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 L-4 "Me 2" at Hollandia

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PacificWrecks
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PostSubject: L-4 "Me 2" at Hollandia   Fri May 08, 2009 11:24 am

Dear LBirds,

I am trying to identify and learn more about an L-4 my grandfather flew aboard during WWII at Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea.

L-4 "Me 2"
http://pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/liaison/me2.html
http://pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/liaison/me2/

I believe, this photo was taken at either Hollandia Airfield or Cyclops Airfield, and this plane was probably assigned to the USAAF or US Army unit (artillery, HQ, etc).

Also, i would like any feedback as to what model of L-4 this aircraft could be. Here is an enlargement of the engine and cockpit. Sadly, the tail is not visible to read the serial number
http://pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/liaison/me2/l5-me2-hollandia-cu.html

If anyone has any other information on this aircraft, let me know

Best,
- Justin

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BlueSkyL-4
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PostSubject: Re: L-4 "Me 2" at Hollandia   Fri May 08, 2009 2:23 pm

Early model, L-4, L-4A, or L-4B. 3 piece windshield went away on the H models. Looks to me like it has a cub type air cleaner, not the L-4 type. Anybody know when they changed air filter types?
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PacificWrecks
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PostSubject: Re: L-4 "Me 2" at Hollandia   Fri May 08, 2009 3:38 pm

Thank you for the followup on the model of that L-4.

I am interested to learn more about the life of these L-4's in US Army service in New Guinea. Some veterans describe them as arriving in crates, and having to be completely assembled.

Here is a photo of an L-4 being unloaded from an LST, it is complete, only the wings removed:
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/liaison/43-29071/1944/lst-l4-unload.html

The famous "Guinea Short Lines" seemed to have operated L-5s, while US Army units seemed to operate L-4s. Was this indeed the case, or just a trend with the limited serial number data and photos I have available?
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PostSubject: Re: L-4 "Me 2" at Hollandia   Fri May 08, 2009 11:23 pm

Not that it matters in this case but three piece windshields were installed at the factory until Aug 12 1944 SN 13981, they also started the sliding window at that time. ( According to Roger Peperell, author, Piper aircraft, 2006 ) Which was a model J, the cub pictured is likely not a J.
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PostSubject: Re: L-4 "Me 2" at Hollandia   Sat May 09, 2009 12:42 am

PacificWrecks wrote:
The famous "Guinea Short Lines" seemed to have operated L-5s, while US Army units seemed to operate L-4s. Was this indeed the case, or just a trend with the limited serial number data and photos I have available?

I think the difference is primarily in what type of organizations were operating the aircraft. The L-5s were primarily operated by Liaison Squadrons - under the direction of the USAAF. Most of the L-4s would have been much more closely tied to individual army units - primarily field artillery units who would have had specific pilots and aircraft tied to them - and most of those would have been L-4s, thought if they could get ahold of an L-5 by whatever means, it would be used.

Ryan
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paul smith
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PostSubject: Re: L-4 "Me 2" at Hollandia   Tue May 19, 2009 10:13 am

There were plenty of L-5s being used as Air OPs by the AGF, just not as many as L-4s. I think that this airplane is a B model or a late A model. There is no air scoop which did start out with the H model according to the drawings. Like Freddy said, the 3 piece windscreen was installed on all aircraft until late into J model production. In the ETO, they were theater-made along with clear leading edge fairings and wooden cases for the BC-659 radios for Air OP birds. I have no information about PTO field mods of a similar nature.

Paul
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