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MAT and 15 TH ARMY GROUP I _ / 2 ,IUN lCJ4
MAT and 15 TH ARMY GROUP I _ / 2 ,IUN lCJ4
MAT and 15 TH ARMY GROUP I _ / 2 ,IUN lCJ4
MAT
and
15 TH ARMY GROUP
I
_
/
2
,IUN lCJ4
MAT and 15 TH ARMY GROUP I _ / 2 ,IUN lCJ4
HEADQUARTERS THIRD PHOTOGRAPHIC GRO!JP, RECONNAISSANCE APO 650 * * * * * * * The
HEADQUARTERS THIRD PHOTOGRAPHIC GRO!JP, RECONNAISSANCE APO 650 * * * * * * * The
HEADQUARTERS THIRD PHOTOGRAPHIC GRO!JP, RECONNAISSANCE APO 650 * * * * * * * The
HEADQUARTERS
THIRD PHOTOGRAPHIC GRO!JP,
RECONNAISSANCE
APO
650
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
The 3rd Photographic Group Reconnaissance is a combat organization
assigned to the 12th AF. This Group is committed to the supplying of
Photo Intelligence to all demanders in the Mediterranean and European
Theaters of Operations. However, intelligence ~roduced ~ the 3rd Photo
Group is utilized principally ~ Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force
and the Fifteenth Army Group (especially the American 5th Army).
In supporting both Air Corps and Ground Forces, two operational
setups have developed within the Group. Although four agencies (MATAF,
15th Army Group, XIII TAC and 5th Army) submit requests to the Group,
only two of these, MATAF &'5th Army, reqUire separate channels and
specialized treatment. Since Photo Reconnaissance for 15th Army Group
and XXII TAO does not require separate channels, their needs have not
shaped the operating methods of the Group to the same extent as MATAF's
and 5th Army's. This book is concerned solely with the two contrasting
systems which Bupp1y MATAF and Fifth Army and is issued for the infor­
mation and possible guidance of all interested personnel. It is not
our desire to give the impression that we have a perfect photo intell­
igence setup here. We feel that it fits our needs; undoubtedly numerous
changes would be required to fit our 8,1stem into any othe~ situation.
Any part of this publication may be reproduced provided the secur­
ity classifica~}on is
observed.
"'Q q
~~~~c2F~
OFll'ICIAL:
DUANE L. KIME
Colonel, Air Corps
Commanding.
~R~{ff~
Lt. Col., Air Corps
Deputy Group Commander.
15th ARMY GROUP FLOW OF DEMANDS MATAF XXII TAC OPERATIONAL CONTROL (A-2) DAF 57th BOMB
15th ARMY GROUP FLOW OF DEMANDS MATAF XXII TAC OPERATIONAL CONTROL (A-2) DAF 57th BOMB
15th ARMY GROUP FLOW OF DEMANDS MATAF XXII TAC OPERATIONAL CONTROL (A-2) DAF 57th BOMB
15th ARMY GROUP
FLOW
OF
DEMANDS
MATAF
XXII
TAC
OPERATIONAL
CONTROL
(A-2)
DAF
57th BOMB WING
51st T C. WING
I
I
I
5th ARMY
I
XXII TAG
I
(G-2)
I
I
I
3rd
I
I
"A" PRU
PHOTO
I
,
AIR
I
GROUP
I
LIAISON
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SECTION
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(
12th
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I 5th ARMY
AIR FORCE
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I
PHOTO
I
PHOTO
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'
I INTELLIGENCE
CENTER
'
I
CENTER
I
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I
I
FLYING AND
PHOTO
FLYING
m REPRINTS
PROCESSING
and
PROCESSING
I,
TOPOGRAPHY
II
BLUE TRAIN"
5 th a
23rd
12 th SODN'
of
SQDS.
941 st ENGR
3RD
PTS.
INTERPRETATION
INTERPRETATION
and
REPRINTS
3 RD
PHOTO
3 RD
PHOTO
INTELLIGENCE
TECH SODN
DETACHMENT
3RD PTS. INTERPRETATION INTERPRETATION and REPRINTS 3 RD PHOTO 3 RD PHOTO INTELLIGENCE TECH SODN DETACHMENT
3RD PTS. INTERPRETATION INTERPRETATION and REPRINTS 3 RD PHOTO 3 RD PHOTO INTELLIGENCE TECH SODN DETACHMENT
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VIM 7til4ck ct 1M getAfaH Higlt CtmtJlttVUI :faid: I I THE MILITARY,ORGANIZATION WITH THE BEST AERIAL

II THE MILITARY,ORGANIZATION WITH THE BEST AERIAL PHOTORECONNAISSANCE WILL WIN THE NEXT WAR. II

BEST AERIAL PHOTORECONNAISSANCE WILL WIN THE NEXT WAR. I I a ~ted' gebNaH 1JiPidi/nta/ O~ daid:

a ~ted'gebNaH 1JiPidi/nta/ O~ daid:

II

.

ENEMY AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE DETECTS

OUR EVERY MOVEMENT, EVERY CONCENTRATION,

EVERY WEAPON, AND, IMMEDIATELY AFTER

DETECTION SMASHES EVERY ONE OF THESE

OBJECT IVES. I'

EVERY CONCENTRATION, EVERY WEAPON, AND, IMMEDIATELY AFTER DETECTION SMASHES EVERY ONE OF THESE OBJECT IVES. I'
EVERY CONCENTRATION, EVERY WEAPON, AND, IMMEDIATELY AFTER DETECTION SMASHES EVERY ONE OF THESE OBJECT IVES. I'
HEADaJARTERS MEDITERRANEAN ALLIED TACTICAL AIR FORCE A. P. o. 650 20 March 1945 The 3rd
HEADaJARTERS MEDITERRANEAN ALLIED TACTICAL AIR FORCE A. P. o. 650 20 March 1945 The 3rd
HEADaJARTERS
MEDITERRANEAN ALLIED TACTICAL AIR FORCE
A.
P.
o.
650
20 March 1945
The 3rd Photo Group,
operating in the Mediterranean Theatre
of Operations since November 1942, has pioneered in the develop­
ment of aerial photography to meet the tactical
requirements of
air and ground forces.
and important role.
In this,
it has played a very significant
Its work has been, of necessity, little pub­
licized in relation to the publicitl given the air and ground op­
erations which resulted from the intelligence procured through its
efforts.
In the conduct of tactical air operations in support of the
15th Army Group, we have depended on the 3rd Photo Group to 8uppl,
the bulk of our target materiel and tactical intelligence.
We have
drawn heavill on its
resources,
demanding much from pilots and
ground crews,
interpreters and laborato·ry technicians.
As our re­
quirements rose with the increased tempo of our air assault on Axis
communications,
the output of photo intelligence from the 3rd Photo
Group kept pace with demands.
The following report presents a survey of the eJct.ent and variety
of the photographic intelligence supplied through the efforts of this
group. It is hoped that t,his account will point up t.he importance
. of its
role in relationship with air and ground operations and the
problems and dangers that it
faces in the accomplishment of its mis­
sion.
.~~~
~
JOHN K.
CANNON,
­
Major General,
U.
S.
Army,
CoJDlJlanding.
-'
l
.
l
., .~.
., .~.

HEADQUARTERS

15TH

ARMY

GROUP

OFFICE OF THE COMMA'NDING GENERAL

A.

P.

O.

No. 777.

U. S. ARMY

6 March 1945

AG 062

SUBJECT:

TO

P. O. No. 777. U. S. ARMY 6 March 1945 AG 062 SUBJECT: TO Aerial Photography.
P. O. No. 777. U. S. ARMY 6 March 1945 AG 062 SUBJECT: TO Aerial Photography.

Aerial Photography.

Commanding Offioer#

3rd Photographic

Group.

1.

During our operations

Offioer# 3rd Photographic Group. 1. During our operations in Italy we have found aerial photography to

in

Italy we have found

aerial photography to be one of the most accurate#

rapid#

taining information of the

and

oomprehensive means

at our disposal

for ob­

enemy.

2. I

am oonfident that the high standard of serv­

ice rendered was a direot result of the conscientious­

ness

Group. My Staff has often commented upon the effect­

iveness of your unit# and I wish to

ever willing cooperation. you have played a most import­

and

superior

efficienoy of the

3rd Photographic

thank you for

your

ant part in

the Allied successes

in the

Italian campaign.

CLARK #

Lieutenant General#

MARK Vi.

commanding.

USA#

your ant part in the Allied successes in the Italian campaign. CLARK # Lieutenant General# MARK
This book has bee puc-ea e in order to promote a better understanding of Photo
This book has bee puc-ea e in order to promote a better understanding of Photo
This book has bee
puc-ea
e
in order to
promote a better understanding of Photo Reconnaissance. The Third Photo
Group ts the oldest American Photo Group overseas, having contributed to
the Allied advance from CasabJ.8.nca to Northern Italy, supplying (at various
times) Photo Intelligence to Army, Tactical Air Force, Strategic Air Force,
AFHQ,
and Navy.
Photo Reconnaissance was a much misunderstood weapon at the beginning
of the war. When the Group started to fly for 7th Army in North Africa and
Sicily, we found that Army was not educated as to the capabilities and limit­
ations of Photo Reconnaissance, and we were not always sure of the exact
type of ?hoto Recon desired qy Army. We both learned the hard way - by ex­
perience. Because of the rapid advance, in many cases, liaison became
difficult, and delivery of demands ao4 prints a matter of guesswork. The
Group had to teach the divisional commanders and their staff what Photo
Recon could and could not do. The Army also had to teach us what it want­
ed and what it did not want. Eventually out of the hodge-podge came some
semblance of a s,ystem.
During and after Salerno,
the Group supported 5th
Army, and the system began to take defin1te shape, and efficiency and
speed were attained. Bottlenecks and kinks had been ironed out and Photo
Reconnaissance in SlIP!1Ort of Army came into its own.
In supporting Tactical Air Force, similar problems arose, but on a
smaller scale.
This time Air Corps was talking to Air Corps.
The bottle­
necks were fewer and easier to find. At present, both Tactical Air Force
and Army appreciate aerial photography as never before, and use it to the
fullest extent. One hundred percent cooperation and understanding prevail.
In this book it 1s our desire to present the system and developments
experiences.
;;j:~.or0= "trlu & e=r"
Major, Air Corps.
JOHN P. SCIrnEDE
Captain, Air Corps.
The THIRD PHOTO GROUP, RECONNAISSANCE consists of the following units:
5th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron
12th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron
23rd Photo Reconnaissance Squadron
3rd Photo Technical Squadron
3rd Photo Intelligence Detachment
941st Engineer Aviation Topographic Battalion
12th Air Force Photo Center (Prov.)
Detachment 941st Engineer Aviation Topographic Battalion 12th Air Force Photo Center (Prov.) .-" " .

.-"

"

.

TA CONTENTS 1. :2. HOW PHOTO RECONNAISSANCE IS PLANNED AND WHAT IT ACCOMPLISHES. 3. PHOTO
TA
CONTENTS
1.
:2.
HOW PHOTO RECONNAISSANCE IS
PLANNED AND WHAT IT ACCOMPLISHES.
3. PHOTO RECONNAISSANCE AND WEATHER.
4. A TYPICAL PHOTO RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON IN THE 3RD PHOTO GROUP.
5. PHOTO RECONNAISSANCE IN SUPPORT OF 5TH ARMY.
6. OBLIQUE AND nDICING" MISSIONS.
7. 12TH AIR FORCE PHOTO CENTER.
s.
941ST ENGINEERS AVIATION TOPO BN.
b.
3RD PHOTOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL SQUADRON.
8. PHOTO RECONNAISSANCE IN SUPPORT OF AN AMPHIBIOUS OPERATION ­
THE INVASION OF SOU'l'HERN FRANCE.
9. NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY.
10. COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
ABOUT PHOTO REGON•
'PHOTO Photographic In e FIEST PHASE REPORTS - These may be either verbal, ation may
'PHOTO Photographic In e FIEST PHASE REPORTS - These may be either verbal, ation may
'PHOTO
Photographic In e
FIEST PHASE REPORTS -
These may be either verbal,
ation may be waiting. They do not
aim to be thorough -
SECOND PHASE REPORTS are
more detailed,
ports, or the arrival of certain ships from other harbors.
t.hey give us details of an airdrome -
how many planes,
l'lnd in which dispersal areas
they are parked.
bridges and rail lines,
are discussed in fairly extensive detail.
