Dixie Wing Living History Series Presents the Role of “L-Birds”
The many roles of liaison aircraft will be discussed May 21 in the third monthly Living History program presented by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing at Falcon Field in Peachtree City. Liaison aircraft served a wide variety of roles in the military, including artillery observation, reconnaissance, aerial photography, medical evacuation, search and rescue, primary flight training, pilot proficiency, supply, mail runs, and more. Liaison aircraft originated with the light-plane industry in the United States and all but one of the major "L-bird" designs were based on civilian models.
The program will highlight the history of the L-birds from the WWII up to the Vietnam War. Experienced L-Bird pilots Willard Womack and moderator Steve Seal will lead the discussion and walk-arounds of L-Birds at the Dixie Wing Museum. Two liaison aircraft – an L-5 and an L-4 – will be on display, and rides may be available.
The Wing also will welcome a special guest, WWII veteran Frank Forth, who was a First Lieutenant in the 333rd Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division (the Rail splitters). The division and regiment fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was an artillery man who later received a commission as an artillery officer, and became a pilot post-WWII, familiar with the L-4 and L-5.
World War II was an epic period in American history, creating the most powerful military force in the world in approximately four years with a combination of industrial ingenuity, flexibility, and entrepreneurship. A great example was the development and use of small liaison aircraft.
The fee to attend this two-hour Dixie Wing event is $10; active duty military members are admitted free. Dixie Wing headquarters and museum are at 1200 Echo Ct., Peachtree City, adjoining Atlanta Regional Airport (Falcon Field). The Wing headquarters and museum will open at 9 a.m. For more information, or to schedule rides on Wing aircraft, visit www.dixiewing.org.