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Today in WW II: 31 Aug 1944 Major fighting ends in New Guinea after Australian and US forces complete a series of successful engagements against the Japanese.   

Piper L4 Grasshopper

The Piper J2 and J3 Cub light airplanes were the predecessors of the military L4 Grasshopper. About 5500 L4s were delivered to the U.S. Government, starting early in World War II (adding to the 3000 or so civilian Piper Cubs already in the air). They were classified as Liason and designated OG-59 originally, then known as the TG-8 trainer or AE-NE1/NE2 (Navy) in addition to L-4A for Army use. Varients during the war were designated L-4B through L-4G. They saw combat as observation, courier and general light transportation in the North African landings of November 1942 and went on to serve in all theaters of World War II. During the Korean war, an improved L-4 returned designated the L-18.

The engine was a Continental 65 hp O-170-3 flat-four. Wingspan was 35 feet (10.8 m) and length was 22 feet (6.8 m).

Piper L-4, CAF Highland Lakes Squadron, 12 October 2005.  Photo courtesy Bob Pettit
Piper L-4, CAF Highland Lakes Squadron, 12 October 2005. Photo courtesy Bob Pettit.

Piper L-4, CAF Highland Lakes Squadron, 12 October 2005.  Photo courtesy Bob Pettit
Piper L-4, CAF Highland Lakes Squadron, 12 October 2005. Photo courtesy Bob Pettit.

Piper L-4A on USS Ranger during WW II.  US Navy Photo.
Piper L-4A on USS Ranger during WW II. US Navy Photo.