'!'HIP]; PHASE REPORTS -
degree any given target.
go into detail,
portation.
Radar positions must be studied by specialists.
in the water - and any changes in these defenses.
a
certain bridge and render it useless,
and refit vessels,
bridges blown by the enemy.
BOMB PkVAGE ASSESS~~
-
may require first,
second,
phase interpretation.
tographic units because (1)
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1
­

:LIGENCE

s ~1 tary information derived from the

or radio or SPEED is their Again, their types, Serviceability of Pictures From these inter­
or radio or
SPEED is
their
Again,
their types,
Serviceability of
Pictures
From these inter­

dealing with all angles

study of photos, usually of the same object or target taken at different times, ~o that any significant changes in the area covered may be noted. This intelligence information is gained by a study of the prints ~ ~hotographic Interpreters - highly trained specialists - who in turn pass the information to the party or parties who have requested the intel­ ligence. The information thus gained may be disseminated verbally, by signal, or ~ written reports, depending on the tactical urgency of the intelligence produced. Prints, target charts or special maps may also accompany these reports. Below are brief ,descriptions of the various types of Air Force Reports.

telegraphic signals. They come from a quick survey of the photographs

to dis~over a few important ~its of intelligence upon which an oper­

essence. For example, what is the enemy order of battle on a given cluster of airdromes? Are there loaded vessels with steam up about to leave a certain harbor? Is there an unusual concentration of wa­ gons or locomotives in a given Marshalling Yard? Is there exception­ al movement along a certain stretch or road or railroad?

of the target which do not need minute study. They may tell us the condition of a Marshalling Yard, even to estimating the car turn­

over since the previous photo coverage. Often they deal with the

position and turnover of ships (and types of ships) in harbors and

along with state of repair since last cover

analysing to the nth

Experts study all installations thoroughly,

frequently pointing out the nerve centers of enemy industry or trans­

of intanded invasion beaches are studied intensely for months by ex­ perts to pick out enemy strong points, mine fields both on land and

pretations we learn what bomb load and fusing is needed to knock out

length of time needed to launch

and material our Engineers will need to replace

or third

It is considered apart from other work by pho­

it usually commands highest priority

, I
,
I

both in flying and processing, 2) e nterpretation must be de­

livered to Tactical Air Force,

may decide whether or not a repeat mission is necessary or desirable.

R.D.A.

consists of photographing and interpreting targets immediately

Bomb Wings immediately so that

they

following a bomb raid. Usually the target is photographed a half to three quarters of an hour after the raid to allow time for the smoke to clear away. This time element, however, depends entirely on the

nature of the target bombed.

HOW

AND

PHOTO

WHAT

RECON

IS

PLANNED

IT

ACCOMPLISHES.

HOW AND PHOTO WHAT RECON IS PLANNED I T ACCOMPLISHES. In order to have pictures taken

In order to have pictures taken at different times for the in­ terpreters to compare, a systematized frequency of cover is maintained

for targets in accordance with their importance to demanders.

First

of all, before an area becomes a tactical battleground, and while it is still in the hands of the planning staffs, basic cover must be ob­ tained which will enable commanders to plen their future movements. This basic cover usually consists of photographing an entire area

maps can be revis­

ed, new maps made, photo mosaics laid, terrain models constructed, and future targets selected. After this basic cover has been gained, 8 frequency of routine cover must be established. This frequency is usually determined by demanders. However, in cases where the inter­ preters and intelligence officers of 'the photo unit believe demands are unreasonable, a compromise can usually be reached which is satis­ factory to all concerned. By and large, the peculie,rities of a t8r­

g~t, its activity and potential danger to us dictate the frequency of cover. '

(such as Sicily or Italy).

With this basic cover,

Before the surrender of Italy"for example,

it was advisable to

the surrender of Italy"for example, it was advisable to cover the harbors and drydocks of Genoa,

cover the harbors and drydocks of Genoa, Spezia and Taranto twice

daily - despite the heavy intense flak encountered.

the important heavy naval vessels of the Italian fleet were in these harbors (roughly three battleships and six cruisers). The submarines that prowled the Mediterranean often put in there, and any enemy naval activity would have originated in one or all of these harbors. Therefore the Navy as well as the Air Force needed all possible intelligence continually. The constant check on these naval units also freed much Allied naval power for other operations. During the invasion of Sicily, for example, good photo recon freed 901 of the Allied naval units which would have otherwise been necessary to guard the enemy fleet.

At that time all

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2

­

901 of the Allied naval units which would have otherwise been necessary to guard the enemy
~e le8m of e enemy's troop cqncentrations and movements qy routine cover of his marshalling
~e le8m of e enemy's troop cqncentrations and movements qy routine cover of his marshalling
~e
le8m
of
e enemy's troop cqncentrations and movements qy
routine cover of his marshalling yards and supply dumps.
We
can
tell
his agressive intentions by a constant check on his artillery dispos­
ition.
Routine cover of airdromes is a must.
Here the
enemy has his
most mobile DOwer for offense as well as defense. The condition of
his airdromes changes rapidly, and so we keep a complete order of
battle on all aircraft in the theater. Our bombers must have all
~ossible information about enemy fighters,
along the route to them and home.
both near the tar~ets and
Frequency of routine
cover is in direct proportion to the act­
ivity of the target. It may vary from several times daily to once in
seven days or more. In some cases friction may arise between demand­
ers and photo units over this point. For example, soon after the es­
tablishment of the Anzio beachhead, Tactical Air Force laid on a
daily "milk run", as we called it, which called for cover of a dozen
airdromes located in a belt running from the battle line to a point
north of Rome. One day our First Phase reports showed only seven
Jerry planes on all these fields combined. Interpreters tore their
hair and swore that it was useless to cover these airdromes daily
when most of them had been bombed so thoroughly as to make rehabil­
itation impossible for days. Once - a - week cover would be suffic­
ient. Squadron Intelligence Officers complained, "~hy send good pilots
and airplanes over hot areas more often then is absolutely necessary?"
TAF replied, "~erry is smart and quick. He does miraculous things.
We want to know all the time." Conferences soon ironed the matter
out, and an equitable frequency of cover was established. It is a
good
thing to
sit down once in a while with all
the
facts
and reach
t,he most satisfactory arrangement for all
concerned.

Let us consider the demanders for a moment. What do they want? They seek intelligence for the purpose of planning military movements. Since these movements vary widely in different commands, and again while commands themselves vary, you should have some of the requirements for illustration. It should be borne in mind above all, that, tn the broadest sense, tt is possible to note a transition from the demands during the first phase of the war '(Battle for Britain), which were in the main defensive, to the ~resent demands (Army sU9Port and Tac­ tical Air Force) which are obviously offensive.

Work with the 12th Air Force and 5th Army combines purely tac­ tical reconnaissance with
Work with the 12th Air Force and 5th Army combines purely tac­
tical reconnaissance with semi-strategic reconnaissance. The tac­
tical phase is concerned with the actual battle area and the ground
and air immediately behind it. Semi-strategic reconnaissance comhs
the area from roughly SO miles to 300-400 miles behind the battle
line. For the medium bombers who do mainly semi-strategic bombing,
~e must have certain intelligence. First, they must have knowledge
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3
­
who do mainly semi-strategic bombing, ~e must have certain intelligence. First, they must have knowledge -
and ~ictures of targets in or er-t~~ de bomb load, priorit,y and force of planes.
and
~ictures of
targets in or er-t~~
de bomb load,
priorit,y
and force of planes. Secondly, they must have large scale maps,
obliques, or mosaics of the approach to the targets, ~s well as tar­
get charts of the objective itself. Occasionally stereo pairs are
needed to brief pilots, navigators, and bombardiers. Thirdly, they
must have an assessment of their damage to determine subsequent act­
ion.
And lastly,
they must know enemy flak positions,
of enemy aircraft, and course to and from the target.
oroer of battle
Semi-strategic
reconnaissance is also used extensively by the Army, ~~o must know
where the ene~ is preparing rear defense lines. A constant check is
necessary to determine the extent of activity and to discover strong
points, pill boxes, anti-tank ditches, etc., before the enemy has com­
pleted his work and had a chance to camouflage these defenses.
Purely tactical demands differ widely from the so-called semi­
st~ategic, in that they deal directly with the combat and battle-line
area itself. Tactical demands are those made qy commanders actually
planning the tactics of a campaign, before and after it has started.
What do these Generals who plan the tactics of a campaign want
to know? They must know t~e kind of
ground they are going to fig~t
on. Maps, mosaics and terrain models will tell them. They want to
see the beaches on which they will conduct landing operations.
Obliques and large scale vertical photos provide the answer. A Tac­
tical Air Force with light bombers and fighter bombers will want
pictures of their targets plus quick, frequent BDA. They must have
photos of road and rail choke points, bridges, communications cen­
ters, supply dumps, tank parks, landing grounds, and coastal or riv­
er harbors ~hich supply enemy troops. Army must know most of the a­
bove, plus disposition of enemy troops, movements, strong points, ~nd
above all, disposition of enemy artillery. Like a boxer with short
powerful arms, tactical must get in close, hitting hard again and a­
gain.
The Navy has become a large demander of photo recon.
Intell­
igence received is of great help offensively as well as defensively.
During landings at Sicily, Salerno, Anzio and Southern ~rance, ~hoto
reconnaissance kept close check on enemy harbors and ports, thereby
freeing practically the entire force of the Navy for offensive op­
erations with the task forces. Appraisal of construction and repair
of enemy naval units, condition of enemy dry docks and harbors is
invaluable. Where enemy submarines are located and from what bases
they put to sea, defenses, harbor booms and mines,
radar stations,
enemy water supply lines -
these facts
were all of major importance
in enabling the Navy to cope so successfully with its enormous task
in the Mediterranean. In fact, the Admiral of the Italian fleet,
~hen formally surrendering, remarked sorrowfully that our ~hoto
reconnaissance had kept him bottled up.
" Naturally th gr onstantly as OQIlDllIlders un­ tamiliar with this torm ot intelligenoe see
" Naturally th gr onstantly as OQIlDllIlders un­ tamiliar with this torm ot intelligenoe see
"
Naturally th
gr
onstantly as OQIlDllIlders un­
tamiliar with this torm ot intelligenoe see the part it plays in the op­
erations ot experienoed users, and the indispensable value ot it to their
suocesses.
One last ward conoerning demanders.
They must,
to demand intelli­
gently, know the conditiona under- which photo reoonnaissance missions
are tlown, and the type cameras available. Reconnaissance unite are
equipped with aircraft oameras
playing
ses, the most oazmon ot which are. 6'. 12'
various tocal lengths ot len­
24', 36' and 40'. The CQllDEUl­
der ot the photo reoonnaissance unit must, ot neeessity. decide the al­
titude at which the missions will be tlown. (ordinarily between 20.000'
& 30.000'). Demanders. therefore. should state scale desired. rather
than altitude desired. All using agencies should be trained to use
photography at the smallest scale at which desired detail may be re­
oognized.
Demanders should also know sane ot the ditticulties encountered
by the photo reoonnaissance pilot. A photo reconnaissance pilot, or
'Photo Joe,' as he is known to the trade,
is one ot the least glamoriz­
ed pilots in the Air Farces today; and yet he has perhaps the most im­
portant single job to perform. He must be a canbination pilot and
navigator, and must be an expert at both. Probably one ot the most
ditticult parts ot his job is that he must
tly ~
deep into
en~
territory. He has no triendly plane tlying on his Wing t"o give him
that sense ot confidence. It he is shot down the chanoes are that no
one w111 &Ter know what happened to him,
unless he is lucky enough to
beoane a
prisoner ot war.
He has to tly alone in an unarmed aircraft,
sanetimes as tar as 500-600 miles
into enemy terri tory, where it he
were Jumped by en~ airoratt the extra burst ot speed neoessary to
get away would OOn8\1Jle enoush tuel so that his ohanoes ot getting
back to triendly territory would not be very good. However, such
is not too otten the case. An ordinary mission would average 2-3
hours, and would mean a penetration ot roughly 250 miles into enqr
territory. Fran the time he takes ott on a mission the pilot must
navigate to his tir-st target. It may be that he will map an area
roughly 20 by 30 miles, in whioh case he must run his tlight lines
parallel to get tull coYerage and must make all his runs over the area
straight and level - which makes him an exoellent target tor tlak.
