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  #1  
Old 14th January 2023, 21:50
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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USAAF 11th AF PR units

Hi,

The Orders of battle for 11th AF (Alaska) includes two photo recce units which I have not been able to identify:

1. Unit with 4 F-5 with 11th AF for most of 1943 to the beginning of 1944.
2. Unit with 4 P.R. (Multi seater) with 11th AF short period during the autumn 1944.

Besides the identity of the units I would like to know aircraft type the second unit used (Multi seater).

Thanks in advance
Peter
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  #2  
Old 15th January 2023, 11:01
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: USAAF 11th AF PR units

Peter

For what it is worth, the only recce unit I have come across being in Alaska at all was the 1 PRS.
It changed name constantly during WW 2.

It was never assigned to the 11th AF as such but their job from 1943 was to map the State (presumably
areas not previously covered)

Unfortunately the unit never seems to have operated any Lockheed F-5, only B-25, B-17 (F-9) and from 1944
some B-29 (F-13). Exactly which types that went to Alaska are unknown to me.

One other solution is that one of the fighter squadrons received some F-5s to perform such missions.
I think some of the Groups up there were composite so they were probably quite flexible.

Cheers from a rainy Göteborg (miracle of miracles it has actually stopped.... )
Stig
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Old 15th January 2023, 11:39
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: USAAF 11th AF PR units

Hello,

A possibility for No.2:

In early April 1944, the 2nd Mapping Squadron arrived from F-7s Peterson Field, Colo., with four F-7s. The F-7 was a photoreconnnaissance version of the B-24. Because of their aquamarine paint scheme, the F-7s were dubbed the Blue Geese. The squadron operated from Casco Cove and spent the next five months taking over 3,000 photographs of the Northern Kuriles. The photographs were later used in making maps of the Kuriles. (p.131).

Finally, the Blue Geese of the 2nd Photo Mapping Squadron completed their project and returned to Peterson Field in late August. They had lost one of their F-7s in an accident on Shemya. The trend of sustaining no combat losses continued. (p.132).

See:
Top Cover For America - The Air Force in Alaska 1920-1983.
Cloe, John Haile with Michael Monaghan.
Missoula:Pictorial Histories Publishing Company,1987(3rd.printing).
pp.131-2

Col.

Last edited by Col Bruggy; 16th January 2023 at 00:29.
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  #4  
Old 15th January 2023, 13:11
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: USAAF 11th AF PR units

Amazing Colin

I have that book, but since it is not indexed I missed that.
Seems both 1PRS and 2PRS (yes I call them that for simplicity here) were doing the same job.

None belonged to the 11th AF.

Now all we need to find is the unit which operated the F-5s....

Cheers
Stig
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Old 15th January 2023, 14:23
twocee twocee is online now
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Re: USAAF 11th AF PR units

Not my area of expertise, but an article on the 54FS in the AAHS Journal suggests that the F-5s were assigned to it, operating alongside P-38Gs.
To quote, "The squadron began receiving P-38Gs as replacements for the P-38Es that had been lost. The first of several F-5A photo reconnaissance Lightnings arrived 18 March. Prior to their arrival the Eleventh Air Force had depended on its bombers for that capability". It states that three of the squadron's F-5s were based at Amchitka to cover the invasion of Attu in May.
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Old 15th January 2023, 20:20
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: USAAF 11th AF PR units

Stig, Col and George,

Thank you for the response, much appreciated.

When I searched for more information about the 1st and 2nd Photo Mapping Squadrons I found the book “Combat Squadrons of the Air Force – World War II” edited by Maurer Maurer (https://media.defense.gov/2010/Dec/0...101202-002.pdf). It mentions that both units were used to map Alaska during the period 1941 to 1943 but only the detachment doing the mapping of the Kuril Islands is mentioned in the Orders of battle for 11th AF.

In the same book F-5 was listed among the aircraft used by 54FS but the squadron also used the P-43 during 1941 to 42. This made me wonder if these were used for PR-duties as I have seen that several P-43 were modified for photo-reconnaissance.

Cheers from a windy Karlskrona (but I have actually seen the sun this weekend)
Peter
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Old 15th January 2023, 20:59
twocee twocee is online now
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Re: USAAF 11th AF PR units

According to the article that I mentioned, the air echelon of the 54FS arrived at Elmendorf on 2 June 1942 in specially modified P-38Es, so no P-43s in Alaska.
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Old 15th January 2023, 21:22
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: USAAF 11th AF PR units

Quote:
Originally Posted by phasselgren View Post
but I have actually seen the sun this weekend
Lucky You....
Stig
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  #9  
Old 15th January 2023, 21:35
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: USAAF 11th AF PR units

Thanks George, I realise now that it would be more logic to attach any PR P-43s to units with single engine fighters. Anyway on the 7th August 1942 11th AF had one P-43 and the type is also listed later in the year but without quantities.
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