PERSONAL PHOTO COLLECTION of Vincent Heggen, Fouron le Comte, Belgium. 

 

Altembroek Castle, Belgium...Col. Edwin Sutherland and a few days later Gen. Leland Hobbs slept here.  It is on the Dutch border.  Photo courtesy of Vincent Heggen of Fouron le Comte, Belgium.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  Grasshopper Piper Cub type L4 of the 30th Division in a field near the village of Fouron le Comte, Belgium, September 12th, 1944.  Serial Number 298522. This is the last village before the Dutch border.  Fouron le Comte was liberated by the 119th.  These photos were provided by Vincent Heggen of Fouron le Comte.  We would appreciate any additional information.

Additional Information from Philip Whiteman:

Dear Warren,

Just a quick correction in the spirit of being helpful from a British 
Piper L-4 Cub owner: the aircraft S/N 298522, fuselage marking 44-J, 
shown in the 12 September 1944 photo supplied by Vincent Heggen 
reproduced on your Old Hickory website is actually a Stinson L-5.

I own an ex 2nd Armd Div Piper L-4H, S/N 479744, fuselage marking 44-
M. The other Heggen picture does show an L-4; what a shame the 
markings cannot be made out!

I have been in touch with several 2 Armd Div veterans over the years, 
as well as the current owner of another L-4 seen alongside my own in 
pictures taken in December 1944 at Baesweiler, just inside the 
frontier with Belgium.

Pick of me and my Cub attached. As you will see, it has been restored 
to its wartime markings,

Regards,

Philip Whiteman

Dear Warren,

I did promise to do a bit more research:

There were two basic types of Liaison aircraft attached to units in 
the European Theater of Operations: the 'big' Stinson L-5 Sentinel, 
which was a two-seat adaption of the civilian four-seat 105 Voyager 
and was powered by a six-cylinder Lycoming O-435 producing 185 
horsepower; and the smaller and more numerous Piper L-4 Cub, which 
was fitted with a 65 hp Continental A-65 engine. (The joke, as told 
to me by long serving pilot and 92nd FA vet Cromwell St. Clair, was 
that Fort Sill instructors treated the L-5 as some kind of "rocket 
ship", and the Army was always unduly worried that the Air Force 
would take over L-5 operations.)

30th Infantry Division would have operated one L-5, assigned to Div 
Arty HQ, and nine L-4s one at Div Arty HQ and two each assigned to 
the four FA Bns (118th, 197th, 230th and 113th in May 1944).

Not long before D-Day, unit markings should have been applied to all 
Twelfth Army Group Liaison aircraft (some got missed). 30th Inf Div 
aircraft were all coded 44, and this number was painted in white on 
the fuselage, followed by an individual aircraft letter code. Records 
are hard to come by but, from published photographs, letters A 
through to F, H and J to L would have been applied to the ten 
aircraft i.e. 44-A, 44-B etc. (G and I appear not to have been 
used, probably because a G is easily confused with a C and I looks 
like 1.)

Ken Wakefield's books, 'The Fighting Grasshoppers' and 'Lightplanes 
at War', provide a great deal more information Ken is our national 
expert on the subject as well as showing several pictures of 30th 
Inf Div Piper L-4 44-J, piloted by Jack Blohm (and I think you have 
other images of this aircraft posted on your website).

My own Piper L-4, 49-M (tailcode 479744) was a 9th Armd Div aircraft, 
delivered to England in July 1944. I have long been trying to find 
either its regular pilot (Lt George McCaleb, I believe) or anybody 
else who flew in the aircraft.

We were very proud of our 1994/95 restoration, 
going for a semi-flat paint finish and the right marking colors, 
until a better copy of the wartime photograph I used as a reference 
showed that the fuselage codes had curved edges and were stenciled. 
Argh!

One thing that is right is that the 'invasion stripes' do not go over 
the top of the fuselage. These markings were quickly painted out 
after D-Day when it was realized that they made the aircraft unduly 
visible on the ground. Cubs arriving after D-Day like 44-79744 (they 
always left off the first 4 from the tail-code) had stripes applied to 
just the lower fuselage.

Not many restored L-planes have the medium green blotches on the 
wings and tail. Note how they look darker than the overall olive 
green on the wings, yet lighter in the direct sunlight on the tail; 
this is the sort of detail that drives aviation historians and 
restorers mad.

My aeroplane has a modern antenna in more or less the same place as 
the original (and much longer) Jeep-type antenna would have stuck 
through the roof. The extra wing tank is a modern addition, but it 
does at least have the correct red filler cap!

Please feel free to publish any of the above, together with the 
picture provided, on your website,

Regards,

Philip

Click to enlarge.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


This picture was taken on the Belgian/Dutch border on September 12, 1944.  The spot is called Withuis between Moelingen (Mouland in French) and Eisden, Holland.  The 117th was the first regiment in Holland.  I suppose this is the 2nd battalion off the 117th with a light medium Stuart tank of the 113th Cavalry group.

This soldier of the 117th is resting on the pavement of a house in the area of Sint Geertruid ( Zuid Limburg, Holland ) on September 13th, 1944.

This photo was taken in the area of Noorbeek, Holland on September 12th, 1944, 17:00.  Noorbeek is the first Dutch village after Altembroeck (see 1st photo on this page) where Mr. Heggen's father lived during the war.  It's the area the 119th liberated.

197th Field Artillery

119th Regiment

  2nd Bn, 119 IR, a few soldiers are resting for a while , speaking with Belgian civilians before moving on.

 119th IR, 1st Bn.  a soldier standing with a Belgian  civil on September 12, 1944  around 3:30 pm.

German strays are surrendering to soldiers of the 117th Rgt.  in the area of 
" Moerslag"  a few miles from Mesch on the Dutch ground.