The same is true when the mission laid on is to strip a road. rail­
road or stretch ot river. Or he may have a mission whioh inTolves
taking pictures ot twenty pinpoints (airdranee, marshalling yards,
bridges, eto.) whioh requires excellent navigation and pinpointing.
'. ~
He has no banb sight except his
two
eyes.
All the time he is taking
pictures he must soan the skies tor eneau aircraft, check the ground
and his map tor landmarks. see that he is taking pictures at the
oorreot interval to conform with his speed and altitude, and of
oourse check the performanoe ot his plane. Weather is one ot his
main bugaboos due to the tact that he is fly1D8 at high altitude.
,. Multi-layers of clouds may obscure his vision of the ground to and from the
,.
Multi-layers of clouds may obscure his vision of the ground to and
from the target area.
The ohoto reconnaissance pilot's
only protec­
tion is altitude, alertness and speed.
A photo reconnaissance mission,
unlike a bomber or fighter mis­
ston,
is
not successful until the. pilot_has photographed hi's ta.rge~,
and landed ~afely with the nictures.
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6
­
RECONI AND WEATHER Until a device is in­ this fact wilt remain the electronic In
RECONI AND WEATHER Until a device is in­ this fact wilt remain the electronic In
RECONI
AND
WEATHER
Until a device is in­
this fact wilt remain
the electronic
In photo racon,
the
photo ships makes them subject to nearly
Yfuat would be considered a fine day for other
to nearly Yfuat would be considered a fine day for other . \ . 1\ ,
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17
-
.'

PHOTO

The role of weather in war is widely known and ap9r~ciated, yet

the importance of weather in photo reconnaissance operations is great­

er than in aqr other field of military aviation.

vented that will take pictures through clouds, true.

vented that will take pictures through clouds, true. High altitude bombing has come up with nMickeyn,

High altitude bombing has come up with nMickeyn,

device which gives bombing accuracy in spite of complete cloud cover. Tactical aircraft operate at lower altitudes there~ concerning them­

selves only with the amount of ceiling present.

weather problems common to all flying are present, with the addition of many problems peculiar to this field.

The high altitude used ~

all cloud weather, for roughly 95% of the world's cloud cover exists

below 25 thousand feet.

tYges of operations, sometimes can be a complete loss to photo recon because of a high overcast of clouds. A single small cloud in the wrong place can cause a mission to be a complete failure.

made very difficult ~ !!losphere. Taken as a whole, ly perfect conditions. over a large
made very difficult ~
!!losphere.
Taken as a whole,
ly perfect conditions.
over a large area,
Reconnaissance Squadrons and Groups.
over a large area, Reconnaissance Squadrons and Groups. Another problem peculiar to altitude work is that

Another problem peculiar to altitude work is that of vapor trails,

Navigation can be

which are so dangerous to the unarmed photo ships.

the high wind velocities found in the upper at­

the weather demands of photo recon require near­ While this perfection can very rarely be found

To

it does exist some of the time in small areas.

locate these areas is the problem of the forecasters assigned to Photo

Frequent use of weather recon

flights is helpful, but the most successful and economical dispatching

of flights is accomplished only ~ careful and experienced forecasting, in conjunction with weather missions.

In an or~anization as small as a squadron; it is possible for the

weat~'ler officer to work side ~ side with the operations officer and

This act­

ually will amount to an informal discussion upon the probability of ob­

personally give his direct opinion of each mission drawn up.

taining pictures of desired targets, any dangerous weather enroute, and

This last point

any possibility of the home base not remaining open.

desired targets, any dangerous weather enroute, and This last point any possibility of the home base
• is important if they cannot be immediately turned over 0 e photogra9hic laboratory and
• is important if they cannot be immediately turned over 0 e photogra9hic laboratory and
•

is important

if they cannot be immediately turned over 0 e photogra9hic laboratory and interpreters upon landing. The intelligence officer is also present during this discussion so that he may not only aid in the planning, but also obtain information on what targets are to be attempted during the day and how much work is expected to be accomplished. He is the one who explains which targets have priority.

After the operations officer has been fully informed of the weath­ er situation, he either mayor may not request that each pilot be brief­ ed on the weather to be expected on his resgective mission. Usually this does occur if the weather is at all likely to cause any trouble. This briefing would not only include target c1oudi~ess, but visibility rest­ rictions, strong winds, icing danger, and trail level. In addition, pilots are eager to know at what location they can be sure of finding large cloud breaks in climbing to and descending from their operational altitude. The threat of any instrument flying is an important mental hazard, especially in a fighter type plane. On the pilot's return, the weather officer will be present during the interrogation to obtain the latest accurate weather conditions from him. This information is tur­ ned into a nearbr weather station which disseminates it to other units over, its communications system.

apidly lose their value

over, its communications system. apidly lose their value I On days when the weather appears doubtful,
over, its communications system. apidly lose their value I On days when the weather appears doubtful,

I

On days when the weather appears doubtful,

the weather officer will

recommend a ftweather hopft to determine the exact extent of the cloudiness.

In such a situation, the operations and inte11i~ence officers will consult

with him in choosing the target area for the mission.

The idea behind

such action is to get as much photographic coverage as possible, along

with weather information,

pilot will be sent to the area where the best weather is located and his report usually decides the feasibility of any continued operations for the day.

for the combat risks which are taken.

The

- 8 ­
-
8
­
A J , N SQUADRON P,HOTO GROUP 3 r d The 3rd Photo Group at
A
A

J,N

A J , N SQUADRON P,HOTO GROUP 3 r d The 3rd Photo Group at the
A J , N SQUADRON P,HOTO GROUP 3 r d The 3rd Photo Group at the

SQUADRON P,HOTO GROUP

A J , N SQUADRON P,HOTO GROUP 3 r d The 3rd Photo Group at the

3rd

A J , N SQUADRON P,HOTO GROUP 3 r d The 3rd Photo Group at the
A J , N SQUADRON P,HOTO GROUP 3 r d The 3rd Photo Group at the
A J , N SQUADRON P,HOTO GROUP 3 r d The 3rd Photo Group at the
The 3rd Photo Group at the ~resent time has three Each squadron should have (according
The 3rd Photo Group at
the ~resent time has three
Each squadron should have (according to TO&E) 16 airplanes of the
F5 tyue (p-38s converted to Photo Recon planes, with cameras mounted
in the no~e instead of guns), ~nd 26 pilots. Unfortunately, since en­

combat squadrons

under its command. Two of these are directly under 12th AF HQ. (and ~AT.~) for operations, while the third receives its demands direct from 5th Ar~. ~ile the operations of the squadrons working for Tactical AF, ~nd the operations of the squadron working with 5th Army vary con­ siderably in the type of photography accom~lished, their basic organ­ ization is similar in all respects.

their basic organ­ ization is similar in all respects. F-5 type aircraft - P-38 with cameras
F-5 type aircraft - P-38 with cameras proved an ideal plane for photo recon. been
F-5 type aircraft -
P-38 with cameras
proved an ideal plane for photo recon.
been at full
strength.
However,
-
9
­
photo recon. been at full strength. However, - 9 ­ instead of guns which has tering

instead of guns which has

tering the theater in November 1942, the 3rd Photo Group has seldom

as Commanding Generals in the various

branches have come to realize the importance of Photo Reconnaissance, this situation at present has been overcome, and the Group 13 now op­

.ilots. erating with a full ably more specialized personnel and departments in a Photo Squadron

.ilots.

erating with a full

ably more specialized personnel and departments in a Photo Squadron than in any other equivalent organization in the Air Forces. The Photo­

There are prob­

graphic Laboratory section is composed of highly trained personnel, equipped so that they can work under any field conditions demanded, and on a 24 hour basis. A camera repair department is also composed of experts in their field, who must keep cameras in tip-top shape to withstand the rigors of high altitude flying where temperatures reach 40-50 degrees below zero. They must know the type film to be used in various seasons under varying climatic conditions. They must select film and adjust camera shutter speeds to conform with the weather ex­ pected over the target area. They must be ingenious in devising new camera set-ups to meet tactical demands. The squadron always has a detachment of Photo Interpreters working with it in the field. These men are e~erts in transportation, industry, aircraft identification, engineering, and in any other type interpretation which may be req­ uired. At present 3rd Photo Group has a detachment of 37 officers and enlisted men from the 3rd Photo Technical Squadron interpreting photos taken qy the 5th and 23rd Photo Recon Squadrons for TAF.

taken qy the 5th and 23rd Photo Recon Squadrons for TAF. The squadrons usually operate from
taken qy the 5th and 23rd Photo Recon Squadrons for TAF. The squadrons usually operate from

The squadrons usually operate from airdromes approx.

50

to 100

miles behind our own front lines -

ly 50 miles, and in the case of Tactical AF support usually about

100 miles.

flexible unit capable of moving 300 men and equipment without lOBS

of a day's operations.

unit or flight at an advanced base at a moment's notice,

ing without loss of efficiency or speed, demands.

It must be capable of setting up a forward

in the

case

of

~

Support rough­

A squadron,

of necessity,

must be a highly mobile and

and operat­

to meet specific tacti~al

a highly mobile and and operat­ to meet specific tacti~al While there are parallel units in

While there are parallel units in the Group who have a great share in producing the finished Photographic Intelligence (such as

the 3rd Photo Tech. Sq., the 3rd Photo Intelligence Detachment, and

the 941st Engineer Bn.)

gathers the rough intelligence material in the form of photos, and then starts them through the mill towards the final finished form which we know as Photo Intelligence. The teamwork necessary is started when the demands are received in Intelligence and Operations, where the missions are planned and laid on for flying, and is car­ ried on by the pilot, his airplane's ground crew, his camera crew, photo lab, the plotters, the interpreters and the people who disseminate the final Photo Intelligence to those whose operations depend upon it. In no other branch of the Air ~orce do so many different skills come in for so direct a share in the tactical operation of the unit.

the flying squadron is the basic unit which

of the unit. the flying squadron is the basic unit which Typical of a day's flying

Typical of a day's flying demands received from A-2 Target Section at Tactical Air Force is the following:

10

- ­
-
­
I 1. Approximately 8 to 10 BDA targets which the Medium Bombers in­ tend to
I
1.
Approximately 8 to 10 BDA targets which the Medium Bombers in­
tend to hit that day together with their time oyer target.
Approximately 8 to 10 BDA targets Which the IPighter Bombers
have hit the previous day.
2. Approximately 1500 miles of Railroads and Roads to determine
activity,
serviceability of bridges (permanent and pontoon).
3.
ApproximBtely a 150 mile strip of River for acUvity and study
of serviceability of bridges
(per.manent and pontoon).
4. APproximately 100 Pinpoints of various
types
(Airdranes, Mar­
shalling Yards,
former stations,
supply & hel Dumps,
Industrial Plants,
Ports,
Power and Trans­
etc.)
All of the above are listed in order of priority and importance.
The demands are usually divided
Plus the above routine demands,
equally between the two Squadrons.
there may be apecial demands to be cov­
ered,
such as area coverage for
laying of mosaics,
or flying of oblique
missi'ons for
the preParation of approach target charts for the Medium
Baabera.
The aboye demands,
after an equitable distribution has been made
and Operations then lay
on the missions for flying.
Briefing,
is done individually due to the diversification of the targets.
one
pilot may be assigned 15 or more pinpoints of various natures to be
covered in one area. Another my be assigned 100 - 125 mile strip of
railroad for ooyerage.
The above demands,
if covered completely (assuming the weather
to be good), would necessitate roughly 24 to 28 missions.
This would
allow far 1 to 2 abortive missions due to mechanical failure or inter­
oeption.
A PHOTO RECON MISSION FLOWN FOR TAl"

of course·

Shown Qn the follOWing pages are items of interest encountered in flying, processing and interpreting
Shown Qn the follOWing pages are items of
interest
encountered in
flying,
processing and interpreting a typical mission flown by the 5th
Photo Recon Squadron or the 23rd Photo Recon Squadron for Tactical Air
,-
11
.'
