Alamo Liaison Squadron Annual Bluebonnet Picnic Date Set
April 27, 2013 - Plans are underway for our annual Bluebonnet Picnic. Mark Your Calendar Now - April 27, 2013
Alamo Liaison Squadron Museum Now Open
We have moved into the new ALS Museum and are looking to add display items. The phone line and security system are operational. Please contact us for donations that will serve to improve our displays.
The museum hangar is coming along. Thanks to Richard Roberts, we did get the three support joists installed and we are now ready for construction on the main hangar door with electric lift mechanism.
Alamo Liaison Squadron Museum Progress
The Alamo Liaison Squadron has made good progress in the past year. Look for updates soon with information about our new museum building, the L-2 being operational, and with upcoming events.
The Alamo Liaison Squadron now has a Facebook account. Click the link below to visit our Facebook fan page!
ALS Representative helps out with ACE Academy San Antonio 2009
A member of the Alamo Liaison Squadron took the Stinson L-5 out to Stinson Field to help out with this year's San Antonio Aviation Career Education Academy. Several of the students got to ride in the L-5 as part of the program. ALS' mission includes edcuating general public about our aircraft as well as their history and the history of those who served in them. This was a good opportunity to share with a number of interested young people.
A picture of the group.
Link to a sideshow from the Express-News with ALS L-5:
The Bluebonnet picnic was held as scheduled and was a great success. We will post pictures and a report after we have recovered and had some time to process them!
Below is a video from one of our guests - the audio quality isn't the greatest, but if you double click on to the YouTube page there is a transcript available on the right.
New L-16 on the field!
We are excited to finally have a new L-16 at the field - a recent restoration by one of the ALS members.
It flew for the first time on Saturday (4/18) and looked and sounded great!
Formation Practice - New guys alert...
ALS members spent the day working to get the field ready for next weekend's picnic, and three aircraft went up for formation flying practice. Look out for the new guys!
We take our practice and safety measures quite seriously.
Article about former ALS member
Click the link below to read an article about our late friend, and squadron member Alton Kenne, who worked with Legend Cub to produce a modern "L-bird" in commemoration of those who flew the originals in WWII.
2008 Bluebonnet Picnic Highlights
Article by Alamo Liaison Squadron member Ryan Short
The Alamo Liaison Squadron was formed to preserving the history of the L-birds and the pilots who flew them in the service of our country during WWII. As the years pass by, so do the opportunities to physically honor the L-bird pilots who are still with us. At this year's event the Alamo Liaison Squadron had the unique opportunity of hosting one of the few remaining pilots who served our country over the hostile skies of Okinawa during the fighting between American and Japanese forces at our annual Bluebonnet Picnic. After a couple of months of searching, the Squadron's small veterans search task force was increasingly frustrated as efforts to bring in some of the few remaining L-bird pilots were unsuccessful. In God's Providence, and thanks to the kindness of Sentinel Club president James Gray, a friend of an L-bird pilot from the Houston area contacted us a few weeks before the event and expressed interest in a veteran L-5 pilot attending Grasshopper Gathering. Naturally, we were equally interested in his attendance and arrangements were made.
A number of the Alamo Liaison Squadron members arrived early in the morning and all pitched in to prepare the food, set up the tables and chairs, get the aircraft ready, and take care of all the details necessary to run a decent fly-in. Despite some low clouds early on we had a really good turnout of visiting aircraft. The L-bird theater we'd hoped to put on wasn't as successful as we would've liked – mostly due to some electrical issues which we will be resolving in the near future. The good thing is that the few who stayed to watch the film really enjoyed it.
The L-bird pilot, Mr. L. D. Todd of Houston, TX, and his family showed up and we talked to them about his experiences. Shortly afterwards I took him over to the L-5 and asked if we could take some pictures. Once we were at the plane, I asked if he'd like to go for a ride. Boy did he like that idea. The last time he'd been in an L-5 was when he left Okinawa. It was a bit harder for him to get in, and we had to have him ride in the back seat, instead of the front seat he was used to. The flight went well, I let him fly the plane around for a few minutes (which felt altogether too short...) and he seemed to enjoy the opportunity. Finally, I knew I had to get back to the field for the L-bird Demo briefing, so we came back to the field and landed. The joy Mr. Todd expressed after the flight was worth all of the work we'd done putting together the event. It was such a blast. Various people continued to talk with them afterwards and learned many neat things.
