The L-Bird Story: Liaison Aircraft from WWII to Vietnam

The presentation will cover the history of the Liaison aircraft and their importance thought several conflicts.

The Second World War was an epic period in American history. American military organizers were able to successfully transition from a relatively small, under-equipped, peacetime professional force to perhaps the most powerful military force in the world in the space of approximately four years. They did this with a primarily civilian army and a fabulous combination of industrial ingenuity, flexibility, and entrepreneurship. One of the best examples of this ingenuity was displayed in the development and use of small liaison aircraft.
The liaison aircraft had their origin in the light plane industry developed in the United States. All but one of the major “L-bird” designs were based on civilian models currently available on the market. Liaison aircraft served in a variety of roles including, but not limited to: Artillery observation, reconnaissance, aerial photography, medical evacuation, search and rescue, primary flight training, pilot proficiency, supply, mail runs, and more. Some enterprising pilots even went to the point of arming their aircraft with bazookas and other small weapons for attacking enemy troops and vehicles. This program will highlight the history of the L-birds from the WWII all the way up to the Vietnam War.