Photo Recon Squadron for Tactical Air ,- 11 • .' at Group Operations and Intelligence, are
Photo Recon Squadron for Tactical Air ,- 11 • .' at Group Operations and Intelligence, are
Photo Recon Squadron for Tactical Air ,- 11 • .' at Group Operations and Intelligence, are

at Group Operations and Intelligence, are passed on to Squadron Op­ erations and Intelligence. Here the Intelligence Officer lays them on a master map so that an oyer all picture of the day's requirements may be studied. At that time the Weather Officer will give a report on the day's weather outlook - which areas are clear for iIlmediate missions, which areas are expected to clear later in the day, etc. Intelligence

- which areas are clear for iIlmediate missions, which areas are expected to clear later in
Force. It consists of 20 pinpoints of various types; 6 marshalling yards for activity and
Force. It consists of 20 pinpoints of various types; 6 marshalling yards for activity and

Force. It consists of 20 pinpoints of various types; 6 marshalling yards for activity and servieeabi1ity, 2 airdromes for active planes (GAF order of battle), e.nd 12 bridges for serviceability and accom­ plishment of any repairs by the enemy (See map on opposite page). The target area for this mission might be 250 to 300 miles from the squadron's airstrip. If such were the case it would take the pilot approximately an hour to gain altitude and navigate to his first tar­ get. Slightly more than an hour would be required to navigate to and get pictures of the other targets; plus another 40 minutes to return to base. ~en the pilot lands with his pictures he is met Qy the camera prew, ~o are on hand as soon as his engines stop turning over. ~ile two of the crew unload the film, the pilot gives any special weather information to a third member of the crew, ~o that particular processing may be accomplished if the target area weather was not in accord ~~th the camera settings at take-off (the pilot cannot change his camera settings after take-off - this must be accomplished on the ground. Pilots can only control the interval between pictures). The pilot next goes to the Intelligence tent. Here he gives a fair­ ly detailed ~eather report to the Weather Officer, so that other missions can be planned. Following this he is interrogated by the Intelligence Officer, to whom he gives all available information re­ garding the mission. He first gives any visual observations, .hich might require a "Flash Peport" to higher HQ. Fe then draws a trace (shown in illustration on page (14) showing where he took his pic­ tures, bis direction of flight over each target, B.nd the sequence in which targets were photographed. He also gives the time from the start of photography to the time he took his last pictures, plus· altitude over each target (Which will roughly determine the scale of the pictures).

By this time the film has reached the Squadron Photo Laboratory where it is being processed and printed. Two sets of prints will

reach the 3rd Photo Group Forward Interpretation Section ap~roximate­ ly ~ hours after the pilot has landed. One set of prints will be used by the interpreters, a.nd the other is used by the plotters. The plotters make overlays which, when placed on the appropriate map,

show the exact areas covered by the photographs.

These "plots" are

given wide distribution, so that interested parties may request photos of the particular area which they are studying~ Before receiv­ ir~ the finished prints from the photo lab, the interpreters have received from the squadron copies of the Pilot's Trace and the Inter­ rogation Report (see page 13 ). They now have all information regard­ ing the mission and are ready to start interpreting.

-

12

­

(see page 13 ). They now have all information regard­ ing the mission and are ready
1:500,000 Air Map Used by Pi~ot During Mission 13 ­ . ~ .
1:500,000 Air Map Used by Pi~ot During Mission 13 ­ . ~ .

1:500,000 Air Map Used by Pi~ot During Mission

13 ­

.

~

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PILOT'S

of

direction

and

mission,

during

of flight

show

pilot

course

to

by

Drawn

Runs.

Photographic

denote

lines

Red

each

target.

flight

over

.'
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INTERROGA:fION r THIRD Sortie No.5PR-5M~~?5.9. .1945 Pilot: Lt. Des Voigne Observer: Time Out: 0900 5th
INTERROGA:fION
r
THIRD
Sortie No.5PR-5M~~?5.9.
.1945
Pilot:
Lt. Des Voigne
Observer:
Time
Out: 0900
5th P.R.Sq.
Squadron:
Total
Time :.? br·5q~n~
Yes
Aircraft No.
44-24727
Flak:
.
Clear to overcast at 19000'
Target Weather:
5/10 middle cl9.:tld~.ip
NE
Tanks
Dropped:
Targets and
Reference
Briefed
Time
Alt.
F/L
Number Covered or Not
Yes - No
lIonse1ice MIY's
Yes
1000
18000'
Tan­
Vtcenza
21000'
dem
AID
24"
Bassano
Citade11a Bridge
"
Castlefranco Bridge
&
Treviso
M"y' s
Nervesa Bridge
Coneg1iano "
Saci1e Bridge
Aviano A/O -
to
Ve
2. runs
6"
Motta di Livenza Bridge
Bridge at G.7981
S. Dona di Piave Bridge
Mestre .ly's
Padova Bridge
Approx.
right boom.
"
lilY's
19000'
Padova So. Bridge
1110
Not covered due to weath r
Be11uno 'MIY's

REPORT

Not covered due to weath r Be11uno 'MIY's REPORT RECO N N AISSAN CE Time in
Not covered due to weath r Be11uno 'MIY's REPORT RECO N N AISSAN CE Time in

RECO N N AISSAN CE

Time in :.1150

E/A :PQsslble.

Remarks: Visual ­ Flak - EtA ­ Shipping,

Etc.

If Targets Not Covered Give Reasons

- EtA ­ Shipping, Etc. If Targets Not Covered Give Reasons Overcast at Monselice and Padova

Overcast at Monselice and Padova at 1900~ Targets in shadown.

2. unidentified s/E Alc seen at Treviso at 15000' head­ ing 30 degrees. No attack.

50 bursts of very

accurate flak at Mestre. Plane holed in 3 places in

Did not arfect

operation of plane so pilot continued and got yies of

last four targets.

C.W.HAINES Capt., Air Corps Interrogating Officer.

It is difficult to assess the time required for interpretation due to ma variable factors',"'(nature
It is difficult to assess the time required for interpretation due to ma variable factors',"'(nature
It is difficult to assess the time required for interpretation due to ma variable factors',"'(nature
It is difficult to assess the time required for interpretation due to ma variable factors',"'(nature
It is difficult to assess the time required for interpretation due to ma variable factors',"'(nature

It is difficult to assess the time required for interpretation

due to ma variable factors',"'(nature of the targets, and the t~Tpe of

ny

Interpretation Report required - 1st Phase, 2nd Phase, 3rd Phase, or BDA). However, in the case of this particular mission (which landed at 1150 hours), Tactical Air Force Target Section would have a 1st Phase Report ~ approximately -1700 hours, and very poBsibly sooner.

Speed is always essential in getting Interpretation Reports

to

demanders and other interested parties, hut is especially urgent when "Turnabout Bombing" may be required. Just before and just after the invasion of Southern France, TAF medium and fighter bombers were at­ tempting to knock out several German coastal defense guns. The Ger­ mans had taken gun turrets from damaged French battleships and cruis­ ers and used them as CD guns. These guns were well emplaced and pro­ bably nothing short of a direct hit could have knocked them out. Therefore, it was necessary to get immediate BDA after morning missions, so that the bombers would know definitely whether the guns had been knocked out or not. They needed this flash inforrmation so that afternoon missions could be planned and laid on if the guns ~ere still serviceable. This quick BDA was used with great success, and enabled the bombers to operate more efficiently, and eliminated un­ necessary missions. However, to be successful, it is essential that only 2 or 3 targets be laid on the mission, so that the time required for flying, processing, and interpretation may be reduced to a minimum.

for flying, processing, and interpretation may be reduced to a minimum. Typical camera setup in an
for flying, processing, and interpretation may be reduced to a minimum. Typical camera setup in an
for flying, processing, and interpretation may be reduced to a minimum. Typical camera setup in an

Typical camera setup in an F-5 Aircraft.

for flying, processing, and interpretation may be reduced to a minimum. Typical camera setup in an
for flying, processing, and interpretation may be reduced to a minimum. Typical camera setup in an
PHOTO RECON Ursq. to the branoh oonoerned. L SUPPORT OF 5th ARMY IN The 5th
PHOTO RECON Ursq. to the branoh oonoerned.
PHOTO
RECON
Ursq.
to the branoh oonoerned.

L

PHOTO RECON Ursq. to the branoh oonoerned. L SUPPORT OF 5th ARMY IN The 5th ArmY

SUPPORT OF 5th ARMY

IN

The 5th ArmY has long been keenl1 aware ot the vital assistanoe aftorded bY' aerial photography to almost nery branoh ot military operationa. In order to make the tullest use ot this assistance, it has set up a closely intesrated liaison system tor transmitting the photosraPhio needs ot the Ground l"oroe un1ts to Air l"oroe Reconnaissanoe units and tor remitting the photographs, together with the military in­ tormation gleaned tran them to those 88DI8 Ground Foroe un!ts. This sY'st_ is not to be tound in any tield manual and deliberatelY' bY'-passes &n1' normal channels.

bY'-passes &n1' normal channels. It torma the main link between the A.rt1q and The _ineers.
It torma the main link between the A.rt1q and
It torma the main link between the A.rt1q and

The _ineers. Air Support. Artillery. and Planning statt are the

main users ot photo reconnaissance.

All their needs are correlated with­

in the G-2 Section bY' the lhoto Reoon Unit (P.R.U.) which is in oomplete oharge ot aerial photography and uses ot aerial photography in the 5th

All demands and all photographs go through P.R.U. to be passed on

theA1r Corpa and is one ot the main souroes frem whioh the G-2 Seotion draws information.

The dEllD!Ulds bY' the A.rm'1 tor photo reoonnaissance maY' be divided in­ to two distinot parts. First - and most immediatelY' important - is the taotical work - the photographing of vi tal areas on the tront line. DailY' coyerage ot these areas is essential. Artillery locations for oounterbatter;y tire are top priority because guns can be aocurately lo­ cated on photos while .tlash and sound- and observation give onlY' an ap­ proximate location. and JI8.Y not be aYailable at all in mountainous ooun­ try. SeoondlY', is strategio photo reoon .:. the photographing ot rear de­ tense lines. road moyemant. or any signiticant activitY' whioh might reYeal the an-.JY· s intentiona. Detense lines. while being built. must be photo­ graphed at regular interTals in order to spot new emplacements before they can be ettectivelY' camoutlSBed. This information. tran strategio:

sorties is used mainlY' by the Ar1l'q Planning staft in determining the OYer-all stratesY ot
sorties is used mainlY' by the Ar1l'q Planning staft in determining the
OYer-all stratesY ot the campaign
TAOl'IC.u. PHOTO RIDONNAISSANCE
The needs or -demands- tor aerial photographs ot enfllQ' objectives
in the tactioal area (roughly. within 20 miles ot the tront line.
or aD1'
areas within range ot our artillery) usuallY' originate with G-2 and Art­
iller:r or Division, COrps and A.rtrJY.
R.g. Centers
and other vital
caamunications or supplY' points
-
17 ­

just behind

Such important or troublesome object­

ives are. tor emmple. eneDG" gun emplacements. concentration. ot enemy tanks, trucks or troops. torward airfields and dumps, key bridges, crossroads,

the enellJ1' lines. Demands tor photographs ot theae objeotives are torwarded

J

".

key bridges, crossroads, the enellJ1' lines. Demands tor photographs ot theae objeotives are torwarded J ".
, from vexious command posts to a s~ecial photo section attached to Division HQ. This
, from vexious command posts to a s~ecial photo section attached to Division HQ. This
, from vexious command posts to a s~ecial photo section attached to Division HQ. This

,

, from vexious command posts to a s~ecial photo section attached to Division HQ. This photo

from vexious command posts to a s~ecial photo section attached to Division HQ. This photo section, consisting of experts in photo recon, all part of P.R.TI., sifts down and correlates the demands and fonrards them to a corresponding photo section at Corps HQ. Here again, they are sifted down and passed to the Air Liaison Section at Army HQ. Since speed is essential, all demands are passed by telephone and all regular intelligence. channels are by-passed. At A~; the Air Liaison Officer (a member of p.p-.n.) composes and assesses the demands of the various corps and gives each a priority in accordance with the Army Plan. The priority-rated demands are then passed on to the Air Liaison Detach­ ment with the P.R. Squadron. This detachment is headed by two staff officers (A.I,.O's) who coordinate the flying of missions and distri­ bution of intelligence. The officers of this detachment are respon­ sible for (1) communicating all priority-rated demands to an Air Force Photo Reconnaissance Squadron and seeing that the Squadron takes the photos as soon as ~ossible; (2) having the film developed, printed, plotted, interpreted and mass reproduced at the Photo Center; (3) des­ patching the prints with plots and reports directly to the various corps photo sections which in turn distribute them to the units that had originally requested them. These A.L.O's contact the photo squadron directly - there ~ no intervening Air Force channels whatsoever. Because of this streamlined s,rstem, it is possible to deliver the in­ terpreted photos within 24 hours after the derne.nd is made.

