The Stinson L-5 Sentinel was a World War II era liaison aircraft used by all branches of the U.S. military and by the British Royal Air Force. It was produced by the Stinson Aircraft Company. Along with the Stinson L-1 Vigilant, the L-5 was the only other American liaison aircraft of World War II that was purpose-built for military use and had no civilian counterpart. All other military liaison airplanes adopted during World War II were lightly modified "off-the-shelf" civilian models.
|Role||Liaison / observation / light plane|
|Number built||Over 3,896|
|Developed from||Stinson YO-54|
The origins of the L-5, affectionately known as the "Flying Jeep", can be traced to the prewar civilian Stinson HW-75. The 75 horsepower civilian high-wing design was built by the Stinson Aircraft Company at Wayne, Michigan and first flew in 1939. The HW-75 featured two seats up front side-by-side, and a third "jumpseat" in the rear on which a small passenger could sit sideways. The design was easy to fly. Shortly after the introduction of the HW-75, Stinson became a subsidiary of the Vultee Aircraft Corporation. Under Vultee management, the HW-75 was equipped with an 80-horsepower four-cylinder engine for the 1940 model year and the HW-75 became known as the Model 105 "Voyager", touting its 105 mph cruise speed. Fitted with a four-cylinder 90 hp Franklin engine for the 1941 model year, the type became known as the Model 10A. In the postwar era, the fuselage of the Model 10A was enlarged to accommodate four seats, and the four-cylinder powerplant was replaced with a Franklin 150 hp six-cylinder engine. This conversion became the Stinson Model 108 Voyager and the only civilian aircraft commercially produced by Stinson after WWII.
Six examples of the Model 105 Voyager were equipped with 80 horsepower Continental O-170 engines and provided to the military for testing under the experimental designation YO-54. Evaluated by the Air Corps in 1940 for potential use as a low-cost short-range observation aircraft, it failed to meet performance requirements. The Voyager was then completely re-engineered by Stinson into a much stronger and more powerful tandem-seat airplane that met rigorous Army engineering handbook standards for the design of military aircraft. The prototype, designated as the Model V-76 by Vultee / Stinson was accepted by the military after accelerated service trials and entered into service in December 1942 as the Army O-62 ('O' for observation). The L-5 carried a pilot and observer in a tandem-seating configuration, which was preferred by the military for observation work.
In March 1943, with the creation of the liaison category of light observation aircraft (previous examples came from Taylorcraft Aircraft as the L-2, and from Aeronca as their L-3, along with the numerous Piper L-4) the designation for Stinson's new purpose-built military design was changed to the L-5. The primary purpose as a liaison aircraft was courier and communication work, artillery spotting and casualty evacuation. The fuselage of later models was redesigned so the aircraft could also be used as an air ambulance, or for cargo work. With a wider and deeper rear fuselage section and a large rear door that folded downward, a litter patient or 250 pounds of cargo could be quickly loaded aboard.
The L-5 series was manufactured between December 1942 and September 1945, during which time 3,590 of the unarmed two-seaters were built for the United States armed forces, making it the second most widely used light observation aircraft of the war behind the Piper L-4 Cub.
The fuselage was constructed using chrome-moly steel tubing covered with doped cotton fabric and the wings and empennage were constructed of spruce and mahogany plywood box spars and plywood ribs and skins, also covered with fabric. The use of aluminum, which was in critically short supply and more urgently needed for other aircraft, was limited to the engine cowling, tail cone, framework for the ailerons, rudder and elevator and the landing gear fairings. The L-5 was powered by a six-cylinder 190 horsepower Lycoming O-435 engine.
Capable of operating from short unimproved airstrips, the L-5 "Sentinel" delivered personnel, critical intelligence and needed supplies to the front line troops. On return flights, wounded soldiers were often evacuated to rear area field hospitals for medical treatment, boosting the morale of combat troops fighting in remote areas. L-5s were also used for aerial photography, controlling vehicle convoys, para-dropping food, medical supplies and ammunition, laying communication wire, distributing propaganda leaflets, spraying pesticide, transporting prisoners, and directing fighter-bombers to ground targets. The L-5 was also popular with Generals and other high-ranking officers for fast, efficient short-range transportation.
