Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

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Active  1942–1945
Type  Reconnaissance/Mapping
Country  United States
5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron
Branch  United States Air Force

The 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 3d Reconnaissance Group. It was inactivated at Pomigliano Airfield, Italy on 12 September 1945.



Established in early 1942; trained under First Air Force as an observation squadron. Equipped with O-59 Grasshoppers and flew observation fights largely over Fort Campbell, Kentucky while Army units were training in ground maneuvers.

Deployed to European Theater of Operations (ETO) in March 1942; assigned to Eighth Air Force. Trained with RAF Reconnaissance units, flying photo-recon sweeps over France and the Low Countries, obtaining intelligence information about German defenses along the channel coast. Flew reconnaissance over Dieppe, France prior to August 1942 commando raid using modified P-38 Lightning (F-4/F-5) aircraft.

Deployed to Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO), assigned to Twelfth Air Force in Algeria during November 1942, shortly after the Operation Torch landings in North Africa. Provided tactical aerial reconnaissance over Algeria and Tunisia during North African Campaign; over Sicily and Italy in preparation for ground invasions in mid-1943. Received long-range B-25 Mitchell (F-10) medium bombers equipped for aerial reconnaissance in 1944. Remained assigned to Twelfth Air Force in Italy, providing tactical aerial reconnaissance support of Allied ground forces during the Italian Campaign, 1943–1945 also supported Free French units in the liberation of Corsica, 1944.

Demobilized and inactivated in Italy after the German Capitulation, summer 1945.


  • Constituted 5th Photographic Squadron on 19 Jan 1942
  • Activated on 1 Feb 1942 Redesignated: 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 9 Jun 1942 Redesignated: 5th Photographic Squadron (Light) on 6 Feb 1943 Redesignated: 5th Combat Mapping Squadron on 21 Jan 1944 Redesignated: 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 31 Aug 1944 Inactivated on 12 Sep 1945


  • Air Force Combat Command, 1 Feb 1942
  • Army Air Forces, 9 Mar 1942
  • 73d Observation Group, 12 Mar 1942
  • Eighth Air Force, 10 May 1942
  • VIII Bomber Command, 7 Sep 1942
  • Twelfth Air Force, 19 Sep 1942
  • Attached to 3d Reconnaissance Group (later Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping; Photographic Group) from Oct 1942
  • 3d Photographic (later Reconnaissance) Group, 21 Jan 1944 – 12 Sep 1945
  • Flight attached to 5th Photographic Group, 10 Mar – 9 May 1944


  • O-59 Grasshopper, 1942
  • P-38/F-4 Lightning, 1942–1943
  • P-38/F-5 Lightning, 1943–1945
  • Spitfire PR Mk XIII (Reconnaissance) (attached) 1943–1944
  • Spitfire PR Mk IX (Reconnaissance), 1944–1945
  • B-25/F-10 Mitchell, 1944–1945
  • References

    5th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron Wikipedia

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