Army Aviation

Avoiding Traffic Congestion

1507 lb 72 clarkDuring World War II, one of the biggest boosters of Army Aviation was General Mark Clark; to the extent of frequently flying about in Cubs, or as he referred to them, “Puddle Jumpers.” 

On October 4, 1943, General Clark needed to get to Naples.  Road congestion urged him to forego a ride in a Jeep; instead, he flew to the Italian port in a Cub.  His pilot, Captain Eugene P. Gillespie, over flew Naples’ airport.  Gillespie, though, could not land, since the runway needed to be cleared of mines.

Astonished Neapolitans watched Captain Gillespie land Clark’s L-4 on the Boulevard Carragiola, along the rim of the Bay of Naples.  The Cub rolled to a stop.  General Clark jumped out, commandeered a Jeep and sped to his conference.

Source:  Pages 138 and 139, chapter III, “The War Years, North Africa, Sicily and Italy,” The Army Aviation Story, by Richard Tierney with Fred Montgomery.