The interpretation is done at the 5th Ar~ Photo Intelligence

Center which is composed of personnel from the 3rd P.I.D. and M.A.I.U.

(West).

The photos are carefully studied by interpreters and counter­

battery officers who compute exact coordinates of artillery positions to a degree of accurac,y not attainable in computations from flash and sound; by Engineering expert.s who study roads and bridges to determine where most damage may be done and time required to repair such damage; by Air Support experts who assess relative urgen~ of targets for support bombardment. The most important items of intelligence found in these front-line missions are ene~ artillery positions. A counter­ battery officer from each corps works with the interpreters and acts as liaison officer between them and the corps counter-battery section. As each gun is located its coordinates are passed immediately to the corps by radio. This system enables our artillery to fire on ene~ gtms before nightfall am before Jerry has time to move. It is possible to relay such information to the corps in less than 6 hours after the photos are taken. Later, if reprints of a sortie are de­

sired, the request is passed to the llBlue Train ll , a lab detachment of

Squadron which specializes in mass production of

the 3rd Photo Tech.

photos. These reprints are distributed down through corps, divisions and regiment and often to companies and platoons.

These reprints are distributed down through corps, divisions and regiment and often to companies and platoons.

-

IS

­

These reprints are distributed down through corps, divisions and regiment and often to companies and platoons.
These reprints are distributed down through corps, divisions and regiment and often to companies and platoons.

II

II I The outstanding features of Sections at Division and Corps. not only for interpretation but
II I The outstanding features of Sections at Division and Corps. not only for interpretation but

I

The outstanding features

of

Sections at Division and Corps. not only for interpretation but for the expert appraisal of
Sections at Division and Corps. not only for interpretation but for the
expert appraisal of demands. and for their direct transmission to the
Liad.son Section. and tor the direct delivery of the interpreted photo­
graphe. These eeotioD8 eerTe to weed out impossible demands. speed up
important demands.
and insure proper use of the photographs.
(2)
Photo­
graphing of enemy artillery loc{ltions every day if possible. Thus, the
~ can anticipate any move of the enemy. since artillery disposition
is usually an indication ot the enemy's intentions.
This was partio­
ularly Taluable at Anzio where each German cOWlter-attack was anti­
oipated and defeated because their artillery locations had given us
the tip-off as to where the attaok would cane. (3) Anticipation by
the Air Liaison Offioer at ArmY of photographic demands. The ALO sits
in OD. all statf oonferences and, by his knowledge of the Army Plan. he
oan anticipate most
photosraph~c needs. As a result. many corps needs
are met even before the corps asks for ths. (4) The photo squadron
whioh flies the ~ missions received its demands directly fram 5th
Ar'JrI:f SO that the requests do not have to go through an intermediate
Air Corps HQ,. The ALO merely presents the demands to the squadron in­
telligence offioer. The liaison is so ~wift that a photo plane has
aotually started to fly a mission less than a half-hour atter it was
requeeted.
One of the missions flown. for the Anzio beachhead is a good ex­
ample ot
this
speed.
On February' 16,
1944,
grave danger of beina pushed into the sea,
while the beachhead was in
G-2 received ground reports
indicating that Jerrr was D1&ssina tanka near Cisterna. A hurry call
was sent through to the photo squadron and in less than an hour a
plane was photographing the area. It was obvious that Jerry disliked
being photographed at that particular time since the flak almost blast­
ed the pilot out at the sky. but his photos showed that a whole }9.nzar
Division was DBssiDg for an attaok. If suoh a large-scale attaok had
oame as a surprise. it is doubtful if the beachhead troops could have
defeated it. But. because of swift liaison within mu, the attack
was antioipated and beaten off.
The main purpose of
the whole set-up is SPEED.
Transmission of
demands and
consequent interpretation reports
is as switt as possible.
Most offioial channels are by-passed
and much Ired-tape l is cut. or­
diDary intelligence channels are too 10118 and slow for efficient tac­
tical photo recon. The sy'sts used by the 5th ArmY has proven very
suoc88sful. It
is
not to be found
in any boo~J it
was never taught
in
any school - it is the product of trial, error, and bitter experience.
Today we feel that the most effioient tactical set-up has finally been
aohieved.
srRATlDIC moro R~ISSANCE
VS.
amMAN DErENSrlE srRATmY
8eoauee the Italian oampaisn has been a
series of quick starts and
-
19
­

I, I

VS. amMAN DErENSrlE srRATmY 8eoauee the Italian oampaisn has been a series of quick starts and
- - t,' J. 1.,,1. t'f 1.- ~ ,~ long delays, 5th Army has f-ound
- - t,' J. 1.,,1. t'f 1.- ~ ,~
-
-
t,'
J.
1.,,1.
t'f 1.- ~ ,~

long delays, 5th Army has f-ound it necessary to create a-Planning Staff who studies how best to overcome the next obstacle. The Germans have a­ dapted their strategy to the Italian terrain to such ~~ extent that we have never l,een able to push thehl ba{lk steadily. During each lull in the advance U9 the peninsula, the Germans had time to build defense lines to ~hich they could retire ~hen their current position became un­ tenable. Their strategy is to build ~p a fairly deep defensive li~e at the first suitable terrain feature (molilltain, ridge or river) behind· their lines. This ~s primarily-to serve as a holding line which, in case of a break-through, would slow up the Allied advance temporarily and allow the Germans to consolidate their defenses. Behind this hold­ ing line, another much stronger defense line was built - concrete eun emplacements, pill boxes, barbed wire, mine fields, anti-tank ditches, etc. When necessary, Jerry retreated, first to his holdtng line; then to the permanent defense line, where h~ could mAke a determined stand on favorable terrain. This same pattern of strategy has been followed

throughout the call1?aign. After Salerno, the Volturno P

holding line; the Cassino - Garigliano River line was the permanent one. Again, ~hen we broke through at Cassino, the Adolf Hitler line held us up while Jerry scrambled back to a line at Palestrina. In this case, however, the breakthrough from the beachhead by-passed the Pal­ estrina line and nullified its value. Jerry was forced to ~>uI1 out in a hurry and withdraw in a semi-rout until he reached the Arno River. Here again, he had built a holding line which gave him time to catch his breath and prepare to defend the formidable Gothic Line. His strategy of building two defense lines simultaneously prevented the Allies from effecting a complete rout. At present, the Germans are building a holding line at the Po River and a permanent line from Venice to Lake Garda, in anticipation of the fall of Bologna.

to Lake Garda, in anticipation of the fall of Bologna. iver was the The various defense
to Lake Garda, in anticipation of the fall of Bologna. iver was the The various defense
to Lake Garda, in anticipation of the fall of Bologna. iver was the The various defense
to Lake Garda, in anticipation of the fall of Bologna. iver was the The various defense

iver

was the

Garda, in anticipation of the fall of Bologna. iver was the The various defense lines were

The various defense lines were spotted on photographs very early

The Planning Staff kept a close check on each line

in the campaign.

as it was being built. Photo coverage each week revealed t~e progress made and eM9lacements were studied before they could be effectively camouflaged. The increased activity, freshly turned e~rth, the com­ parison with previous photographs served to reveal every detail of construction. Consequently, G-2 had complete k'nowledge of t:le strength and weaknesses of these various lines. The Army was suppJ,ied with ac­ curate mosaics, defense over-lays, and annotated photographs of each position well in ac.vance of the attack on it. The outstanding accom­ plishment of this strategic reconnaissance was performed in connection

with the Gothic Line. Interpreters were supplied with weekly photo­ graphs of the line for almost a year, so that the ~tnutest details and changes were noted. The line was photogra?hed in every possible scale and from every possible angle. In the final attack on Futa Pass, G-2, from ?hotos alone, knew the location of practically every pill-box, minefield, and weapons pit. ThiR was undoubtedly a fine example of

-

20

­

the location of practically every pill-box, minefield, and weapons pit. ThiR was undoubtedly a fine example
the val~e of photo recon. Not only in the Gothic Line attack, but in all
the val~e of photo recon. Not only in the Gothic Line attack, but in all
the val~e of photo recon.
Not only in the Gothic Line attack,
but in
all major attacks, 5th Army's efficient Photo Recon has been able to
nullify many of the Germans' defensIve advantages.
Shovm beloVT is
an
annotated mosaic of a portion of the Gothic Line defenses as located
on aerial photographs.
the Gothic Line defenses as located on aerial photographs. _-- ""'C-i ','A M I Y-APY
the Gothic Line defenses as located on aerial photographs. _-- ""'C-i ','A M I Y-APY
the Gothic Line defenses as located on aerial photographs. _-- ""'C-i ','A M I Y-APY
the Gothic Line defenses as located on aerial photographs. _-- ""'C-i ','A M I Y-APY

_--

""'C-i

','A M

I

Y-APY

AGT,YITY

--

~':"N~ POSITION

C

liGHT AA POSITION

m--

   

V

f ,ElD

GUN POSITION

e-

.DOUGOUT

 

0--

1 Nli ·t,~,,< r:)~ L:Nacc

-

l"\,- -.: ~,/ J ANT -.: III r\OX CA5EMA"'-[ M (] ;0: r 1 It
l"\,-
-.:
~,/
J
ANT
-.: III r\OX
CA5EMA"'-[
M
(]
;0: r
1
It
MJr.LFlf,--O
 

""-

BET:- OF WlrlE

1'-"""" CRAV,/L

'f,l

tJCH

.

'.rtl~lra~·'t. ~

. ~~ • ,j ,. li. ,'­ THE FLYING OF AN ARMY SUPPORT PHOTO MISSION
. ~~ • ,j ,. li. ,'­ THE FLYING OF AN ARMY SUPPORT PHOTO MISSION
. ~~ • ,j ,. li. ,'­
.
~~
• ,j
,.
li.
,'­

THE FLYING OF AN ARMY SUPPORT PHOTO MISSION

From the time the ALO presents the Ar~- request to the Squadron Intelligence Officer, its fate is entirely in the hnnds of the Air COT')s. The fiying of a.n ar~ photo mission involves a great many problems - many more than entailed qy a fighter or bomber mission. Photographic considerations, weather, equipment, personnel, enemy op~osition are a few of the weightiest problems.

PHOTOGRAPHY: The mission must be flown when there is sufficient

photogra9hic liGht. In mountainous country,

much of the photogra'?h. If there are clouds nearby, their shadow ~y fall across the target area and cut off the photographic li~·ht. Or­ dinarily, missions flown between 1000 and 1400 hours are satisfactory. Occasionally, in extremely hilly te~rain, missions must be flown at high noon to eliminate hill shadQ',7s. These photogra:,Jhic conditions

greatly reduce the scope of operations aDd confine aerial photography to definite time limits.

hil 1 _ shadow may obscure

to definite time limits. hil 1 _ shadow may obscure VmATHER: ~eRther is by far the

VmATHER:

~eRther is by far the most important consideration.

In

arnt'J work, w'0.ere ea.ch photograph is so highl:{ valuable, the weather must be checked hourly. Forecasts, predictions ano C·'Y'I)Q.,d rep':>rts can­

not be trusted alone. The only positive way to chec:\: P~10tograJhic weather in such a small area is to fly over the front lines and see

i t 'for ~rourself. The 12th Squadron flies as r~my as three

weather

missions a day, so that the slightest break in an overcast will be reported and a mission sent off. Not only target weather, but base weather (weather over the airfield) is checked continually. The 9ilot must be assured that, after he gets his photos, he will be able to

bring t1~em back.

to Cloud layers; fronts, condensation trail level, and tendencies. U~­ on the results of this interrogation depend the days' operations. If the pilot reports that the weather is closing in, the missions are sent off hurriedly, regardless of photographic conditions. If he reports "all clear", the missions are sent off according to priority and when photographic conditions are best.

to priority and when photographic conditions are best. As each pilot lands, he is carefully interr-:>gated

As each pilot

lands,

he

is

carefully interr-:>gated as

EQUIPMENT:

The missions are

flown in F-5 type aircraft -

a P-3~

fitted up with cameras instead of guns.

sensitive and are apt to be affected by the hi~h altitude conditions.

