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3rd Photographic Reconnaissance Group


The 3rd Photographic Group were stationed only briefly in Britain and flew no missions from either Membury or Steeple Morden. They were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and undertook photographic reconnaissance in support of operations in the Mediterranean Theater.

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

9th June 1942 - CONSTITUTED as 3rd Photographic Group.
20th June 1942 - ACTIVATED.
May 1943 - REDESIGNATED as 3rd Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group.
Nov 1943 - REDESIGNATED as 3rd Photographic Group (Reconnaissance)
May 1945 - REDESIGNATED as 3rd Reconnaissance Group.

Provided photographic intelligence that assisted the campaigns for Tunisia, Pantelleria, Sardinia, and Sicily. Reconnoitered airdromes, roads, marshaling yards, and harbors both before and after the Allied landings at Salerno. Covered the Anzio area early in 1944 and continued to support Fifth Army in its drive through Italy by determining troop movements, gun positions, and terrain. Flew reconnaissance missions in connection with the invasion of Southern France in Aug 1944. Received a DUC for a mission on 28 Aug 1944 when the group provided photographic intelligence that assisted the rapid advance of Allied ground forces. Also mapped areas in France and the Balkans.

Commanding officers
  • Elliott Roosevelt

    Military | Brigadier General | Commanding Officer Photographic Wing | 25th Bomb Group
    In WWII he commanded the aerial reconnaissance wing that played a key role in the Allies' 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy, France, as well as the invasions of North Africa and Sicily Commander of HQ 325th Photo Wing, [Reconnaissance]. Roosevelt...


Part of
Not yet known
Previously was
Not yet known
Not yet known


Station Location Date
Based Membury 8 September 1942 – 26 October 1942
Based Steeple Morden 26 October 1942 – 22 November 1942



  • James Babcock

    Military | Second Lieutenant | photo-reconnaissance | 3rd Photographic Reconnaissance Group
    From Pennsylvania Served in 12th Photo squadron using mainly B17 aircraft Briefly based in the UK but flew supporting operations in the Mediterranean Theatre


  • 41-24434 'The Mudhen'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Middleton AD 9/7/42; Bolling 28/7/42; Westover 3/10/42; Assigned 15PRS/3PRG Membury, Wilt. 7/9/42; Steeple Morden, UK 27/12/42; transferred 12AF La Senia, Alg. 6/12/42; Algiers 25/12/42; Le Kroub, Alg. 5/6/43; La Marsa, Tun. 28/6/43; Returned...

  • 41-24438

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered MAD 9/7/42; with Franklin Gillespie, at Duncan Fd, TX 25/7/42; with E.L. Chrisman force landed Lowry, CO 39/7/42; Bangor 3/8/42; Colorado Springs 29/8/42; Assigned 15PRS/3PRG Membury, UK. 7/9/42; Steeple Morden, UK. 27/10/42; transferred 12AF...

  • 43-34926 The Spook

    "The Spook" - pilot Major James F Setchell and navigator Captain Jerome C Alexander delivered Mosquito 43-324926 to the MTO via Canada, England, Tunisia, eventually Italy. Nicknamed "the Spook" after Setchell's son, 43-324926 was the only de Havilland...




Date Contributor Update
28 September 2016 14:13:02 general ira snapsorter Changes to name, us air force combat units of world war ii description, unit part of associations and commanding officers associations

Consolidation of duplicate units and connections to reflect the Group's structure according to "Air Force Combat Units of World War 2", Ed. Maurer Maurer, Office of Air Force History. Washingto D.C. 1983. (p.33)

Date Contributor Update
14 January 2015 17:34:17 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations

Production list /

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:45 AAM AAM ingest

The Mighty Eighth. A History of the Units, Men and Machines of the US 8th Air Force.' by Roger A. Freeman (1989). 'Air Force Combat Units of World War II' compiled by the Department of the US Air Force, edited by Maurice Maurer (1983).