100 knots for three hours or so, the L-5 was rugged and could operate from just about anywhere.

CPL Morehead, 7th Infantry Division Air Section, refuels an L-5 at 7th ID liaison airstrip, Tanyang, Korea. Jan. 15, 1951.

The Army phased out the L-5 by 1962

2 comments

  • Nice hi-res copies of those photos. I have only seen lower-res versions. Anyway, that “somewhere in Korea” in the upper picture was taken at Pusan and the unit was the 10th Liaison Squadron.The photo was published in the October 1950 issue of Flying Magazine. 44-17377 was an L-5E manufactured in February 1945 and sent to the Philippines with the 158th Liaison Squadron. It ended up doing occupation duty at Komaki, Japan. Like most others, it had been repainted silver for peace-time duty, and when the Korean war broke all available L-5’s were rushed to Pusan and daubed with some o.d. green. If you look closely, you can still see the red chevron of the headquarters flight on the nose. No.377 was transferred to Army Field Forces in May 1951 and it is unknown if it survived the war. For more information about L-5’s and the most complete and accurate information, visit http://www.sentinelclub.org.

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