USMC OY-2 (AAF L5-G)
This yellow Navy N3N-3 biplane, N4009A, was built by the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, PA, on April 1, 1941.
The aircraft was in active service as a primary trainer at the Naval Air Station, Glenview, Illinois, from 1942 until 1945. These aircraft earned the nickname “YELLOW PERIL” due to their ability to shame inattentive pilots and contribute to them “washing out” of training.
It was sold as surplus to L.H. McCurley in 1946. McCurley replaced the original 225 horsepower engine with a 600 horsepower Pratt & Whitney R1340 engine. The front cockpit was removed and a hopper installed for its spraying duties. McCurley used 4009A as a crop duster in the Central Valley of California until 1958 when he contracted with the United States Forest Service to use the plane for fighting forest fires. A shortened canopy from at BT-13 was installed at that time and in 1958 4009A became California Air Tanker number 9.
After McCurley’s death, 4009A became the property of James Barr of Brown’s Valley, CA. Mr. Barr removed the 600 hp Pratt and Whitney engine and replaced it with the current Pratt and Whitney R985- 450 hp supercharged engine. Barr sold the aircraft to L.B. Mathews of Reno, Nevada
In 2005, Commemorative Air Force High Sierra Squadron leader, Charlie Gillespie, purchased 4009A and donated the plane to the Commemorative Air Force. The aircraft has since been restored to its original military configuration, with the exception of the 450 horsepower engine and a metalized fuselage. The plane currently resides at Reno Stead Airfield, where High Sierra Squadron members have worked tirelessly to keep the plane in top condition.
The L-5 was built in late 1945 by the Stinson Aircraft Corporation for air ambulance service. The OY-2 and its Army Air Force version, the L-5, were commonly referred to as the “Flying Jeep” by soldiers.
This OY-2 was delivered the day before WW2 ended and served with United States Marine Corps VMO-6 Squadron until 1955. It saw service in Korea during the Korean War as a Medivac Aircraft. The OY-2 and its Army version the L-5 were one of the most feared aircraft in both wars because of their use as artillery spotters. These unarmed aircraft were widely used as a medivac, liaison, spotter, and transportation aircraft. The aircraft is a relatively slow flyer with good short and soft field takeoff and landing capabilities.
In 1957 this aircraft was demilitarized and sold to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in Pennsylvania. It served as a CAP aircraft until the mid 1970s. The Commemorative Air Force, Keystone Wing, obtained the OY-2 in the 1980s and restored it to its military, air ambulance, configuration. It was assigned to the CAF High Sierra Wing based at the Reno-Stead Airport in 2013.
RENO/STEAD HIGH SIERRA SQUADRON
5519 ALPHA AVE.
Rick Filipowicz 775-313-4418
Executive Officer, CAF HSS
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