Trisha Shetty (Editor)

1st Photographic Group

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Covid-19
Active  1941–1944
Role  Aerial Reconnaissance
Country  United States
1st Photographic Group
Branch  United States Army Air Forces

The 1st Photographic Group is an inactive United States Army Air Forces unit. It was last assigned to the 311th Photographic Wing, stationed at Buckley Field, Colorado. It was disbanded on 5 October 1944, but reconstituted in 1985 as the 358th Special Operations Group.

Contents

History

Established in mid-1941 as a GHQ Air Force aerial mapping and reconnaissance group based at Bolling Field. Mission was to conduct long-range photo reconnaissance after the pattern developed by the British. Each of the four initial assigned squadrons of the group (1st, 2d, 3d, 4th) was assigned to one of the four continental air forces (1st, 2d, 3d, 4th).

The unit had almost no opportunity for training because each of its squadrons was busily engaged in carrying out mapping missions for hemisphere defense. The Photographic Squadrons were largely equipped with short-range second-line aircraft from the 1930s. Not until the end of 1942 were the first modern aircraft, B-25 (F-10) Mitchells, were assigned to observation groups

Long-range reconnaissance squadrons were established as part of combat bombardment groups in the Continental United States as well as the Caribbean and in Hawaii. These squadrons were associated with the 1st Photographic Group for crew training in aerial photography and reconnaissance. These bomber reconnaissance squadrons were designed to provide a long-range reconnaissance capability with each group. However, with the entry of the United States into World War II after the Pearl Harbor Attack, these units could no longer serve as both reconnaissance training and photo-mapping squadrons. The bombers were needed for combat bombing missions more than for reconnaissance. In April 1942 these squadrons were absorbed by those groups and were redesignated as bombardment squadrons.

During World War II, the group charted and mapped areas of the United States and sent detachments to perform similar functions in Alaska, Canada, Africa, the Middle East, India, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Kurils. Inactivated in late 1944.

Lineage

  • Constituted as 1st Photographic Group on 15 May 1941
  • Activated on 10 June 1941 Redesignated 1st Mapping Group 13 January 1942 Redesignated 1st Photographic Charting Group ca. 11 August 1943 Disbanded on 5 October 1944.
  • Reconstituted on 31 July 1985 and redesignated 358th Special Operations Group
  • Assignments

  • General Headquarters Air Force, 10 Jun 1941
  • Redesignated Air Force Combat Command, 20 Jun 1941
  • Second Air Force, 13 Oct 1942
  • 311th Photographic Wing, 5 Mar – 5 Oct 1944
  • Squadrons

    Assigned Photographic Squadrons

  • 1st Photographic Squadron: 10 Jun 1941 – 1 Dec 1943
  • Attached to Headquarters, 1st (later First) Air Force, 10 Jun 1941 – 13 Oct 1942
  • 2d Photographic Squadron: 10 Jun 1941 – 5 Oct 1944
  • Attached to Headquarters, 2d (later Second) Air Force, 10 Jun 1941 – 13 Oct 1942
  • 3d Photographic Squadron: 10 Jun 1941 – 1 Dec 1943
  • Attached to Headquarters, 3d (later Third) Air Force, 10 Jun 1941 – 13 Oct 1942
  • 4th Photographic Squadron: 10 Jun 1941 – 5 Oct 1944.
  • Attached to Headquarters, 4th (later Fourth) Air Force, 10 Jun 1941 – 13 Oct 1942
  • 6th Photographic Squadron: 13 Nov 1943 – 5 Oct 1944
  • 19th Photographic Squadron: 11 Aug – 1 Dec 1943
  • 91st Photographic Squadron: 9 Oct 1943 – 5 Oct 1944
  • Associated 1st Air Force (later I Bomber Command) Reconnaissance Squadrons (all stationed at Langley Field, Virginia)

    These units were assigned to antisubmarine patrols along the Atlantic coast and convoy patrol duty over the North Atlantic shipping lanes in the immediate months after the Pearl Harbor Attack.

    Associated 2d Air Force (later II Bomber Command) Reconnaissance Squadrons

  • Established as bomber reconnaissance squadrons in early 1942, but not activated or trained:
  • Associated 3d Air Force (later III Bomber Command) Reconnaissance Squadrons

    These units were assigned to antisubmarine patrols along the Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico s in the immediate months after the Pearl Harbor Attack.

  • Established as bomber reconnaissance squadrons in early 1942, but not activated or trained:
  • Associated 4th Air Force (later IV Bomber Command) Reconnaissance Squadrons

  • Established as bomber reconnaissance squadrons in early 1942, but not activated or trained:
  • 37th Reconnaissance (later 426th Bombardment) Squadron 39th Reconnaissance (later 428th Bombardment) Squadron

    Associated Panama Canal/Puerto Rican Department (later Caribbean Air Force) Reconnaissance Squadrons

    Associated Hawaiian Air Force (later 7th Air Force) Reconnaissance Squadrons

  • 4th Reconnaissance (later 394th Bombardment) Squadron
  • B-18 Bolo; B-17C/D Flying Fortress; Re-equipped with LB-30B Liberators after Pearl Harbor Attack 5th Composite (later Bombardment) Group, Hickam Field, 25 Jan 1938 – 22 Apr 1942
  • 50th Reconnaissance (later 431st Bombardment) Squadron
  • Martin B-12; B-18 Bolo; B-17C/D Flying Fortress; Re-equipped with B-17E Flying Fortresses after Pearl Harbor Attack 11th Bombardment Group, Hickam Field, 25 Jan 1938 – 22 Apr 1942

    Stations

  • Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., 10 Jun 1941
  • Peterson Field, Colorado, 23 Dec 1943
  • Buckley Field, Colorado, 2 July – 5 Oct 1944.
  • Aircraft

  • B-18 Bolo (1941–1943)
  • A-29 Hudson (1941–1943)
  • B-17 Flying Fortress (1941–1942)
  • B-24 Liberator (1941–1942)
  • A-20/F-3A Havoc (1941–1944)
  • B-25/F-10 Mitchell (1943–1944)
  • Heraldry

    Per pale, vert and azure, a pile or debruised by a barrulet arched of the field upon and over the pile a camera lens proper rimmed sable. Motto: FIDELITER ET DILIGENTER —Faithfully and Diligently. (Approved 24 October 1942)

    References

    1st Photographic Group Wikipedia


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