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7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

Group

Based for the majority of their service at Mount Farm, Oxfordshire, the 7th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) took over three million intelligence photos during the course of 4,251 sorties over occupied Europe. The Group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for photo sorties over the Normandy coast between 31 May and 30 June 1944, which were a crucial part of the preparation for the land invasion that began on 6 June 1944.

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Constituted as 7th Photographic Group on 5 Feb 1943. Activated on 1 May 1943. Redesignated 7th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group in May 1943, 7th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) in Nov 1943, and 7th Reconnaissance Group in Jun 1945. Transferred, without personnel and equipment, to England on 7 Jul 1943 and assigned to Eighth AF. Used Spitfires and L-5’s to obtain information about bombardment targets and damage inflicted by bombardment operations; provide mapping service for air and ground units; observe and report on enemy transportation, installations, and positions; and obtain data on weather conditions. Prior to Jun 1944, photographed airfields, cities, industrial establishments, and ports in France, the Low Countries, and Germany. Received a DUC for operations during the period, 31 May-30 Jun 1944, when its coverage of bridges, marshaling yards, canals, highways, rivers, and other targets contributed much to the success of the Normandy campaign. Covered missile sites in France during Jul, and in Aug carried out photographic mapping missions for ground forces advancing across France. Provided reconnaissance support for the airborne attack on Holland in Sep and for the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Used P-51’s to escort its own reconnaissance planes during the last months of the war as the group supported the Allied drive across the Rhine and into Germany. Took part in the final bomb damage assessment following V-E Day. Inactivated in England on 21 Nov 1945. Disbanded on 6 Mar 1947.

Commanding officers
  • Clarence Shoop

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Commanding Officer | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group
    June 5, 1944 Was assigned to the group as commanding officer. AM/ DFC/ Croix de Guerre w/ palm

  • George Humbrecht

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group
    7th PRG Commander 1945

  • George Lawson

    Military | Colonel | Pilot; Commanding Officer | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group
    3rd youngest Combat Commander of a Group in WWII at age 25 years. Advanced from Aviation Cadet to Lt. Col from 14 February 1942 to 8 February 1944--6 days less than 2 yrs. A record for Flying School Class - 42 B ...

  • Homer Sanders

    Military | Commanding Officer | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group
    C/O of 7th PRG from September to December 1943.

  • Hubert Childress

    Military | Major | Commanding Officer | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group
    August 19 1944 earned Silver Star for outstanding achievement. SS/ AM w/ Oak Leaf Cluster

  • James Hall

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group
    See the book 'The Eyes of the Eighth' by Patricia Keen in which there are some 20 references to Hall. Also 9 pictures ETO Ribbon, Air Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross

  • Norris Hartwell

    Military | Colonel | Pilot - Group Commanding Officer | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group
    DFC

  • Paul Cullen

    Military | Brigadier General | Commanding Officer | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group
    Commander of 7th PRG 1943

Structure

Part of
  • VIII Reconnaissance Wing
  • 325th Photographic Wing

    325th Photographic Wing

    Wing
    8 Reconnaissance Wing (P) established by 8th Air Force order No. 69 on 19 February 1944 and headquarters established at AAF Station 113 Cheddington on 23 February 1944. ...

Encompassing
Previously was
Not yet known
Became
Not yet known

Missions

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Stations

Station Location Date
Constituted as 7th Photographic Group. 5 February 1943
Redesignated as as 7th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group. May 1943
Activated 1 May 1943
Based Mount Farm 7 July 1943 – 22 March 1945
Redesignated as 7th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) November 1943
Based Chalgrove 22 March 1945 – 25 October 1945
Redesignated as 7th Reconnaissance Group June 1945
Based Hitcham 25 October 1945 – 21 November 1945

Connections

People

  • Roger Abalan

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Clarence Abbott

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Harry Abelon

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Calvin Aber

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Paul Adamo

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Bruce Adams

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Dewey Adams

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Gerald Adams

    Military | Colonel | Pilot/Squadron Commander | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Harmon Adams

    Military | Sergeant | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • James Adams

    Military | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

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Aircraft

  • 41-35254

    B-26 Marauder

  • 42-12768

    F-5 Lightning

  • 42-12769

    F-5 Lightning

  • 42-12773

    F-5 Lightning

  • 42-12775

    F-5 Lightning
    F-5 Lightning 42-12775, 13th PRS, 7th PRG, 8th AF, lost on photo recon mission from Mount Farm to Antwerp, missing 4th April 1943 near Antwerp, Belgium, presumed down in the North Sea. Pilot Jack R Campbell MIA/KIA. MACR 15. ...

  • 42-12776

    F-5 Lightning

  • 42-12777

    F-5 Lightning

  • 42-12779

    F-5 Lightning

  • 42-12780

    F-5 Lightning

  • 42-12981

    F-5 Lightning
    Lockheed F-5 Lightning 42-12981 of the 14th PRS, 7th PRG, 8th AF. Departed Mount farm with pilot Capt Robert R Nelson and Capt Cassaday on a photo-recce operation of marshalling yards at Hasselt, Belgium. Nelson was shot down by the Flak placed on the...

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Citations

Distinguished Unit Citation, France 31 May- 30 June 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
22 August 2019 09:13:12 Emily Changes to insignia, us air force combat units of world war ii description, citations and commanding officers associations
Sources

Air Force Combat Units of WWII

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2016 12:03:36 general ira snapsorter Changes to us air force combat units of world war ii description and stations
Sources

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.45)

Date Contributor Update
15 December 2014 17:51:39 466thHistorian Changes to type, air forces and aircraft types
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
15 December 2014 17:48:18 466thHistorian Changes to unit part of associations, unit encompassing associations, commanding officers associations and stations
Sources

"Eyes of the Eighth" - Patricia Fussell Keen

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:46 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / 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).

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