The Pilot who strapped Bazookas to his Plane (World War II) | Summary and Q&A

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July 31, 2021
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The Pilot who strapped Bazookas to his Plane (World War II)

TL;DR

Major Charles Carpenter, also known as Bazooka Charlie, was an American pilot in World War II who destroyed several German tanks and armored vehicles using bazookas, while flying in his light reconnaissance airplane.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Major Charles Carpenter earn his nickname Bazooka Charlie?

Major Carpenter earned the nickname Bazooka Charlie for mounting bazookas onto his light reconnaissance airplane and using them to destroy enemy tanks and vehicles during World War II.

Q: What type of aircraft did Major Carpenter use for his missions?

Major Carpenter used a Piper L4H Grasshopper light reconnaissance airplane for his missions, which was initially designed for surveillance and reporting enemy positions.

Q: How did Major Carpenter destroy enemy tanks and vehicles using bazookas?

Major Carpenter dove his aircraft directly at the enemy tanks and fired the bazookas from above, aiming for the top of the turret. This tactic allowed him to take advantage of lighter protection on the turret and increased the chances of disabling the vehicles.

Q: How was Major Carpenter recognized for his bravery and heroism?

Major Carpenter was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and awarded the Bronze Star, the Air Metal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster in recognition of his gallantry and valor in combat.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Major Charles Carpenter, also known as Bazooka Charlie, destroyed multiple German tanks and armored vehicles using bazookas while flying in his light reconnaissance airplane during World War II.

  • Carpenter initially faced charges of recklessness and friendly fire, but General Patton recognized his heroism and had the charges dropped.

  • Carpenter mounted bazookas onto his plane, named Rosie the Rocketer, and executed successful missions to destroy enemy tanks and vehicles.

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