Tbe

cameras are extremely

instead of guns. sensitive and are apt to be affected by the hi~h altitude conditions. Tbe

-

22

­

instead of guns. sensitive and are apt to be affected by the hi~h altitude conditions. Tbe
instead of guns. sensitive and are apt to be affected by the hi~h altitude conditions. Tbe
EXtreme oold will oause oondensation on the lens, the slightest vibra­ tion will spoil the
EXtreme oold will oause oondensation on the lens, the slightest vibra­ tion will spoil the
EXtreme oold will oause oondensation on the lens, the slightest vibra­ tion will spoil the
EXtreme oold will oause oondensation on the lens, the slightest vibra­ tion will spoil the
EXtreme oold will oause oondensation on the lens, the slightest vibra­ tion will spoil the
EXtreme oold will oause oondensation on the lens, the slightest vibra­ tion will spoil the

EXtreme oold will oause oondensation on the lens, the slightest vibra­ tion will spoil the photographJ the intervalaneter setting (time in­ terval between exposures) must be oarefully 'ooordinated with the vary­ ing speed and altitude of the plane. sanetimes the camera window rray beoaoe ooyered with mud pioked up fran the runway during takeoff'. In spite of excellent maintenanoe, oamera failures orop up frequently and at very embarr&Bsing times.

orop up frequently and at very embarr&Bsing times. PmSONNEL. be given addi tional training ENEMY OPPOSITION,
PmSONNEL. be given addi tional training ENEMY OPPOSITION, Plak. while it with the pilot's efficiency
PmSONNEL.
be given addi tional training
ENEMY OPPOSITION,
Plak.
while it
with the pilot's
efficiency and.
obstacle to photo reconnaissance.
or hide in a oloud bank.
their target on .many occasions.
The mission is
flight
-
their target on .many occasions. The mission is flight - flying of JDOsai cs when he
their target on .many occasions. The mission is flight - flying of JDOsai cs when he
their target on .many occasions. The mission is flight - flying of JDOsai cs when he
flying of JDOsai cs when he arrives seriously interferes next to weather. oonst! tutes the
flying of JDOsai cs when he arrives
seriously interferes
next to weather.
oonst! tutes
the main
Enemy fighters appear only infrequent­
Friendly planes
in canbat.· Therefore,
friendly
All in all,
the photo pilot is
the
the squadron starts to operate.
in the shape of multiple
The pilot
is then brief­

23

in the shape of multiple The pilot is then brief­ 23 • The missions are flown

The missions are flown by pilots who have been expecial­

11' tra~ned for photo reconnaissanoe. The fate ot the mission depends en­ tirely upon the ability of the pilot to fly his flight lines correotly. A few pilots are perfect; many are not. Uhf'ortunate17. at this time, very few pilots are trained. for al"lllY work - that is. flying a series of Parallel fl1ght lines for a mosaic. Training in the states consists mainly at ooyering pinpoints and strips. Therefore, each pilot must

in the

in the squadron. A deoided attempt is made to impress upon the pilots the importance of their :D1ssions. !'requently, they visit divisions at the front to S88 for themselTes what the doughboy goes through and how

th-.v oan alleTiate the hardships. Insofar as possible, the pilots are induced in this way to take a personal interest in their photographs.

Jerry's favorite target has always been photo

planes. It is relatively easy for him to knock down a plane whioh flies four or five long straight flight lines, at a oonstant altitude.

is inaocurate for the most part.

ly over the front lines, but ne¥ertheless constitute a grave menace to

photo planes. Since the !'5 airoraf't is canpletely unarmed. the pilot's only proteotion at the approach of any plane is either to dash for hane

hoping to exoape detection.

are Tery apt to interfere with missions. since a photo pilot oannot

wait until a plane gets close enough to be identified. Moreover. Jerry

was reported to be using captured P-38 , s

fighters are very suspicious or all P-38 t S and have chased them off'

JDOst Tulnerable of flyers, since his only protection-is his own alert­

ness. the speed or his plane. and his altitude.

When the weatherman gives his O.K.,

laid on a 1.250,000 air map,

lines usually totalling about 100 miles.

ed, the plane preflighted and the cameras ohecked for flying the mission. After reaohing his target. the pilot tries to piok out check-points on

t',e rround ane on his map, 8tarts his first flight line, tllel1 COIl'r'ares hi~' COl'lPB.SS

t',e rround ane on his map, 8tarts his first flight line, tllel1 COIl'r'ares

hi~' COl'lPB.SS with the compass heacing on hiR l:"tDp. All tLe while, J 1 e must note the operClt.ion of his CB.meras, correct for wind, wa tc'h out

flak and ene~T fighters, Bnd keep the nle.ne stre,igl1t end level. It is

not e.t all uncommon for ne"" pilots, shaJcen ly the fact that they C.re a­

for

lone ann' unarr'led over

flying over the wrong target or failing to s.d tch on the ca;:leras.

the wrong target or failing to s.d tch on the ca;:leras. enemy terri tory, to make

enemy terri tory,

to make serious

er;-ors, such [: s

enemy terri tory, to make serious er;-ors, such [: s Below. is a typical Army support

Below. is

a

typical Army support mission as lc.ia on a 1/250,000

all'

of each flight line and latest front line location.

1il8l?

On the

map are

Ehov:n flight

lines,

compass r:e8dins~, length

front line location. 1il8l? On the map are Ehov:n flight lines, compass r:e8dins~, length , .'

,

.'

';'4

­

When the pilot has ght lines, he ustmlly flies back over any portion which he
When the pilot has
ght lines, he ustmlly flies
back over any portion which he thinks he missed and tries to fill in
the gaps until he runs out of film. On returning to base, the film
is sent to the lab, thence
to the plotters at 5th A~ Photo Intell­
igence.Center. The next morning the pilot receives a plot showing
exactly where he flew. The plot below ShOWS the results obtained by
the pilot in his attempt to fly the mission on the preceding ~age.
·1fi~.a7
-
25
­
.
."
The coordi~ sf. Below is an e the pilotts mission. etation report issued on artille~T
The coordi~ sf.
The coordi~ sf.

Below is an

e the pilotts mission.

etation report issued on artille~T positions were

radioed to the Corps Artillery within 4 to 8 hours after the pilot

landed.

 

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

FIFTH .ARMY PHOTO INTELLIGENCE CENTEE

GENERAL INTERPFETATION REPOET NO. R 197

SORTIE USED:

Sortie

Unit

Pilot

Time

Date

FL

Scale

Quality

lZPR 87

12PR Sqdn.

1t Allred

1150

15 Jan

24"

1:10,000

A

Covers:

A block over Highway No.

64 from VERGATO (1 6926)

to BOLOGNA.

Area L

6317 -

L

7049 -

L

8850 -

L

7821

GENERAL NOTE

Except for an overall increase of approximately twenty-one field guns

of light calibre in a general area south of.BQLOGNA, no other change has

taken place to the field

Little military activity and hardly any movement is seen in the areas covered by the above good qualit,y sortie which was flown over the most important sector of the tactical front.

artillery situation.

I •

FIELD ARTILLERY

 

a)

POSITIONS OCCUPIED

1.

m/lllSE

L 73173781

 

3/4 field

 

bty.

12?R87

3045 D447

2.

98/IYNE

L

67402820

3, possibly 4 gun field bty.

 

12PR87

3011 A334

3.

m/lllSE

L

69193447

1, possibly 2 li~~t guns,

type unknown.

 

12PR87

4018 D853

4.

L

69173543

4

light guns, tJ~e unkno~~"

"E234

 

b)

POSITIONS UNOCCUPIED

 

1.

87/111SE

L 75303683

 

4

gun field bty unoccupied 12PR87 4077 c631

2.

m/llSW .

L

83553700

2

unocc gun emplacements. 12PR87

3159 D962

 

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

This report goes on to list the antiaircraft positions occupied and

unoccupied,

some minor defenses,

engineering intelligence,

end military

activity.

The accent is on speedy interpretation,

and the infornation is

relayed by telephone or radio to the divisions concerned as soon as possible.

-

26

­

and the infornation is relayed by telephone or radio to the divisions concerned as soon as
.­ · " In addition to the hasty interpret~tion.don~At- the 5th ~ Photo Intelligence Center,
.­ · " In addition to the hasty interpret~tion.don~At- the 5th ~ Photo Intelligence Center,
.­ · " In addition to the hasty interpret~tion.don~At- the 5th ~ Photo Intelligence Center,
·
"
In addition to the hasty interpret~tion.don~At- the 5th ~
Photo
Intelligence Center, the photos are studied in more detail ~ interpreters
at each division. Below is a sample report issued qy the photo sections of
the 6 South African Armored Division and Task Force 45:
*
*
*
*
APPENDIX
'A'
TO G.I.R.
NO. R 197
The following additional defenses have been reported by the photo
interpretation sections of the formation noted.
6 S.A.
ARMD. DIV
MINOR DEFENSES
1.
98/IV NE
L 7692.3026
2.
Four mortars.
Suspect three mortars.
12PR8'7
4121
E326
L 753528'70
3124
C220
~
.3.
L 76102986
nn
.3125
A81:?
11ft
4.
L 810.32908
.3167
E758
~
5.
98/I iw
L 8101285.3
Possibly four mortars
Mortar
n
.3167
F246
6.
L 796.32924
Military activity, possibly mortar position.
n
.3167
B452
7.
L 79.3629.32
Suspect mortax.
.3167
A655
ff
8.
L 77602911
to L 776.32905
Thxee possible mortar positions at side of
~
4126
B225
B.324
9.
L 77972972
Suspect three mortars. n
4127
B232
10.
L 771;292
A trench S,Ystem with 7 MG positions can
now be
seen on
crest· of MT. CAPP
AF.A
4126
B924
TASK FORCE
45
MINOR DEFENSES
1.
97/
I
SE
L 49011812
2
MG positions
with crawl trench.
12PR8'7
4105
A545
2.
L 50691755
MG position.
n
410.3
D857
.3.
L 49711750
Mortar
position.
n
4105
C757
4.
L 51611748
-n •
Sf
,
4100
E257
MILITARY ACTIVITY

1.

2.

97/I SE

L 50591748

L 55592199

Suspected OP

Farmhouse suspected of being occupied qy ene~·

12PR8'7

4104

50591748 L 55592199 Suspected OP Farmhouse suspected of being occupied qy ene~· 12PR8'7 4104 D258 *

D258

*

*

*

*

-

27

­

50591748 L 55592199 Suspected OP Farmhouse suspected of being occupied qy ene~· 12PR8'7 4104 D258 *
50591748 L 55592199 Suspected OP Farmhouse suspected of being occupied qy ene~· 12PR8'7 4104 D258 *
The FAPIC is an organization that mushroomed out of 5th Army's un­ precedented use of
The FAPIC is an organization that mushroomed out of 5th Army's un­ precedented use of
The FAPIC is an organization that mushroomed out of 5th Army's un­ precedented use of
The FAPIC is an organization that mushroomed out of 5th Army's un­ precedented use of
The FAPIC is an organization that mushroomed out of 5th Army's un­ precedented use of

The FAPIC is an organization that mushroomed out of 5th Army's un­ precedented use of aerial photography. An intermediate agency was needed to be clearing house for all the various uses of photos Qy the Army.

Interpreters, counter-batte~officers, ALO's, plotters, draftsmen and engineers all used the same photos but in different ways. In order to bring these experts under one roof where all the photos would be avaiIE.ble whenever needed, the FAPIC was formed. It has no recognized Tables of Organization; it has sprung up as a field expediency and changes its

form as ~he situation changes.

Allied Interpretation Unit (M.A.I.U. West) and the Third Photo Interpre­ tation Detachment (3 P.I.D.) The former is a British organization which originally took care of all the photo work for 5th Arnw. Later, after American photo technicians were trained and sent overseas as the 3 P.I.D. the work was divided between the two units. At present, American personnel predominate under joint supervision.

The personnel are drawn from Mediterranean

supervision. The personnel are drawn from Mediterranean From FAPIC, interpreters who have been specially trained for

From FAPIC, interpreters who have been specially trained for ar~

work, are

the various photo sections and, not only interpret photos, but coordinate demands for coverage and delivery of information and photographic prints. Thus, any matter pertainine to photo reconnaissance is in trained hands while it is being passed from divisional interpreter to the photo pilot and back again. The interpreters are shifted around often enough to in­ sure that each realizes his place in the overall setup. So great has

been the success of this system that a good interpreter usually becomes the right hand man of the commanding general. He must be available at all times of the day and night to give intelligence on which the fate of the current operation may depend. In addition, the interpreters serve as the "'salesmen" of the 3rd Photo Group in that they can ex­ plain to the ground forces how the Group operates in supporting them.

