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"Bazookas on Piper Cubs," Topic

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Kaoschallenged24 Feb 2010 9:23 p.m. PST

After ordering the new 1/600 L-4 Piper Cub by Si at Bend Sinister I decided to poke around and read up on its use. I found this statement on Wiki."L-4s were also sometimes equipped with lashed-on infantry bazookas for ground attack." So taking that with a grain of salt I was wondering if anyone had anymore information on this? Were they useful? Where were they used? By who?.


Kaoschallenged24 Feb 2010 9:31 p.m. PST

Ok. Sorry. I found it. What an intersting story. :). Robert

Here is some information about the "Rosie the Rocketeer" aircraft, and Bazooka Charlie, the pilot.

During WWII, a Moline man placed several Bazookas under the wings of His Piper Cub Scout plane. He then used the plane to attack German tanks. I believe his name was Carpentier or Carpenter. Can you give me any more information?
A: Charles "Bazooka Charlie" Carpenter, a native of Edgington in southern Rock Island County, graduated from Rock Island High School and Centre College in Danville, Ky. He was teaching history at Moline High School when he joined the Army in 1942. File Photo Major Charles Carpenter with his plane, ``Rosie the Rocketeer,'' somewhere in France. His battlefield exploits in the tiny plane won him a variety of nicknames: ``Bazooka Charlie'', ``The Mad Major'' and ``Lucky Carpenter.''
In 1944, by then a major, he arrived in France, where his assignment was flying a Piper Cub on reconnaissance missions in front of the 4th Armoured Division of Gen. George Patton's Third Army. Ignoring regulations against arming the tiny recon planes, Major Carpenter attached six Bazooka launchers to the wings of ``Rosie the Rocketeer'' and began attacking German armour. Threatened with court-martial, he was saved that fate by Gen. Patton himself, who not only stopped the disciplinary proceedings but awarded the major a medal for bravery. Major Carpenter was soon known the world over. The Army newspaper, Stars and Stripes, featured him and his exploits several times, as did papers as far-flung as the New York Sun and the London Times. The Associated Press reporter Wes Gallagher, in a 1945 article in Liberty Magazine, said Major Carpenter was ``a legend in an outfit where reckless bravery is commonplace.'' He told Gallagher that his idea of fighting a war was ``to attack, attack and then attack again.'' By war's end, Major Carpenter had destroyed six German tanks, participated in several ground fights (he'd land on the battlefield and lend a hand), won a Silver Star and an Air Medal and been promoted to lieutenant colonel. Discharged from the Army after it was discovered he had Hodgkins Disease, he was given just two years to live. He made if for 20 years; he died in 1966 in Urbana, where he had taught school since the war's end. He is buried at Edgington Cemetery."



Kaoschallenged24 Feb 2010 10:19 p.m. PST

"Here's a bit more on L-4 Piper Cubs used to hunt tanks:

Within 4th Armored Division three pilots assigned to the artillery liasion squadron had fitted their L-4 aircraft with 6 bazookas (a bundle of three under each wing just outboard of the struts)for attacking ground targets. These pilots were:
The squadron CO, Major Charles Carpenter flying Rosie the Rocketer, and 2nd Lieutenants Roy Carson and Harley Merrick.
Two instances where these aircraft made successful attacks were:
19 September near Arracourt Major Carpenter attacked a column of Panther tanks advancing on CCA of 4th Armored Division. He made three diving passes on the column firing 2 bazooka rounds per pass. On his third firing run Major Carpenter hit and knocked out one of the Panthers hitting it once in the turret. The crew abandoned the tank which subsequently burned. The column withdrew to cover in part because of his action.
On 12 November near Guebling France one of the three L-4's from 4th Armored attacked a column of SPW half tracks knocking out 1 or 2 vehicles. Which pilot was not specified in the account I have.
Major Carpenter was officially credited with 5 tanks destroyed by the end of the war."


Jovian124 Feb 2010 10:25 p.m. PST

Great. Now some nut will want his FAO to be able to do ground attack missions in his Piper Cub in our Flames of War games without paying any additional points because there were plenty of bazookas in late war!

Kaoschallenged24 Feb 2010 10:50 p.m. PST

Good thing I don't play FoW :). Robert

Combat Colours24 Feb 2010 11:28 p.m. PST

Thanks for sharing! Pretty cool!

psiloi25 Feb 2010 1:55 a.m. PST

Who would even think of this?!?!?!?!? Well, okay , the guys in the article. I wonder how they activated the bazookas?