After tests on land, the system was first tested in September 1943 for shipboard use with an installation on the motor ship City of Dalhart. Staff Sergeant R. A. Gregory made ten good takeoffs and hookups with a Stinson L-5 light plane. During the Battle of Okinawa, L-5s operated from an LST using the Brodie landing system which allowed a light aircraft to take off and land without a flat surface by snagging a wire hung between two booms. One of the L-5s that used the Brodie system off Okinawa is now on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar facility of the Smithsonian's NASM's Udvar-Hazy Center annex at Dulles Airport just west of Washington, DC.
The Navy and Marine version of the L-5 through L-5E were designated OY-1, and all these aircraft has 12-volt electrical systems. The 24-volt L-5G became the OY-2. Neither the L-5G nor OY-2 saw combat during World War II because production did not begin until July, 1945, just weeks before the war ended, but they were used extensively during the Korean War. The British Royal Air Force (RAF) procured 40 L-5s and 60 L-5Bs, and designated them Sentinel Is and Sentinel II's respectively. These aircraft were used exclusively in the India-Burma theater of operations.
After World War II, the L-5 was widely used by the Civil Air Patrol for search and rescue work. Many other countries also received L-5s after the war, particularly India which received 200. A number of these went to Pakistan after the partition of India in 1948. From 1950 in India, L-5s were used by flying clubs to teach civilian pilots until about 1973 when a lack of spares forced their retirement.
Five versions of the Sentinel were produced for the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF); the L-5, L-5B, L-5C, L-5E and L-5G. There was no official L-5A variant as is often reported because the designation was intended for a version of the aircraft that was never built. Nonetheless, many people in and out of the military still refer to the standard "observer" version of the L-5 as an L-5A. Like the L-5A, the L-5D was a planned version that was not adopted. A single L-5F was an L-5B equipped with an experimental low-noise "stealth" propeller and exhaust system for research purposes. The L-5B through L-5G models were modified to carry a litter patient or light cargo, or a rear seat passenger sitting in the normal position. An L-5H version was on the drawing boards at Stinson when the war ended, and it never reached the prototype stage.
Today there are about 300 known examples left worldwide and less than half are in flying condition. A group called the Sentinel Owners and Pilots Association is dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of this aircraft type.
Data from March Field Air Museum website
None (technically). Some aircraft had jury rigged, anti-tank rocket launchers (mainly bazookas) installed and used with success against ground targets in WWII.
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
The L-5 is one of the most important but overlooked aircraft of the Second World War. Versatile and durable, the L-5 flew a wide variety of missions: photo reconnaissance, resupply, evacuation of wounded, message courier, VIP transport, and artillery spotting.
The United States Air Force's 25th Air Support Operations Squadron is a combat support unit located at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii. The squadron provides tactical command and control of airpower assets to the Joint Forces Air Component Commander and Joint Forces Land Component Commander for combat operations.426th Reconnaissance Group
The 426th Tactical Intelligence Group is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was active as the 426th Reconnaissance Group in 1943, but was disbanded before becoming fully organized. It was reconstituted as a military intelligence unit in 1985, but has not been active since.7th Air Division
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The 91st Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Continental Air Forces, assigned to First Air Force, being stationed at Newark Municipal Airport, New Jersey. It was inactivated on 24 June 1949.Battle of Maguindanao
The Battle of Maguindanao or Cotabato and Maguindanao Campaign (Filipino: Labanan sa Maguindanao o Kampanya sa Cotabato at Maguindanao) was one of the final battles of the Philippines Campaign of World War II. The battle was fought in advance of U.S. landings by Philippine Commonwealth military forces and the recognized Christian and Muslim guerrilla fighters against Imperial Japanese Army troops.
