The Wild
Blue Yonder

Two pictures...54 years apart!



Original L4B "Janey"
Bill at Anzio, Italy-1944

Replica and me,
Leland, Illinois-1998

No 70,000 feet in the stratosphere in a U2 Spy Plane, the Piper Cub usually flew at an altitude of only a few hundred feet at a top speed of...maybe 85 mph. The Germans tried to shoot these planes down with pistol and rifle fire, and Dad told me bullets whizzed around him more than once. Bill was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his gallantry on these flights of peril as well as other feats of bravery under fire. 

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Painting of L-4 Piper Cub observation plane, as it was near Monte Cassino, Italy in 1943. 
Note the patch of the 3rd Infantry Division on the tail.




Piper Cub taking off into the morning sunrise from the runway of an LST.

Janey,  being lowered onto the specially made flat flight deck of an LST at Anzio.

The L-4 Piper Cub "Janey" was an artillery spotting plane, which was used by the Signal Corps to photograph aerial shots, and as an observation platform for the brass to inspect the battlefield. General George S. Patton was a frequent flyer in this plane.
Navy engineers dropped the Piper Cub ditched by Wilfred M. Boucher of the 41st Field Artillery at Cavalaire on Yellow Beach. An air bubble in the fuel line caused a stall and the crash. Piper Cubs were used to spot for artillery. Photo courtesy of Denis Toomey

At Riedwihr, an L4 landing strip operates in snowy weather during action in the Colmar Pocket. Designed by Piper in the 1930s, the Army Air Corps L4 was used for observation, reconnaissance and artillery spotting. Photo courtesy of Denis Toomey

Janey, WW II Piper Cub, Flies Again!
Rich and Janey-1bh00027.jpg (14884 bytes)


Harold Miller knew Capt. Alfred "Dutch" W. Schultz, the World War II pilot of Janey, an L-4B Piper Cub and decided to restore his Cub to look like Janey. Schultz and Janey had flown in support of the 3rd Infantry Division for two and one-half years from Morocco through North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Southern France and Germany. It took five years to complete the restoration of Miller's Cub.


Jerry Heller with Harold Miller standing next to "Janey" with Karen Heller peering into cockpit- November 1999

The late Harold Miller Sr., of Leland, Illinois, had long been an admirer of the men who flew the L-4B Piper Cubs as artillery spotting planes during World War II. So when he had an opportunity to buy an L-4B some years ago, he did so without considering a merchant cash advance, he did it even though the plane looked as if it were ready for the junkyard.

The airplane was built in Easton, Maryland by a 62 year old paraplegic craftsman, Robert Hopkins. Bob spent five years on his "labor of love", completing 95% of the work himself.
Back seat of Janey-1bh00029.jpg (18275 bytes) Pilot's compartment-1bh00030.jpg (16804 bytes)

Not much room in the back seat...340 lb payload including
pilot and passenger

Meanwhile, Schultz's book, Janey: A Little Plane in a Big War, had been published in May 1998. Six months later, Miller's Janey restoration made its maiden flight with Miller's grandson, John, at the controls. John Miller took off from Easton, Maryland on November 22 in the restored L-4B painted to look like the original Janey. Destination: Leland, Illinois where his grandfather keeps his other Piper Cubs. It took three days for the Piper Cub to reach Leland, where it was met by Harold Miller, Sr., his son Harold Miller, Jr. and Alfred "Dutch" W. Schultz.

For Schultz, the landing of the Janey look-alike at Leland, Illinois was an emotional moment. He hadn't seen the original Janey since August 1945 when it had been exhibited under the Eiffel Tower in Paris along with American fighters and bombers. All efforts to find the original Janey since then have failed.


Photo courtesy of Jim Young
This account courtesy of Southfarm Press.

The plane Janey and its pilot Capt. "Dutch" Schultz,
are featured in the book

        Book-janeybk.jpg (16185 bytes)
'Janey: A Little Plane in a Big War'
by Alfred W. Schultz, Kirk Neff
Hardcover (May 1998 - May be out of print) 


Dutch Was A Spotter
A spotter of opportunities
To make money
Memories and

A spotter of exotic places
To Experience
Savor and

A spotter of worthy causes
To talk about
Champion and

A spotter of the noble
In humanity
Nature and

A spotter he'll always be
God's eye
In the

Available from:
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The L4 / ME-l09 Incident
Notes of Major James R. Stegall - Retired United States Army

Memoirs of an L-4 Pilot
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 Magnets or Buttons

Hats and Caps

Bill Mauldin Drawings 
from the book:
'Up Front'
  ©1945 Henry Holt & Co.
© 1944 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

All Photos property of 
Rich Heller
  All Rights Reserved
  ©Rich Heller 1997-20

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