Arrigo25 Feb 2010 3:09 a.m. PST

probably an electrical wiring to the firing pin.

Klebert L Hall25 Feb 2010 4:20 a.m. PST

This guy should be more famous – I'd never heard of him before.

Cold Steel25 Feb 2010 4:35 a.m. PST

The Germans had their dreaded Stukas. The Russians, the flying tank. Imagine how terrified the Germans must have felt to be attacked by a lawn mower with wings!

psiloi, bazookas were electrically fired. Easy enough to string a piece of como wire from the launcher to a simple switch in the cockpit. Early post-war Army helo pilots did the same thing, eventually leading to the development of the attack helo.

John the OFM25 Feb 2010 5:36 a.m. PST

As for mounting a bazooka on our Piper Cubs, Orwell said it best. "That which is not forbidden is compulsory."

I am just glad to see that the pilot is not firing it from inside the cockpit.

That is why I mount Gatling guns on my elephants.

XRaysVision25 Feb 2010 5:56 a.m. PST

Ok, so now I have to find a 15mm Grasshopper and retrofit both the model and the rules….

Sundance25 Feb 2010 7:22 a.m. PST

I'd heard about that before, but didn't give it a second thought. Great information!

vonMallard25 Feb 2010 8:33 a.m. PST


The last aerial kill by US forces in the ETO is shown here, where Lt's. Duane Francies and Bill Martin shoot down a Fiesler Storch with their Colt .45 Automatics

Kaoschallenged25 Feb 2010 8:39 a.m. PST

And as I mentioned in another thread during the invasion of North Africa in '43, three L-4s flew off an aircraft carrier. And used the "Brodie Device" in the Pacific. Robert


Kaoschallenged25 Feb 2010 8:51 a.m. PST

Well according to "Patton's vanguard: the United States Army Fourth Armored Division"by Don M. Fox Pg 142, Maj. Carpenter rigged up some push buttons in the cockpit so that he fire them one at a time or all six at once. Robert

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2010 9:50 a.m. PST

Back in WW2 you could still do some cowboy stuff.

I recall reading about a PBY pilot in the Pacific who scrounged up some M-2s and put six of them in the nose of his aircraft. People thought he'd tear up the nose with the recoil and vibration, but it worked. No notable victories, and he didn't do it very long, is my vague recollection.

I believe infantry improvise some today, but you don't get to fool around with the multimillion dollar vehicles anymore.

As for FOW, let them do it. The piper has no targeting aids, his odds of hitting are very low, and he can't spot while he's playing with his toys. This shouldn't be a game breaker if you put reasonable numbers on things. His six tank kills probably resulted from hundreds of shots. With four shots per sortie, five sorties per week for a year, that's one hit in 160 shots or so. Don't tell me a guy like that didn't fire all four shots every time he flew. So throw three dice, on triple sixes you kill a tank. One try per scenario. Why not?


Only Warlock25 Feb 2010 10:41 a.m. PST

…AND he has to have a painted and Kit-bashed model of the Cub with Bazookas attached, preferably with a Rocket-Plus exhaust modeled in mid-firing.

And maybe the Pilot giving the Germans "The Finger".

tuscaloosa25 Feb 2010 10:55 a.m. PST

You would think a column of Panthers would put up more than enough MG fire to make an L5 pilot think twice about flying into bazooka range…

Fatman25 Feb 2010 12:10 p.m. PST

OK just read about the Brodie Device, one question. How did pilots with balls that big get them into a cockpit the size of the Bird Dogs!?!


PS Never mind that how could they walk?

Kaoschallenged25 Feb 2010 12:20 p.m. PST

Here are some photos of the "Brodie Device" :). Robert


inverugie25 Feb 2010 1:46 p.m. PST

In a similar vein, in the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin there is an Me.108 (Taifun) with Panzerfausts both under and over the wings!

miscmini Fezian25 Feb 2010 2:38 p.m. PST

The Civil Air Patrol is credited with sinking two U-boats during WWII. The CAP did it with "those country-club pilots" and their "toy planes" armed with bombs and depth charges. picture

Kaoschallenged25 Feb 2010 3:54 p.m. PST

"On 9 November, Ranger launched its 3 Army L-4 Piper Cubs, which would be used as observation platforms. The 3 little single-engine planes were led by Captain Ford E. Allcorn, who took off into a 35-knot headwind, 60 miles from shore, running into anti-aircraft artillery from US ships, which were obviously unaware of the identity of the 3 aircraft.
French shore batteries also fired at the Pipers as they went over the beach. Capt Allcorn was wounded and his aircraft set on fire. He was barely able to sideslip his stricken plane to the ground, then drag himself from it before it exploded. Capt Allcorn thus had the unique, and somewhat dubious, distinctions of flying the first Cub from an aircraft carrier, becoming the first Army aviator to be wounded in the campaign, and the first to be shot down in the campaign."


