Looking Back

80th Anniversary of Army Aviation, Part III

Looking Back / Army Aviation, June 2012; By Mark Albertson   For the 80th Anniversary of Army Aviation: Class Before One, Part III “Grasshoppers Prove Their Worth” By Mark Albertson The versatility of the L-4 Cub is that it could operate on hard serviced runways, cow pastures and roads, as seen here during the 1941 maneuvers in Louisiana. Ford’s squadron was slated to participate in exercises which would demonstrate the Air OP concept on an official basis, exercises which had been put on hold because of the Day of Infamy. These exercises were to be held at Fort Bragg, North...

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80th Anniversary of Army Aviation

Looking Back, April 2022 – By Mark Albertson 80th Anniversary of Army Aviation One of the true intellectuals of the Army Aviation movement penned the following, for the 50th anniversary of Army Aviation. This particular effort appeared in the December 1992 issue of Army Aviation, pages 26, 28, 30, 32 and 34.  “Army Aviation, 1955-1962: The Foundation of Air Mobility”By General Hamilton H. Howze, (Ret.){Edited by Mark Albertson]  The period of 1955-1958, for Army Aviation, was one of gradual transfer of authority and responsibility from the Air Force to the Army.  The offices of the Chief of Army Aviation, the Chief...

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Liaison Planes at War

Looking Back / Army Aviation, March 2012; By Mark Albertson   For the 80th Anniversary of Army Aviation: Liaison Planes at War “Grasshopper vs. Goliath”[1] By Major Edward A. Raymond, Field Artillery          Here’s one on air observation, reminiscent of one of my dad’s bear stories.          It was in a mountainous coastal sector in Sicily. The sound of enormous explosions came from behind a high ridge held by the Axis. The American artillery commander was puzzled, and sent up an Air OP. The plane flew out to sea, beyond effective automatic weapons range, and looked up the terrain corridor...

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80th Anniversary of Army Aviation Part II

“Wings for Santa Barbara”[1]By Major William W. Ford, Field Artillery Source:  The Field Artillery Journal, Vol. 31, No. 4, U.S. Field Artillery Association, Washington, D.C., April 1941. The author of ‘Wings for Santa Barbara,’ Major William Wallace Ford, soon to be Lieutenant Colonel William Wallace Ford, first Director of Air Training.  * * * * *           The literary effort below was from the pen of Major William Wallace Ford, who would eventually become Lieutenant Colonel William Wallace Ford, the Director of Air Training of the Air Observation Post, the origins of Army Aviation.            The year...

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80th Anniversary of Army Aviation, Part I

Eighty years ago, June 6, 1942, the Air Observation Post was formed. The background to this use of light planes for the direction of artillery fire, is the result of a fascinating period of history, the 1930s to 1942. Airpower and aircraft technology were quickly gaining converts. Even today, new technologies breeds interest, since Man likes the new toys he creates.          Old-line methods of war, then, were becoming susceptible to change—Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry. . .   With the latter, the horse was being displaced by the iron horse, the tank. Motorized infantry was further developing since the Western Front, 1914-1918....

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Looking Back, January 1959

Briefings           Meeting the requirements of the newer Civil Air Regulations which were stiffened in 1956 with regard to flight safety and structural integrity, the Hiller H-12E was awarded official Type Certification by the FAA.  The Hiller H-12E is the only commercial helicopter in the three-place category certified under the new CAR.  In addition . . .           . . . Fairey Aviation’s Rotordyne has established a world’s speed record in the new convertiplane category in flying a 100 kilometer course at an average 190.9 miles per hour. Source:  See page 4, “Briefings,” Army Aviation, Vol. 7, No. 1, Army...

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Remember When?

(From Army Aviation archives. Page 27, Vol. 3, No. 3, New York, NY., March 1955. By: Lieutenant Colonel Thomas E. Haynes, OCT, D/A.) WWII vintage L-4 and the two characters are Major Carpenter (right)[1] and Lt. Col. Thomas E. Haynes (left)          “D.C.—Here’s a ‘Remember When?’ snapshot of interest. Of course, you’ll recognize the WWII vintage L-4 and the two characters are Major Carpenter (right)[1] and myself (left). Carpenter was sort of a legendary character with the 4th Armored Division and is alleged to have knocked out several tanks with the bazookas (mounted on the struts). My only connection with...

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Aviation Attack Icon Retires After 38 Years

Story and photos by Lisa Eichhorn: It was truly the end of an era for Army Aviation as CW5 Robert A. “Bobby Mac” McBeal took his last flight in an AH-64D Longbow helicopter on November 4 in Illesheim, Germany. Especially when you consider his first assignment with Army Aviation was that of a crew chief and door gunner in Vietnam. McBeal as a young WO1 in Vietnam playing cards between missions in the back of a UH-1. McBeal’s 38-year career began in 1966. Although his first 19 months in Vietnam were spent crewing and gunning on birds, he later returned...

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The Coop That Flew

Development of a new highly mobile, air transportable communications center, designed to direct fast moving U.S. Army forces was announced recently by the Department of the Army. The system, which has an extremely high degree of mobility, can be set down almost anywhere by helicopters, and be flown out immediately for relocation elsewhere. It can also be move rapidly from place to place on conventional Army trucks. A helicopter soars away with part of the airborne combat communications center. Inside the shelter is a complete teletypewriter room with facilities to service an area hundereds of miles wide. other shelters, all...

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Looking Back/ Van Nuys, California—Although the camera lens distortion makes it look like a protective umbrella over the U.S. Army Cheyenne combat helicopter, the pictured 25-foot (7.5-meter) long rotor blade is actually only 28 inches (71 centimeters) wide. Almost undetectable to the untrained eye, blade twist, taper, and camber—a new rotary wing design combination—are expected to greatly improve the helicopter’s flight performance. Seen in the Cheyenne’s blade shade at Lockheed’s Van Nuys, California plant, flight-test engineer Jim Upton takes a long look from the thick rotor root to the thin tip. Source: Page 31, “Distortion,” Army Aviation, Vol. 18, No....

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