As usual we featured a barbeque and had some good food available for folks. During this time we talked about the history of the L-birds and of the Alamo Liaison Squadron, and also paid tribute to various groups and people that have helped us in the past year.
Right after lunch Matt V. and I launched for the L-bird demo. Basically, I take off in the observation aircraft (Usually the L-2) and do a pass, then spiral upwards and “loiter” over the “battlefield” while a narrator talks about the observation role. Then, Matt comes in and does a low pass, checking the field for suitability, then comes in and lands the L-5 and taxis back. Then a ground crew loads a stretcher case into the rear fuselage – like they would have been loaded into L-5s that were acting as the early medevac planes for the Army. Mr. Todd told us that on Okinawa, their L-5s could get a wounded soldier back to the hospital in 15 minutes – while it would take 3 hours by ground transportation due to mud and congestion on the roads.
The L-bird demo was followed up by a four-ship formation and a missing man pass by members of the ALS. This year's tribute was in memory of beloved ALS member Henry Whitemore who passed away a few months back.
A local K-9 unit then demonstrated their dogs, and talked about their work supporting police operations, as well as the US Army in Iraq.
The last flying part of the day was the flour bombing and spot landing contests. The field was a bit weak this year, with only 4 pilots participating, but we all had fun and the crowd enjoyed it, too. Some guy flying the L-5 won both... ;-). The flour bombing is something of a trick to win, because we normally take bombardiers who are allowed to drop the bomb in the target zone, so between the pilot, and the bombardier, you can get some interesting results. The closest bomb was a whopping 42 ft from the target (I think). On the other hand the spot landing contest is fun in a taildragger, and 21 ft was the best 3-point distance (no bounces or wheel landings allowed) for the day. I particularly enjoyed taking a few young friends of mine up for the contest.
We finished up the day with a raffle drawing and some folks won some neat prizes.
The weather was a bit hot and we hope to move the event back to April next year. Come on out!
Army Wings and Wheels
May 30th - June 1, 2008 - Poplar Grove, IL
If you are in the midwest part of the country, you might consider attending the Army Wings and Wheels event - which sounds very similar to our events down here in TX. Of course, we would really love to see you here as well!
Members of the Alamo Liaison Squadron flew four aircraft over the parade on Saturday, April 12 in support of the Poteet Strawberry Festival. Pictures below:
(Click picture for larger version)
Passing of ALS member Henry Whitemore
The members of the Alamo Liaison Squadron offer our deep sympathy to the family of our fellow squadron member Henry Whitemore. He was a fine man, a good friend, and great supporter of the Alamo Liaison Squadron in addition to many other accomplishments and acheivements. He will be greatly missed.
Henry entered the United States Air Force in November 1948 and retired in November 1968. He achieved the rank of Master Sergeant and had many accomplishments during his tour at Brooks AFB in the Flight Physiology Lab. An inventor at heart, he designed and worked on many projects with NASA including the first digital blood pressure machine. He also invented and held a patent on a space toilet which was used on the Space Shuttle. Other patents he held included other space physiology testing equipment such as the space treadmill and rowing machine, and a sandwhich making machine. Henry loved flying and flew his Aeronca L-3 in many ALS events and was the squadron leader for more than 8 years. He was a great mechanic, machinist, pilot and friend. He kept Cannon Field and the legacy of the Liaison Pilot and their aircraft alive and well over the last 27 years. We' will dearly miss him.
Blue skies friend...blue skies...
The Alamo Liaison Squadron participated in the funeral and provided a Missing Man Flyover.
Special thanks to the ALS members who braved the winds to put together a fabulous, and well-timed missing man flyover.
© 2013 Alamo Liaison Squadron