Japanese forces, numbering about 1,500 men of the 166th Independent Infantry Battalion, in the Malabang-Cotabato area were part of the 100th Division garrison troops, approximately one third Koreans, that were demoralized by poor officers and a defeatist attitude. The guerrillas had been destroying supplies, blowing bridges and making even small truck convoys or small patrols impossible for months even before their direct offensive operations began in April.Beginning in early March 1945 part of Colonel Wendell Fertig's 10th Military District guerrilla force, the guerrilla 108th Division began attacking the Japanese garrison at Malabang with some air support from U.S. Marine Corps and United States Army Air Forces aircraft. The 108th was commanded by Lt. Col. Charles W. Hedges, an unsurrendered U.S. Army officer, with forces at Malabang commanded by an Australian officer who had escaped from Borneo, Maj. Rex Blow. The elements of the 108th directly involved were the Expeditionary Battalion, part of the 105th Infantry and the Moro Maranao Militia Force that was under the operational control of the 108th.In late March progress was such that Stinson L-5 Sentinel liaison planes could use the Malabang strip and on 5 April Marine Corps aircraft were using the strip. By the 11 April, the Japanese had fled toward Parang and on 13 April Colonel Fertig notified Eighth Army that U.S. forces could land unopposed at Malabang and Parang with indication the Japanese had probably evacuated the Cotabato area. The reoccupation effort cost the guerrillas 17 dead and 21 wounded with perhaps 250 Japanese losses with an estimated fewer than 100 escaping. After confirmation by Marine air reconnaissance previous plans were changed so that one battalion of the 24th Division assault forces of Task Group 78.2 would go ashore at Malabang with the rest going directly to Parang. Despite Fertig's assertion no shore bombardment would be necessary a bombardment preceded the landings beginning shortly after 0730 on 17 April.Buzz number
A buzz number was a large letter and number combination applied to United States Air Force military aircraft in the years immediately after World War II, through the early 1960s. They were applied for general aerial identification of aircraft, but particularly for the identification of aircraft guilty of "buzzing" (very-low-altitude high-speed passes) over populated areas.
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L5 or L-5 may refer to:
L5 Society, society promoting Dr. Gerard K. O'Neill's vision of space colonization
ISO/IEC 8859-9 (Latin-5), an 8-bit character encodingIn entertainment:
L5 (band), French female pop music group
L5 Games, video games developer published by Gravity Interactive
Gibson L5, electric guitar
"Home on Lagrange (The L5 Song)", a filk songIn science:
Haplogroup L5 (mtDNA), human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup
Lagrangian point 5 in an astronomical Solar System
Lp space for p=5
Ribosomal protein L5, a human gene
Ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L5, a human gene
the fifth lumbar vertebra of the vertebral column, in human anatomyIn transportation:
Stinson L-5 Sentinel, aircraft used by the United States Army Air Forces in World War II
Barcelona Metro line 5
HMS L5, a 1917 British L class submarine
Junkers L5, a 1920s German six-cylinder, water-cooled, inline aircraft engine
PRR L5, an American electric locomotive
SP&S Class L-5, an 1897 steam locomotives class
Strv L-5, a 1929 Swedish tank designed by Landsverk
USS L-5 (SS-44), a 1916 United States Navy L-class submarineOther:
L5, the fifth lumbar vertebraLiaison aircraft
A liaison aircraft (also called an army cooperation aircraft) is a small, usually unarmed aircraft primarily used by military forces for artillery observation or transporting commanders and messages. The concept developed before World War II and included also battlefield reconnaissance, air ambulance, column control, light cargo delivery and similar duties. Able to operate from small, unimproved fields under primitive conditions, with STOL capabilities, most liaison aircraft were developed from, or were later used as general aviation aircraft. Both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters can perform liaison duties.Liaison pilot