Kaoschallenged25 Feb 2010 6:10 p.m. PST

"The Germans had their dreaded Stukas. The Russians, the flying tank. Imagine how terrified the Germans must have felt to be attacked by a lawn mower with wings!"

IIRC the Germans did fear the Spotter aircraft. If they were around and spotted then a US Artillery barrage could soon follow. Robert

Kaoschallenged25 Feb 2010 9:28 p.m. PST

"In a similar vein, in the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin there is an Me.108 (Taifun) with Panzerfausts both under and over the wings!

I have also seen someone mention Storchs with Panzerfausts too. Does anyone have any sources for these? Robert

inverugie26 Feb 2010 9:48 a.m. PST

Can't vouch for the Storchs, but I've seen the Taifun myself and, given where it is being displayed, assume that it isn't simply someone's 'flight of fancy'.

Kaoschallenged26 Feb 2010 9:54 a.m. PST

"Can't vouch for the Storchs, but I've seen the Taifun myself and, given where it is being displayed, assume that it isn't simply someone's 'flight of fancy'."

Any info on its use? Robert

Klebert L Hall26 Feb 2010 10:23 a.m. PST

You would think a column of Panthers would put up more than enough MG fire to make an L5 pilot think twice about flying into bazooka range…

There are two major problems with that assessment.

(1) This man was a lunatic – he landed his aircraft on active battlefields and got out to help. Being shot at with machineguns was probably his idea of fun.

(2) In an actual battle, the guys in the Panthers are less likely to notice the Piper Cub, and/or stick their heads outside the tank to shoot at it than it seems when just thinking about it. If they did notice the Piper, they probably didn't think it was a threat.

Kaoschallenged26 Feb 2010 1:56 p.m. PST

I think they learned pretty fast as I mentioned above :). Robert

Kaoschallenged28 Feb 2010 9:14 a.m. PST

And yet another obscure one LOL. Robert

"This BU-181 was transformed into an anti-tank role with a pair of panzerfausts
mounted on each wing. This experiment was quickly discontinued."


"Die Bü 181 der 3. Panzerjagdstaffel erhielten am 19. April 1945 ihre
Feuertaufe. Sechs Bestmann starteten um 20.20 Uhr vom Flugplatz Ringingen aus in
den Raum Tübingen. Zwar entdeckten die Besatzungen keine Panzer, konnten aber
einige alliierte Lastkraftwagen zerstören. Einen Tag später, an Adolf Hitlers
letztem Geburtstag, wiederholten die Bücker ihre Angriffe. Im Morgengrauen des
24. April startete die 3. Panzerjagdstaffel zum vermutlich letzten Kampfeinsatz

…six Bü 181s of 3. Panzerjagdstaffel (tank hunting squadron) flew their first
sortie against Allied armour at 20h20 in the vicinity of Tübingen on 19 April
1945. Although the crews (pilot & navigator) failed to locate any tanks, a
number of Allied trucks were destroyed. The sortie was repeated on the following
day. 3. Panzerjagdstaffel flew what was probably their last sortie of the war at
dawn on the 24th …"


Kaoschallenged28 Feb 2010 3:15 p.m. PST

And another. Robert



Kaoschallenged28 Feb 2010 5:54 p.m. PST

A little more about the BRAUNSCHWEIG LF-1 ZAUNKöNIG with PANZERFAUST. Sorry about the translation LOL. Robert

