Ham and Jam is an association whose objective is the maintenance of flight and the dissemination of knowledge of WWII liaison aircraft, designated L-Birds (L for link), and aircraft of the immediate post-war period.
These aircraft, yet unarmed, had an important role during the second world war.
Able to arise in fields, on roads or tracks summary they were first present.
The first American planes to land in Normandy on D-day was a L-5 and four Piper L-4.
A L-5, the Marines was the first aircraft to land at Iwo Jima, and the L-5 crossed the Himalayas in support of the forces of General Chennault, the Flying Tigers.
Their flight characteristics and solid construction allowed them a great versatility: adjustment of artillery fire observation, logistics support, medical evacuation, transport of generals to their HQ, such as General Patton and General Eisenhower.
“We maudissions these small green high-wing aircraft. We knew that the presence of one would be followed by a barrage of artillery fire and we were doing everything we can to bring them down. We feared these small planes. For us they were the angels of death.”
– Officer German prisoner, 10th SS Panzer, after cliff.
The “The L-Birds”are Liaison used by the USAAF, mainly during the second world war.
The first use of these devices was to help troops on the ground to adjust fire on enemy positions, by providing information in real time.
Their qualities quickly made them be used for number of other missions: they were used as transport aircraft all-terrain, messengers for the generals, aircraft health to evacuate the wounded or drop medical supplies.
They have also served in Liaison squadrons, groups of forces special take the 1 st Air Commando Group, tactical reconnaissance squadrons, for example.
They were present from the beaches of the Normandy landings in the Burmese jungle.
Their drivers were dangerous missions into enemy territory without any ammunition.
They were nicknamed “Maytag Messerschmitts” or “jungle jeep”.
The best-known of the L-Birds, the Piper L-4 “Grasshopper” and Vultee Stinson L-5 “Sentinel” participated in conflicts on all fronts.
Taylorcraft L-2 was reserved for training. L’ Aeronca L-3 participated him in fact to some operations in North Africa, Italy, and the Pacific. The career of the L-Birds continued after 1945 in the conflicts in Korea and Viet Nam with the Piper L - 4, Aeronca L-16, Stinson Vultee L - 5, North American L - 17 Navion, and the Cessna L-19/O-1 Bird Dog.
On the “L” was then replaced by the “The“, for Theddelegation, with the arrival of the Cessna O - 2 Skymaster and OV-10 Bronco.
Why the name 'Ham and Jam'?
Why callling the association Ham and Jam?
On D-Day in Normandy, Operation Deadstick was designed to seize the Bénouville bridge (Pegasus Bridge) and Ranville bridge, two bridges on the Orne River and the Caen canal.
Only points of crossing of waterways linking Caen to the sea, the two bridges were to remain intact to permit the passage of troops landed on the beach at Ouistreham
Radio codes were defined to announce the result of the assault:
“Ham” to announce that the bridge over the canal was between British hands and not destroyed and “Jam” to indicate the same thing for the one on the Orne.