Museum News

L-4J “Grasshopper” Added to the Artillery Museum’s North Gallery

On 13 May the Artillery Museum installed a newly restored World War II L-4J “Grasshopper” Liaison Aircraft. Restored by American Aero Services of New Smyrna Beach, Florida in 2011, the plane now sits atop a steel post in the museum’s World War II area. Artillery Museum Exhibits Specialist Zane Mohler designed and fabricated the post mounting of the Grasshopper so that it would fit in the very limited space available. Because of the space constraints the plane’s fuselage has to be mounted on the post and then the wings, tail and other parts attached while the plane was 15 feet up in the air.

The entire mounting process was completed in six hours and supervised by Zane Mohler. The L-4, commonly known as the “Grasshopper,” was the military version of the highly popular pre-war J3 Piper Cub. Over 5,500 L-4 variants produced between 1942 and 1945.

The vast majority went to the U.S. Army for use as Air Observation Posts with the Field Artillery. Each field artillery battalion was assigned two aircraft and two pilots for aerial forward observation.