Our V2 happened yet involved in the winter 1944/1945 in the Program a program of anti-tank. The device is found and "wearing" a Panzerfaust (Lance grenade German anti-tank close-range) to test the feasibility of attacks using light aircraft. L 'we know very little about this little episode laudable, in large part because it lies at the extreme end of the war. Some comments are needed, however.
Tout d'abord le LF1 s'avère absolument dépourvu de tout blindage ,ce qui le rend très vulnérables au éclats de son arme dont la portée limitée l'oblige à être tiré prés de la cible . Firstly the LF1 is absolutely devoid of any shield, making it very vulnerable to bursts of the gun which limited the forces to be based near the target.
Ensuite ,le Panzerfaust est une arme très imprécise par vent de travers ,ce qui rend son utilisation hasardeuse dans la majorité des plans d'attaque ,chose aggravée si le pilote ne corrige pas la symétrie de son appareil (Le LF1 ,de part son architecture ,dut en effet connaître un lacet inverse assez prononcé ). Then, the Panzerfaust is a very imprecise weapon in a crosswind, making its use hazardous in most of the attack plans, something worse if the driver does not correct the symmetry of the device (The LF1, due to its architecture , had in fact know a fairly pronounced yaw).
Enfin ,notons qu'employer un appareil comme le LF1 comme talon d'essai pour les « assauts aériens au Panzerfaust » signifie que les véritables assauts s'effectueront à partir d'appareils analogues (et c'est ce qui se passera ) .Or ,si une vitesse excessive nuit à la précision des assauts ,une trop grande lenteur accroît la vulnérabilités de l'appareil face aux tirs venus du sol ,chose d'autant plus dommageable qu'aucun appareil analogues au LF-1 (Fi 156 ,Bü 181 ) ,n'est doté d'une quelconque protection .Les gamins seront lancés sur leurs Bücker bardés de panzerfaust ,en avril 1945 ,se rendront bien compte de l'ineptie du concept ,mais à leurs dépends ! Finally, note that using a device such as LF1 heel test for "air assaults at Panzerfaust" means that real attacks will be made from similar devices (and this happens). But if excessive speed affects the accuracy of assaults, excessive slowness increases the vulnerability of the unit facing the firing from the ground, something far more damaging that no device similar to the MQ-1 (Fi 156, Bü 181) is provided with any protection. The boys will be launched on their Bücker barded panzerfaust in April 1945, will be well aware of the absurdity of the concept, but at their expense!


Kaoschallenged28 Feb 2010 9:49 p.m. PST

As the Panzerfaust only had a short effective range I wonder how effective they could have been. Robert

Kaoschallenged03 Mar 2010 10:33 a.m. PST

Just got the 2 Piper Cubs from Si at Bend Sinister and wanted to say thanks and that they are really a nice looking miniature. Ill be making one into the Bazooka armed one for sure LOL :). I look forward to whats coming next ;).I may have to order a coupla more for the RAAF. Robert

Kaoschallenged10 Apr 2010 3:45 p.m. PST

Still looking for the info on the Storchs. So far all I can find are that some were used to carry Panzerfaust armed troops late in the war. Robert

Tommiatkins11 Apr 2010 1:15 a.m. PST

Bazooka Charlie was a character in Warlord comic in the 1970's and 80's

He did pretty much what the real one did and then more, like knocking down bridges with dozens of king tigers travelling across them , and sinking German Battleships by shooting down the funnels.

Kaoschallenged11 Apr 2010 9:06 p.m. PST

I bet that Maj. Carpenter was the inspiration for the British Bazooka Charlie. Robert

Kaoschallenged12 Apr 2010 8:57 a.m. PST

I notice that the aircraft isn't a L-4 BTW LOL. Looks kinda like an Auster Robert



Kaoschallenged24 Nov 2011 12:53 p.m. PST

The "Best Tank-Busting Aircraft of WWII?" reminded me of this LOL. Robert

Kaoschallenged27 Nov 2011 3:13 p.m. PST


Kaoschallenged27 Nov 2011 4:19 p.m. PST



Kaoschallenged28 Nov 2011 12:56 p.m. PST


Kaoschallenged02 Dec 2011 8:22 a.m. PST


Kaoschallenged03 Dec 2011 5:57 p.m. PST



"The Panzerfaust equipped Bu 181 were used in combat. From what I recall most missions involved destroying abandoned German equipment that was behind Russian lines. I remember that he found it particularly ironic that his last act of war was to destroy a particularly aged He111 that had been abandoned on an airfield.

I have just got a copy of Scale Models Magazine for March 1982, which has an article by Rick Chapman on the trials, tactics and operational use of these Buckers, based on an interview with, and the logbook of, one of the pilots, OFw Buchsteiner.