Gradually, because of this, a mutual underste

has served to bridge the abysmal gap between ground forces and air corps.

sent down to divisions,

corps and army.

These men supervise

nding

has grown up which

corps and army. These men supervise nding has grown up which FAPIC itself is al~ays located

FAPIC itself is al~ays located as

close as possible to

the PRU

airfield in order to facilitate speedy delivery of photos from pilot to interpreter. The Center is divided into a Tactical Section and a Strategic Section. The Tactical issues the General Interpretation Re­ ports (G.I.R.'s) as shown on the two previous pages. These are hasty in­ terpretation reports of which artillery intelligence is most imuortant. Another set of the same photos is passed to corps and division inter­ preters where a more detailed report is issued.

The Strategic Section does the type of work illustrated ~

the

They study photos of rear­

over-print of the Gothic Line Defenses.

-

28

­

does the type of work illustrated ~ the They study photos of rear­ over-print of the
bridges and ~ a "'Se1ected Target Report"'. The Engineer Section at FAPIC reports on roads,
bridges and
bridges and
bridges and ~ a "'Se1ected Target Report"'. The Engineer Section at FAPIC reports on roads, terrain
~ a "'Se1ected Target Report"'. The Engineer Section at FAPIC reports on roads, terrain features.
~
a "'Se1ected Target Report"'.
The Engineer Section at FAPIC reports on roads,
terrain features.
used ~
our troops is Bubjected to detailed study.
given much attention.
possible fords,
and bridging sites.
accomplished at FAPIC ~
following Engineer report:
*
* * *
*
*
*

defense lines noting the changes and th~ speed of construction.

Thus,

the A~ Planning Staff always has been supplied with detailed infor­

mation as to what obstacles lie beyond the present front-line.

Another section at FAPIC devotes its entire efforts to issuing

This entails detailed study of aI\Y sig­

nificant military activity in the tactical area and photographs are used to check and verify the numerous ground repor'ts which come in. Bombing or artillery targets are selected and passed on to Air Support or Artillery,

Every road in the A~ area which may p.ventual1y be

Bridges are studied

for serviceability, demolitions and amount of repair work needed. Rivers, which form one of the main terrain obstacles in Italy, are

The report includes the height of the banks,

Probably the most spectacular work

the Engineer interpreters is typified in the

work the Engineer interpreters is typified in the GENERAL: ENGINEER ROUTE REPORT NO. ENGINEER AND MILITARY
work the Engineer interpreters is typified in the GENERAL: ENGINEER ROUTE REPORT NO. ENGINEER AND MILITARY
work the Engineer interpreters is typified in the GENERAL: ENGINEER ROUTE REPORT NO. ENGINEER AND MILITARY
work the Engineer interpreters is typified in the GENERAL: ENGINEER ROUTE REPORT NO. ENGINEER AND MILITARY

GENERAL:

work the Engineer interpreters is typified in the GENERAL: ENGINEER ROUTE REPORT NO. ENGINEER AND MILITARY

ENGINEER ROUTE REPORT NO.

ENGINEER AND MILITARY GIDLOGY SECTION

FIFl"'rI !PMY PHOTO INTELLIGENCE CENTER

1 (Special)

!PMY PHOTO INTELLIGENCE CENTER 1 (Special) 64 from L 673212 north of LISSANO to BOLOGNA. Route

64 from L 673212 north of LISSANO to BOLOGNA.

Route No.

report of 6 July for this section.)

(This supercedes

12PR359 26 Feb 12PR363 2.7 Feb

SOURCE:

report of 6 July for this section.) (This supercedes 12PR359 26 Feb 12PR363 2.7 Feb S

2.9

-

­

report of 6 July for this section.) (This supercedes 12PR359 26 Feb 12PR363 2.7 Feb S

1 am or tarmac) having of 20 The terrain over which the road passes consists
1 am or tarmac) having of 20 The terrain over which the road passes consists
1
1

am or tarmac) having

of 20

The terrain over which the road passes consists of a narrow stream valley on the east and steep disected terrain on the west. Movement off the road will be very limited.

This

is

a two

a road

width of 16 to

to

24 feet.

There are at present five bridges,

two tunnel entrances and one

corniched section demolished.

the demolition program has probably been carried out.

Between Doints L 673212 and L 750290,

Three other

bridges on this route are at present pre~ared for demolition. There

are six bridges and 1 causeway that are likely sites for further de­

molitions.

If complete demolition is carried out, from 5 to 8 days of Eng­ ineer work will be required for the initial reopening of the road (1 lane ~passes). Material necessary for construction will be 150 feet of Bailey bridge, 195 ft of treadway trestle bridge, culverts and

fill.

DETAILS:

I. L 673212

a distance of 70 ft

bridge was single span bow string arch with a 65 ft span length and

Original

15 ft high.

have crossed unaided above the bridge.

Brid~e partially blown and approaches cratered for

on the

north and 100 ft

on the south.

Vehicles

Gully has low sloping banks of soft material.

l2PR363

4068 -

9

II.

L 69255 Bridge blown, 4 of 5 spans destroyed, resulting

gap 255

ft

long and 25 ft deep.

One span apparantly remains intact.

The piers are partially destroyed.

The stream has a braided sandy

channel 110 ft

Ford site located 500 ft

will serve as an initial crossing for combat vehicles.

90 ft

trestle bridge may be required to make the ford suitable for sup~ly

vehicle~.

wide and a very shallow wet

gap 30

to

110' ft

wide .•

below the bridge with two land ap~roaches

Channel ~dth Track laying or

at this

point and a shallow wet gap 90 ft wide.

 

l2PR363

4063 -

4

III.

L 697261

Road cratered ~

bomb;

easily ~-p8ssed.

 

l2PR363

4062 -

3

IV.

L 707277

Bridge blown,

resulting gap 95 ft

long and 15

ft

deep.

Stream has V shaped banks of soft material.

Debris blocks gully

making a wet gap

can ford

of bulldozing will be required for a fill crossing just above the

bridge

1

50

ft

wide

just above the bridge.

Combat vehicles

stream 200 yards above the bridge.

Culverts and four hours

l2PR363

4060 -

-

30

­

just above the bridge. Combat vehicles stream 200 yards above the bridge. Culverts and four hours
just above the bridge. Combat vehicles stream 200 yards above the bridge. Culverts and four hours
' , , V. sulting gap 70 ft long and 15 ft wide. Bailey bridge
' , , V. sulting gap 70 ft long and 15 ft wide. Bailey bridge
' , , V.
'
, ,
V.
sulting gap 70 ft long and 15 ft wide. Bailey bridge across destr~ed section.
sulting gap 70 ft long and 15 ft wide.
Bailey
bridge across destr~ed section.

L 714276 Railroad tunnel entrance blown destroying the road. Re­

Combat vehicles may possibly

by-pass by cross country movement to the north. IJII!->rovement of exist­ ing trails will be required for supply vehicles. Suitable site for a

12PR363 3061 - '2 * * * * * * A dispatch office is also
12PR363
3061 -
'2
*
*
*
*
*
*
A dispatch office is also ~aintained at YAPIC to distribute the
photos and reports quickly.
to
Army,
Corps and Division at all times of day and night.
Since the Army distributes not only interpretation reports, but
also the actual photographs to Corps, Division and Regiment, a huge
number of reprints is required.
To cope with this, demand,
a special
detachment,
called "The Blue Train", has been attached to YAPIC. It,S
personnel and equipment are drawn from the Third Photo Tech Squadron,
but the unit is under operational control of FAPIC.
Its equipment
consists of huge multi~rinters and heavy reproduction equipment
all
mOlmted on trailers ready to IIOve as YAPle moves.
It is prepared. to
work on a 24 hom- basis and frequently does so when the a.rury is pre­
paring for an attack.
This "Blue Train",
to FAPIC, has greatly speeded up reprinting b,y elt.inating another
operational channel.
war,
one of the Army's generals established the tenet that "One photo
is worth a htmdred men".
has done much to prove the truth o.r that statement, and it is with

Jeep couriers run back and forth from here

since it is attached directly

Under the auspices of FAPIC, every mission fiown for the 5th Army goes through the above process of interpretation and distribution until the photos are wrung dry of every scrap of intelligence. Early in the

5th Army's present use of photo recoDDaissance

the 5th Army's present use of photo recoDDaissance great justification that the 5th has been called
the 5th Army's present use of photo recoDDaissance great justification that the 5th has been called

great justification that the 5th has been called the most "Photo Conscious" Army in the world.

great justification that the 5th has been called the most "Photo Conscious" Army in the world.
" - 31 ­
"
-
31
­
great justification that the 5th has been called the most "Photo Conscious" Army in the world.
great justification that the 5th has been called the most "Photo Conscious" Army in the world.
great justification that the 5th has been called the most "Photo Conscious" Army in the world.
great justification that the 5th has been called the most "Photo Conscious" Army in the world.
From the foregoing account of Army sUP90rt photo reconnaissance, it is obvious that efficient liaison
From the foregoing account of Army sUP90rt photo reconnaissance, it is obvious that efficient liaison
From the foregoing account of Army sUP90rt photo reconnaissance,
it is obvious that efficient liaison is essential. So many widely ­
divergent agencies are involved in ?RU that one small bottleneck could
hold up the whole ?rocess. Therefore, an agency has been set up to
supervise the flow of photo intelligence to the Ar~. This is the
nAn ?R.ij. Air Liaison Section, beaded by three British Staff Officers.
Some of their headaches are:
1. Suyervising transmission of demn.nds and delivery of prints.
2. Selecting a suitable airfield for the photo squadron within
reach of Army HQ.
J.
Assigning priorities to missions and reprint requests.
4.
~laining t~e A~
dernanas to
the photo squadron;
the flying
possibi1itie~ and limitations to t~e Army.
5.
Preventing and eliminating bottlenecks throughout.
6.
Maintaining friendly cooper~tion bet~een flying personnel,
lab technicians, photo interpreters, Air Cor~s and Army intelligence
officers, army commanders, and counter-battery officers.
The complete harmony and mutual underst?nding brought about Qy
the "A" Air Liaison Section in this theatre estab1is!1es beyond a~T doubt
the necessity of such liaison between Army and Uhoto Reconnaiss~nce.
Due to their efforts, the transmission of photo intelligence, con­
ducted on the "old boy" basis, has been swift and efficient. In the
relations between 5th Army and its photo s~uadron, the Ar~J, through
its liaison officers, has been forbearing in errors, helpful in
emergencies, and appreciative of successes. ThiR attitude more than
any ot~er single factor has resulted in willing c00geration and
complete harmony between Air Cor~s and Army within P.R.U.
any ot~er single factor has resulted in willing c00geration and complete harmony between Air Cor~s and
8~CONNAISSANCE : I FIFTH ARMY PHOTO DIAGRAM SHOWING COURS~J'Qf :.i'l-U Fl:.IGHT TO USE . "
8~CONNAISSANCE : I FIFTH ARMY PHOTO DIAGRAM SHOWING COURS~J'Qf :.i'l-U Fl:.IGHT TO USE . "

8~CONNAISSANCE

:

I

8~CONNAISSANCE : I FIFTH ARMY PHOTO DIAGRAM SHOWING COURS~J'Qf :.i'l-U Fl:.IGHT TO USE . " I
8~CONNAISSANCE : I FIFTH ARMY PHOTO DIAGRAM SHOWING COURS~J'Qf :.i'l-U Fl:.IGHT TO USE . " I

FIFTH

ARMY

PHOTO

DIAGRAM

SHOWING

COURS~J'Qf :.i'l-U Fl:.IGHT

TO

USE

.

