"Bazooka Charlie" and "Rosie the Rocketter"

- US Army Photo

In 1944, Charles Carpenter was assigned to combat duty in France with the 1st Bombardment Division. and was assigned an L-4H Grasshopper to fly artillery support and reconnaissance missions in support of the U.S. 4th Armored Division. His glorified J-3 Cub, a small fabric-covered, unarmored two-seat 65 hp and no radio aboard, had a combined cargo and passenger weight capacity of approximately 232 pounds.

Feeling he was not effective enough in the war efforts, "Charlie" decided to mount six M1 bazookas that each fired a single M6 anti-tank rocket by means of a battery igniter and a toggle-lanyard control operated from a jerry-rigged cockpit switch.

The little Grasshopper now packed a wallop with the six M6 rockets with a HEAT warhead that could penetrate approximately three inches of armour at a 30° impact angle.

Carpenter's plane became known as "Rosie the Rocketeer", and by war's end, "Charlie" and "Rosie the Rocketeer" managed to destroy or immobilize several German armoured cars and tanks, and be officially credited with six tanks destroyed.

The Associated Press reporter Wes Gallagher, in a 1945 article in Liberty Magazine, concluded that the major was "a legend in an outfit where reckless bravery is commonplace."

'If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.'
- Dalai Lama

.

 


Leave a comment