The Commemorative Air Force’s Mississippi Wing recently received a generous donation in the form of a beautiful Stinson L-5G Sentinel, restored as as an Army Air Forces air ambulance. Nicknamed Doctors Orders, this particular aircraft is reportedly a Mississippi native through-and-through, having originally been constructed at Stinson’s factory in Wayne, Mississippi.
As many readers will know, the L-5 is the military version of a civilian Stinson 105 Voyager. The U.S. Army Air Forces purchased six Voyagers for testing in 1941, designating them as YO-54s. Quantity orders for L-5 Sentinels began in 1942, with the USAAF eventually procuring 3,590 L-5s before war’s end, making it the service’s second most widely used liaison type.
The unarmed L-5, with its short field takeoff and landing capability, enjoyed great versatility in the field, serving in a variety of capacities from aerial reconnaissance, to front-line aeromedical evacuation, delivering supplies, laying communications wire, spotting enemy targets, personnel transport, rescue and even as a light bomber. In Asia and the Pacific, L-5s remained in service with the U.S. Air Force until as late as 1955.
As already noted, the subject aircraft of this article, registered as N8829, is configured as an air-ambulance, although such variants could also serve in the light cargo role. The wider and deeper rear fuselage section of this configuration, coupled with a large, downwards-folding rear door allowed the quick-loading of a litter patient or 250 pounds of cargo.
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