Buchsteiner, previously an instructor, flew SK+WQ in 3 Panzerjagdstaffel, based at Kaufbeuren, the home of A/B 23. Leader of the Staffel was Oblt Dragenscheck, and the unit formed on 7 or 8 April, 1945. Training was completed on 18 April, and the unit deployed to Ringingen the following day, with Buchsteiner being paired with Fw Diebl as his co-pilot.

The staffel, which comprised 12 aircraft, made its first attack on an allied convoy at 20.20 that evening with 6 planes. They returned at 20.50 having destroyed a small number of trucks but failing to destroy any tanks. Constantly moving and operating at dawn and dusk, on of the final operations was on 24 April, flying from a field near Immenhofen to destroy abandoned Wehrmacht vehicles and aircraft. The unit disbanded at Reit im Winkel on 4 May.

Although equipped to carry 4 Panzerfaust, it was rumoured that only the 2 under the wings were used operationally. Also, crosses on upper wings and fuselage and swastika were white outline, crosses black and white under wings, and, although there is no mention of it in the article, a small colour painting of Buchsteiner`s plane on the cover of the magazine shows a white WNr above the swastika (201214?)"


Kaoschallenged04 Dec 2011 12:22 p.m. PST

I had some continued to look for the doc on this curious trick, and I found the list of units and missions of these aircraft and their crews …
The Panzerfaust-Trebbin Kommando, which attaqqua the Red Army on 21 April 1945 … No machine is returned, and one pilot survived!
The pilot Hitlerjungend came from and were trained in part by the Oberfeldwebel Buchsteiner (except a driver trained by Oberst Adolf Dickefield) …

The Tiefenangriffsgruppe Bu-181 (TAG Bu 181) which came into service in March 1945 in the area of Wittenberg …
Activity unit:
* The 18.04.45 from Finow, aircraft landing area Werneuchen / Munchenerg / Wriezen …
* The 20 .04.45 since Eberswalde and Neuruppin …
* moved to Perleberg.
After it conducted a retreat on Parchim and then Ludwiglust Eggebek / Tarp where the unit traveled to Britain.

-The Panzerjagdgruppe.2 which came into service in Czechoslovakia Reichenberg … (no trace of its actions against).
-The Panzerjagdstaffel.3 (PzJStf.3) which Opper in southern Germany since the area Schongau / Kaufbeuren combatre for the American tank …
On that occasion the pilot of Bü 181 (Wener Diermayer) "yellow 10", WNr 502,167, turned heels and arose in Dübendorf (Switzerland), April 18 1945 …"


Kaoschallenged05 Dec 2011 4:03 p.m. PST

As an aside there were the FW-190s armed with the Panzerschreck 2. Robert

"In the beginning of 1944, due to the difficult situation on the Eastern Front, the Luftwaffe was in desperate need of an attack plane with armament capable of destroying armored vehicles including heavily armored tanks (heavy tanks). In this situation, it became vital to arm Fw 190F planes with offensive armaments other than bombs. This was not an easy task, because the Luftwaffe had not developed weapon systems adaptable for mounting in light fighter planes. The only way to solve this problem was by trial and error until the proper armament could be find. First tested on the Fw 190F was the 280 mm mortar W.Gr. 28/32 with high explosive warhead. This missile was judged as unusable because of it's unstable and highly curved flight path that made it impossible to aim them into the targets. Next tested was the Panzerschreck 1 missile launcher combined into two three barreled units mounted under wings on ETC 50 or ETC 70 bomb racks. Each missile had a hollow-charge warhead. They were soon replaced by the more modern Panzerschreck 2 (PD 8.8) launchers combined in units consisting of two launchers with 88 mm missiles with hollow-charge warheads that could be fired individually or in salvos. Equipped in this manner, a Fw 190F-8 (W.Nr. 580383) was tested by Major Eggers at Udetfeld Air Base. The results obtained were satisfactory but there were also some disadvantages like the missile's short (137 m) range and limited accuracy. Despite this, in October 1944 a small number of Panzerschreck 2 equipped planes were delivered to service units on the Eastern Front."


Kaoschallenged07 Dec 2011 9:02 a.m. PST
Kaoschallenged12 Mar 2012 12:08 p.m. PST

Since John the OFM brought the subject up recently. Robert

johnnytodd13 Mar 2012 3:38 p.m. PST

I may have to change plans and build a model of this grasshopper in 1/56th scale.:


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