A liaison pilot was a World War II United States enlisted pilot, whose wings bore an "L" in the center. They flew light single engine liaison aircraft. Included were many enlisted aviation students who washed out of pilot training after having soloed and were given the opportunity to become liaison pilots. Flight training consisted of about 60 hours of flying time and stressed such procedures as short field landings and takeoffs over obstacles, low altitude navigation, first aid, day and night reconnaissance, aerial photography, and aircraft maintenance. Unarmored and unarmed—except perhaps for a .45 pistol or .30 carbine—these men in 28 different squadrons flew low and slow with wheels, skis, or floats. They flew varied and often hazardous missions in nearly every theater—medical evacuation from forward areas; delivering munitions, blood plasma, mail, and other supplies to front lines; ferrying personnel; flying photographic or intelligence missions; serving as air observers for fighters or bombers; and other critical yet often unpublicized missions.During the campaign to recapture the Philippines, pilots of the 25th Liaison Squadron flew a dozen Stinson L-5 Sentinel aircraft in short 30-minute flights (December 10–25, 1944) delivering supplies (including a 300-bed hospital) to the 6,000 men of the 11th Airborne Division isolated in the mountains of Leyte. In another mission, an Army officer wounded in the chest in New Guinea was evacuated in a liaison aircraft as the pilot pumped a portable respirator with one hand while he flew the aircraft with the other. In the northwestern U.S., some liaison pilots flew forest patrols (Project Firefly) watching for fires ignited by incendiary bombs carried across the Pacific beneath unmanned Japanese high altitude balloons.Lone Star Flight Museum
The Lone Star Flight Museum, located in Houston, Texas, is an aerospace museum that displays more than 24 historically significant aircraft, and many artifacts related to the history of flight. The museum's collection is rare because most of the aircraft are flyable. Located at Ellington Airport, the museum is housed on about 100,000 ft2 (10,000 m2) of property, including its own airport ramp. The museum, formerly located in Galveston, moved to Houston to avoid a repeat of the devastation suffered during Hurricane Ike.Mission Over Korea
Mission Over Korea is a 1953 American war film released by Columbia Pictures, directed by Fred F. Sears, from a story by former war correspondent Richard Tregaskis, author of Guadalcanal Diary. The film stars John Hodiak, John Derek, Audrey Totter and Maureen O'Sullivan.
The Korean War provides the background, including combat footage photographed by producer Robert Cohn and a camera crew near the front lines. The prologue before the onscreen credits notes the film is "Dedicated to the Eighth United States Army, Fifth United States Air Force, Republic of Korea Army who made this film possible. To the men at Itazuki, Kwanju, Taego, Ouijanbu, Pusan, Inchon, Seoul where this story was photographed."No. 117 Squadron RAF
No. 117 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron formed to be a bomber unit in World War I and reformed as a transport and communications unit in World War II.Oklahoma Air National Guard
The Oklahoma Air National Guard (OK ANG) is the air force militia of the State of Oklahoma, United States of America. It is, along with the Oklahoma Army National Guard, an element of the Oklahoma National Guard.
As state militia units, the units in the Oklahoma Air National Guard are not in the normal United States Air Force chain of command. They are under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Oklahoma though the office of the Oklahoma Adjutant General unless they are federalized by order of the President of the United States. The Oklahoma Air National Guard is headquartered in Oklahoma City, and its commander is currently Brigadier General Gregory L. FergusonU19
U19 or U-19 may refer to:
German submarine U-19, one of several German submarines
U-19A or U-19B, later-day model designations for the Stinson L-5 Sentinel aircraft
U-19, U19, or U 19, an abbreviation of "under 19", a common designation for sports leagues or tournaments for players age 19 or younger
Specifically, one of several Under-19 association football teams
For the U19 Bandy World Championship, see Bandy World Championship Y-19
U-19 An experimental selfpropelled gun armed with 203mm B-4 cannon based on the KV-1 tank.Vintage Flying Museum
The Vintage Flying Museum is a non-profit aviation museum located at Meacham International Airport, Fort Worth, Texas. The primary mission of the museum is to preserve America's flying heritage in word, deed and action.
Designation sequences for this aircraft: