Piper L-4J 'Grasshopper'

  Base model:L-4
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1942-1962
  Basic role:Liaison
  See Also:O-59

Not Yet Available

Known serial numbers
44-80045 / 44-80844, 45-4401 / 45-5200

Examples of this type may be found at
Cavanaugh Flight MuseumAddisonTexas
Fantasy of FlightPolk CityFlorida
Valiant Air Command MuseumTitusvilleFlorida

L-4J on display

Cavanaugh Flight Museum

Fantasy of Flight

Valiant Air Command Museum


Recent comments by our visitors
 Leland F. Carpenter
 Johnsburg, IL
Here is some information about the "Rosie the Rocketeer" aircraft, and Bazooka Charlie, the pilot.

During WWII, a Moline man placed several Bazookas under the wings of His Piper Cub Scout plane. He then used the plane to attack German tanks. I believe his name was Carpentier or Carpenter. Can you give me any more information?
A: Charles "Bazooka Charlie" Carpenter, a native of Edgington in southern Rock Island County, graduated from Rock Island High School and Centre College in Danville, Ky. He was teaching history at Moline High School when he joined the Army in 1942. File Photo Major Charles Carpenter with his plane, ``Rosie the Rocketeer,'' somewhere in France. His battlefield exploits in the tiny plane won him a variety of nicknames: ``Bazooka Charlie'', ``The Mad Major'' and ``Lucky Carpenter.''
In 1944, by then a major, he arrived in France, where his assignment was flying a Piper Cub on reconnaissance missions in front of the 4th Armoured Division of Gen. George Patton's Third Army. Ignoring regulations against arming the tiny recon planes, Major Carpenter attached six Bazooka launchers to the wings of ``Rosie the Rocketeer'' and began attacking German armour. Threatened with court-martial, he was saved that fate by Gen. Patton himself, who not only stopped the disciplinary proceedings but awarded the major a medal for bravery. Major Carpenter was soon known the world over. The Army newspaper, Stars and Stripes, featured him and his exploits several times, as did papers as far-flung as the New York Sun and the London Times. The Associated Press reporter Wes Gallagher, in a 1945 article in Liberty Magazine, said Major Carpenter was ``a legend in an outfit where reckless bravery is commonplace.'' He told Gallagher that his idea of fighting a war was ``to attack, attack and then attack again.'' By war's end, Major Carpenter had destroyed six German tanks, participated in several ground fights (he'd land on the battlefield and lend a hand), won a Silver Star and an Air Medal and been promoted to lieutenant colonel. Discharged from the Army after it was discovered he had Hodgkins Disease, he was given just two years to live. He made if for 20 years; he died in 1966 in Urbana, where he had taught school since the war's end. He is buried at Edgington Cemetery.

06/01/2006 @ 05:12 [ref: 13423]
 John Bayer
 Denver, CO
ALONE AND UNARMED is the story of a lone pilot, Staff Sergeant Ernest Kowalik, flying the military's version of the 65-hp Piper "Cub", during the Italian Campaign in WWII.

Flying without an Observer, because he was the "spare" pilot for the 88th Division Artillery HQ Battalion, Kowalik actually flew more than twice the average number of sorties and hours than the typical division Liaison Pilot, often at dangerously low altitiudes.

Artillery spotting and scouting for the 88th Infantry "Blue Devil" Division, he saw a wide variety of action, from taking out large enemy guns and rescuing supply caravans from ambush, to making possible several significant breakthroughs of enemy lines.

Join Staff Sergeant (later Lieutenant) Kowalik as he relives significant episodes of the world's struggle for freedom in that time.

"Directing artillery fire from an unarmed, unarmored light aircraft was surely one of thw most dangerous tasks performed on a daily basis during World War II. Flying from rough, unimproved airstrips, often within range of enemy shellfire, added to the perils faced by Field Artillery pilots, as did the ever present threat of bad weather. Such operations are covered in graphic detail by Ernest Kowalik, whose "Alone and Unarmed" is a welcome addition to the small number of books on a little known aspect of WWII."

- KEN WAKEFIELD, author of Lightplanes at War, The Flying Grasshoppers, and Luftwaffe Encore.

Pre-publication offer, only $19.95 plus $2.00 Media Mail shipping. Priority Mail extra.

Pay via Paypal to jrbayer3@yahoo.com, or send check or money order to:

The Glenn Curtiss Press

c/o Bayer

8501 E. Alameda Ave.


Denver, CO 80230-6891

01/24/2005 @ 23:53 [ref: 9250]
 Gérard FAVIER
 Lille, CA
I am the owner of a Piper model:L4 H # 44-80665 and ordered on contract N° AF 36506 of 26th october 1944 received by USAAF at Lock Haven.
I am researching the history of this L4 and I would like to hear from anyone who, where,when flew this type of aircraft during and after the world war two.
Thank you in advance for all information.
12/04/2004 @ 11:23 [ref: 8782]
 sam teodosio
 Manila, Philippines, FL
Hi, I'm a researcher regarding grasshopper!I would like to find out the specifications and servicing to this aircraft and all necessary informations

11/12/2004 @ 21:58 [ref: 8616]
 Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Spain, OTH
I am the owner of the Piper L-4J 44-80669. At the moment this in the Fundación Infante de Orleans, in Madrid. (Spain)
I am looking for information on the time in which served in the 5th Armored division, in europa (Dec 1944 to May 1945), pictures, names of people that flew her, etc.
It would be you very grateful, because I am trying to restore it it but faithful to the reality.
thank you to all.
Calixto Alberto de León
07/23/2004 @ 08:15 [ref: 7885]
 Allen Simonson
 Sargeant, MN
The aircraft you display in your Aircraft Exhibits list is an Aeronca L-3 058-B and not a Piper L-4J. I toured your museum on April 3,02 and saw the L-3 which I owned in 1956 & 1957 (N47373). I was browsing through U.S. museums and came across the picture, the tail number on the L-3 is 326886.
I did all my cross country training and eventually got my pilots license from that aircraft. It is beautifully restored. You have an exellent museum.
Thank You,
Allen Simonson
33573 680 Ave.
Sargeant Mn. 55973-8571
e-mail ajsimon@smig.net
05/09/2002 @ 16:17 [ref: 4912]


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