L-Birds back to Normandy
Saint André de L’Eure
June 2019
Jose Luis with his sense of humour, beside 'Miss Me? - Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80669 '54-G' registered EC-AJY).
Tying down their aircraft to counter the high winds.

The largest WWII aircraft gathering of the 75th D-Day anniversary and the largest ever L-Bird gathering since 1945.
The light aircraft airfield of Saint André de L’Eure hosted the L-Bird gathering which had attracted 47 WWII veteran aircraft from across Europe. Countries represented included L-Birds from; Denmark, Holland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and of course from France.

The weather was similar to that of 75 years ago with very strong winds, low cloud and rain showers. A storm was pushing northwards and all the fragile aircraft had to be squeezed in to the hangars for their protection. This was not easy to accomplish as hangar space was limited at this small grass runway airfield. A planned fly-over the Normandy beaches had to be abandoned on June 6th by most of the visitors and of course many could not make it in to the airfield at all. For the public day of June 7th again there was little flying, aircraft were taken out of the protective hangars and escorted across the airfield with a person holding on to the wing tips.

The venue was well chosen as this small airfield featured strongly throughout World War Two. It was taken by the Germans during the Battle of France in 1940 and was a major Luftwaffe combat airfield. Building two concrete runways which although unused today can still be seen. Initially occupied by Messerschmitt Bf 109Es and later by Heinkel He 111H's used for night bomber attacks against England from July 1941 until April 1942. Focke-Wulf Fw 190A interceptors operated from here flying against USAAF Eighth Air Force heavy bombers. St-André was a frequent target of USAAF Ninth Air Force using B-26 Marauders and P-47 Thunderbolts. From November 1944 the USAAF took over the airfield flying the C-47 Skytrain till it was handed back to the French in September 1945.

L-Birds back to Normandy
The line-up on the public day.
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Six British L-Birds in the Club Aéronautique de Saint André (CASA) hangar.
Left to right: Piper L-4B Grasshopper (43-0583 '44-D' registered G-FINT).
Piper J3 Cub ('379994' '52-J' registered G-BPUR).
Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80752 '39-E' registered G-BCXJ).
L-Birds back to Normandy
L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Piper J3 Cub ('379994' '52-J' registered G-BPUR).
Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-54630 'LI-7' registered G-BDOL).

L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80231 '84-V' registered F-BFMQ).
Piper L-4J Grasshopper (45-4448 'BV' registered I-GRAS).
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Left to right: Piper L-4J Grasshopper (45-4488 '49-B' registered PH-UCS).
Piper L-4H Grasshopper (44-79709 '43-B' registered N29EG).
L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Piper L-4J Grasshopper (45-4417 '43-J' registered LN-MAY) one of three which flew in from Oslo 16 hours flying with 13 stops.
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Left to right: Piper L-4J Grasshopper (45-4627 '32-C' registered OY-ECS) named 'Lucky Strike'.
Piper L-4A Grasshopper (42-15272 'B6-4' registered OY-ECV) named 'Mistress'.
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Left to right: Piper L-4H Grasshopper (43-29774 registered OY-DHN).
Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80020 registered HB-OUN).
Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80352 registered HB-OGZ).
L-Birds back to Normandy
Piper L-4H Grasshopper (43-29489 '62-B' registered EC-GQE).
L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80231 '84-V' registered F-BFMQ).
Piper L-4H Grasshopper (43-29601 '44-D' registered F-BETI later G-AXHR).
L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Stinson L-5 Sentinel (A-96 ex 42-99186 registered HB-TRY).
Stinson L-5 Sentinel (8819 '604' registered I-MEMA).
L-Birds back to Normandy
Piper L-14 Cub Cruiser (45-55531 registered EC-AAP).
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Left to right: Piper L-14 Cub Cruiser (45-55531 registered EC-AAP).
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Left to right: Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80283 '43-L' registered LN-SAI).
Piper L-4J Grasshopper (45-4488 '49-B' registered PH-UCS).
L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80287 '43-E' registered LN-RAP) named 'Timmy'.
Piper L-4H Grasshopper (44-79709 '43-B' registered N29EG).

L-Birds back to Normandy
L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Piper L-14 Cub Cruiser (45-55531 registered EC-AAP).
Aeronca L-3B Grasshopper (43-1923 registered G-BRHP).
L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Piper L-4J Grasshopper (45-4417 '43-J' registered LN-MAY).
Piper L-4H Grasshopper (43-30244 '46-C' registered G-CGIY).
Piper J3 Cub ('379994' '52-J' registered G-BPUR).

L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80287 '43-E' registered LN-RAP) named 'Timmy'.
Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80283 '43-L' registered LN-SAI).
Piper L-4H Grasshopper (43-30244 '46-C' registered G-CGIY).
L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Piper L-4J Grasshopper (45-4417 '43-J' registered LN-MAY).
Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-85273 '44-L' registered F-PCMM) named 'Miss Robinson'.
L-Birds back to Normandy
Piper L-4J Grasshopper (44-80758 '33-B' registered F-BFYI).
L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy L-Birds back to Normandy
Left to right: Arrival on June 6th and departure in the gloom early on the 7th of Fairchild J2K-2 Forwarder / UC-61A Argus (F-PBCM 'V-162').
Cessna L-19 Bird Dog (24545 'BYA' registered F-AZTA).