"

I IPI LOT , I IINTERP~TERSI I EXPERTS COUNTER BTRY. ENG'RING AT ETC, PHOTO CENTER
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--- _-----y DIVISION H. Q. PHOTO SEC. \ ------­ \ \. 1---!-.!.!- 5.0 S 10 N
A HIGHLY MOBILE UNIT ~e purpose of this ess~ is to assess the value of
A HIGHLY MOBILE UNIT ~e purpose of this ess~ is to assess the value of
A HIGHLY MOBILE UNIT ~e purpose of this ess~ is to assess the value of

A HIGHLY MOBILE

UNIT

~e purpose of this ess~ is to assess the value of having a mobile Photo Recon advance unit attached to Fifth Army Headquarters. During the long static period while the Fifth Army was held up at Cassino, the whole Photo Squadron was stationed in one spot and all missions were

nown from

there.

stationed in one spot and all missions were nown from there. However, when the push from

However, when the push from Cassino to F'lorence start­

ed and the situation became fast-moving, it was found that counter-bat­ tery information was needed much more quickly than before. Fifth ArJI\Y Headquarters moved frequently and because of poor communications, it was impossible to keep the squadron in close contact with the situation.

Theretore, it was deemed necessary to attach a small Photo Recon advance unit to the Fifth Army. This unit was to concern itself exclusively with front line missions and counter-battery work. The remainder of the squadron stayed behind and flew strategic missions.

The unit consisted of approximately fifty enlisted men,

three pilots,

tour interpreters and one intelligence officer. Its equipment was two

mobile laboratory trailers and five vehicles. It was found that such a un! t could move easily and quickly on twenty-four hour notice, in order to be situated close to A~ Headquarters at all times. In all, five sueh moves were made: Pomigliano to Anzio to Voltone, Voltone to

Follonica, Follohica to Cecina, and Cecina. to Siena.

unit moved overnight and did not lose aqr operational time no~ efficiency.

In each case, the

aqr operational time no~ efficiency. In each case, the The following is a description of the

The following is a description of the most etficient method of operating the unit. Early in the morning, the A.L.O. and Squad­ ron Intelligence Off­ icer visited A~ Head­ quarters and, from G-2, learned the latest front line location. With this as a basis, three missions were planned which cover­ ed the main portiODS of the Arrrrj' front. Whenever possible, all the flying was completed ~ 1030 hours. The photos were then processed through the lab. Three sets of prints were ade up, one of which went

MOBILE PHOTO TRAILERS ARRANGED FOR EFFICIENT

OPERATION

sets of prints were ade up, one of which went MOBILE PHOTO TRAILERS ARRANGED FOR EFFICIENT

-

34

­

r •
r
~ - 1 J immediately to the unit interpreters for hasty counter-battery inter­ pretation, and
~ - 1 J immediately to the unit interpreters for hasty counter-battery inter­ pretation, and

~

-

1

J

immediately to the unit interpreters for hasty counter-battery inter­ pretation, and the other two sets were nown by Cub to the Corps con­

Often the front­
Often the front­

cerned. Inf'Ol"lll8.tion started to flow to the Corps early in the after­

a Cub new in froll each Corps to pick up what­

noon. At 1700 hours

ever photos had already been interpreted. A counter-battery officer sorted out these photos while flying b8ck to Corps, gave them to the waiting Cub artillery spotters and the Corps Artillery started firing on the batteries by 1800 hours. During the night, a complete inter­ pretation of the photos was made in the usual manner.

from previous counter-battery setup. These advantages are: 1. Missions can be planned more efficiently. and
from previous counter-battery setup.
These advantages are:
1.
Missions can be planned more efficiently.
and 1.0., by visiting Ar1JIS' Headquarters personally, eliminated the
communications ~roblem.
2. Counter-battery information can be disseminated much more

The above routine has several advantages and represents a change

line moved considerably during the night and aissions had to be ad­ justed accordingly. This could not be done by telephone since communications become very unreliable in a moving situation. The A.L.O.

I:

I

I

I q nickly. In this moving situation, Geraan batteries do DOt remain over night in
I
q nickly.
In this moving
situation, Geraan batteries do DOt remain
over night in one position. Thus, information from to~v's sortie is
useless tomorrow. The information must be acquired and used on the
same dq.
This has been made possible by the Photo Recon advance
unit. Previously, on the static Cassino front, artillery locations
were radioed to Corps in the late
afternoon and evening and the in­
terpreted photos reached the Artillery twenty-four hours after the
mission was flown. This was considered satisfactory in such a sit­
uation, but would not be fast enough during a prolonged successful
push. During the drive from Cassino to Pisa, the Photo Recon advance
unit was able to get the artillery locations and photos to the
Artillery in five hours. This time-saving, in i tsel!, justifies the
use of such a un!t.
3. The pilots,
because they fly over approrlllately the
same
area every day,· get to know it well.
As
a
consequence,
they fly
better photo missions.
Because of the necessity for speed, a significant change was
made in the planning of missions.
Previously each Corps was the
subject of a separate mission. As a result, the sortie for the one
Corps had to wait in the lab while the sortie for another corps was
being processed. To eliminate this time lag, each sortie was plalD1ed
so that it covered part of each corps front. '!'hus, when the first
sortie came out of the lab, the counter-battery ~ficers from all
the eorps could start to work on their part of it i1Dmediately.
came out of the lab, the counter-battery ~ficers from all the eorps could start to work
came out of the lab, the counter-battery ~ficers from all the eorps could start to work
c a van In addition to the above spec f es, the advance unit helped
c a van In addition to the above spec f es, the advance unit helped
c a van
c
a
van

In addition to the above spec f

es, the advance unit

helped to foster better understanding'between the Ground Forces and the

Air Corps. The interpreters, counter-battery officers and pilots all lived and worked together. Each gained a much clearer understanding of the other's work. Because of their proximit,y to the airfield, Armf personnel became acquainted with the flying personnel. This personal acquaintance fosters mutual understanding and is a subtle but nonethe­ less extreme~ important factor in successful photo reconnaissance.

This advance unit was highly successful as evidenced by Fifth A~'8 complete satisfaction with its work. It is the ideal P.R.U. setup for a fast-moving prolonged push. However, when the push ceases, the situation becomes static and the need for the unit vanishes. It then i8 more convenient for the Squadron to operate as a single organization for the sake of administration and all around efficiency.

for the Squadron to operate as a single organization for the sake of administration and all
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DISPOSITION

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GROUP

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UNITS

AND

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C,PERATIONAL

AREA

• •

OCT. ,- i~OV.-DEC. - 1944

TAF

HQ.

5 TH ARMY

3RD

PHOTO GROUP

•

A 12TH

P. R.

HQ.

SQ.

• • OCT. ,- i~OV.-DEC. - 1944 TAF HQ. 5 TH ARMY 3RD PHOTO GROUP •
• • OCT. ,- i~OV.-DEC. - 1944 TAF HQ. 5 TH ARMY 3RD PHOTO GROUP •
MISSIONS An interesting development in photo reconnaissance has been the use of oblique photographs and
MISSIONS
An interesting development in photo reconnaissance has been the
use of oblique photographs and dicing missions. "Dicing" missions got
their name in the early days of the war when the missions were so dan­
gerous that pilots threw dice to see who would fly them. By far the
most important type of oblique or dicing mission is a coastline strip
for use on an amphibious landing. The 12th Photo Squadron flew low­
level oblique missions previous to the landings at Salerno, Anzio,
Elba and Southern France. The importance of these photos cannot be
over emphasized. They undou'!)tedly were instrmnental in saving thou­
sands of doughboy lives. From photos alone, the Army planned each
invasion down to the minut~st detail. The obliques were annotated
wit~ beach defenses interpreted from large scale vertical photos,
code names, and special instructions, then issued to the troops.
Terrain models prepared from oblique aerial photos are also used ex­
tensively. It is a matter of great pride to the 5th Army PRU that on
each invasion all infantry platoon leaders were sunplied with such
photos. Almost as important are missions flown
over "No Man's Land ft ,
which give a panorama view at 3000' of the enemy held territory dir­
ectly in front of our troops. These are used chiefly to brief patrols
and to plan attacks. The great value of oblique photos, plus 5th
Army's efficient use of them, has fully justified the tremendous risk
involved. To the pilots who flew the missions should go the lion's
share of the credit for the success of this t,ype of reconnaissance.
The 12th Photo Squadron has flown the majority of these missions,
with varying degrees of success. Some types of obliques have been
found almost useless; others extremely valuable. After a great deal
of experimentation, the squadron has arrived at definite conclusions
as to what missions should or should not be attempted and what cameras
should be used.
First, let us follow the process of experimentation.
In the
First, let us follow the process of experimentation. In the winter of 1943, 5th Army sorely
First, let us follow the process of experimentation. In the winter of 1943, 5th Army sorely

winter of 1943, 5th Army sorely needed obliques to plan the attack on Cassino. Therefore, the 12th Squadron consented to try some dicing missions with a 6" oblique camera. On each of the missions, the pilots received intense flak and the missions cost the squadron several planes. The photographs did not reveal any significant information because of the small camera coverage. In other words, their value was not com­ mensurate with the risk involved. Later, a 12" oblique was installed for experimentation. This, with some exceptions, gave excellent results, but the missions were still very dangerous. The Whole front line was covered with obliques of good scale from Cassino down the Garigliano River to Gaeta. They were of great value for planning the attack and

of good scale from Cassino down the Garigliano River to Gaeta. They were of great value
for briefing patrols. The French Corps in par ,'ar used the photos This Corps was
for briefing patrols. The French Corps in par ,'ar used the photos This Corps was
for briefing patrols. The French Corps in par ,'ar used the photos This Corps was

for briefing patrols. The French Corps in par ,'ar used the photos

This Corps was to attack through a spot which the

:fo good advantageJ.

Germans considered impassable.

The terrain was mountainous and the

roads poor. If the attack were to succeed, eve~ path, no matter how small, had to be utilized fully. Several oblique missions were flown over Mount Petrella, which was the main terrain obstacle. The photos revealed terrain information that enabled the French Cor~s to capture the mountain and break through the Gustave Line. Before the final at­ tack along this l.ine, these obliques were annotated with terrain data

this l.ine, these obliques were annotated with terrain data and issued to the troops in huge

and issued to the troops in huge quantities. The success of the attack may well be attributed in part to these excellent panorama photos.

At Anzio,

a

One objection

further advance in obliques was made.

to the l2 n

obliques at Cassino was that t

of the photo was taken up by

the engtne.nacelles of the plane. It was found that the camera could

be angled around until most of the nacelles was eliminated. Col.

Polifka and two of his pilots who were stationed at Anzio throughout most of its "dark dayan, flew a total of 15 oblique "dicing" missions covering the entire front. All of the missions were treated roughly by Jerry and only by the Grace of God did the pilots return safely. 5th Army got photos at all altitudes from 100 feet up to 3000 feet.

to Rome,

the Army, now highly

In the final breakt~rough from Anzio

pleased with its photos, put them to even greater use than at Cassino.

its photos, put them to even greater use than at Cassino. the Arno Fiver. By this

the Arno Fiver.

By this time,

The next uha@e took place at

the 12 ft

obliques, set ~t the proper angle (to eliminate the engine nacelles), were very satisfactory to the Army. However, the squadron was not satisfied. The missions were too dangerous; the pilots were getting shot up consistently because, with a 12" camera, it was necessary to fly smack over "NO Man's Land" to get decent photos. At the Arno River, where the ~th Army's advance was again held up, a 21:" oblique

Army's advance was again held up, a 21:" oblique camera was somehow gotten into the nose

camera was somehow gotten into the nose of a P-3S and tried out success­

behind our lines

fully. This cou1& be flown at 3000', 2 or 3 miles

and yet give the ~ame scale as 12" flown closer to enemy territory. Thus, missions co~d now be flown with excellent results and with minimum danger. It appeared that the ultimate had been reached - but it was not to be.

The greatest

objection to this oblique set-up now was that the

photos did not gi~e a true picture of the terrain. That is, the camera did not shoot straight at the target but had to be angled in order to

so that an object did not look

the terrain took on

Thus,

avoid the engine ruacelles of the plane,

the same in each olf two overlapping photos.

a distorted a::>pear'ance. There was no way to eliminate this fault as long as the camera.S were angled forward to avoid the engIne nacelles. The squadron bad mteanwhile gotten hold of an old non-operational B-:?5

40

to avoid the engIne nacelles. The squadron bad mteanwhile gotten hold of an old non-operational B-:?5
- ­ ~
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