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When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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 Post subject: Bazooka Charlie
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:13 pm 
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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.

http://aeroweb.brooklyn.cuny.edu/specs/piper/l-4j.htm

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Now that would make a great movie. Too bad nobody would go to see it but Wixers


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:26 pm 
I saw a really, really nicely restored L-4 at Oshkosh a couple of years ago done up as his airplane. I think about him often while occasionally tootling around in my buddy's J-3. That man had guts!


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 Post subject: ?????
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:58 pm 
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That's probably Colin Powers L-4. He beat the FG-1D for the Rolls Royce trophy at Reno and won at Oshkosh also. It's now at Evergreen's museum.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:49 pm 
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What's that doodad in the back seat?? Looks like a commandeered Oxy bottle. That where the boys load the extra juice needed to get that "war emergency" bomb load airborne? Nothing like gobs of horsepower! :D


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:17 pm 
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Thats the last guy you want to cut-off on final! :shock:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:31 am 
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WOW thanks Jack, those pictures are awesome.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:51 am 
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A lot of the L-4s had those converted oxygen bottles put in to give them extra range for the Channel crossing. I guess some of them may have been kept for extra range.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:39 am 
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Thats a really great story. Thanks for sharing it with us Jack.

One bada$$ little L-bird!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:28 am 
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That's awesome. That WOULD make a great movie.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:38 pm 
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If that's Bazooka Charlie...here's Bazooka Joe!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:29 pm 
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Wheels, that's one classy hangar ! Thanks for the pics and the story, Jack.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:00 am 
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Ok, to stir the pot a little - here's a picture from Fighting Grasshoppers - which is one of the better L-bird books out there. It is of Maj. Carpenter with his aircraft.

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Now the question I have is - was there more than one aircraft in his unit fitted out with the bazookas? Looks to me that this is a different bird than the one in Jack's pictures...
Also was reading a back issue of the ILPA newsletter and saw an article that indicated that there may have been a bazooka-armed OY-1 similarly equipped near Iwo Jima. The letter *said* that there were published photos of a FMO-4 OY-1 that had such an arrangement. Anyone know where I could find such information?

Ryan

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:57 am 
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RyanShort1 wrote:
Ok, to stir the pot a little - here's a picture from Fighting Grasshoppers - which is one of the better L-bird books out there. It is of Maj. Carpenter with his aircraft.

Image

Now the question I have is - was there more than one aircraft in his unit fitted out with the bazookas? Looks to me that this is a different bird than the one in Jack's pictures...
Also was reading a back issue of the ILPA newsletter and saw an article that indicated that there may have been a bazooka-armed OY-1 similarly equipped near Iwo Jima. The letter *said* that there were published photos of a FMO-4 OY-1 that had such an arrangement. Anyone know where I could find such information?

Ryan



Ryan, the answer is yes. Three pilots with the 4th Armored had L-4's modified this way.

Carpenter was credited with either 5 or 6 panzers destroyed, but apparently some evidence exists that suggests that other grasshopper pilots may have had many, many more panzer kills--as many as 30+

Check out the following links:

http://www.ww2f.com/weapons-wwii/12478- ... nters.html

http://www.combatreform.com/killerbees.htm

(scroll way, way down on second link for info on book Alone and Unarmed )

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