United States Army Air Force
was a photographic reconnaissance variant of the
the first prototype the XF-7 was modified of
a B-24D, all
bombing equipment was removed and had eleven cameras installed, they
being mounted in the nose, bomb bay and the aft fuselage. The
standard recce variant was the
this was based on the B-24J airframe. It had a
three nose and three bomb bay cameras fitted, 182 conversions to this
type were made.
The F-10 was the designation given to 45 B-25Ds Mitchell's that were modified for photographic reconnaissance work. All armament, armour and bombing equipment was removed. Three K.17 cameras were installed, one mounted vertically, with the other two mounted at oblique angles within blisters on each side of the nose. Also a vertical cameras could also be installed in the aft fuselage. Although designed for combat reconnaissance, these aircraft were mainly used for ground mapping.
The F-9 Flying Fortress, this was the photo-recce variant of the B-17 bomber. The first type to be converted was the B-17F. These conversions had the weapons bay modified to hold cameras and other surveillance equipment. Later a camera was mounted in the nose and some of the defensive armament was retained. This became the F-9A and the F-9B (which had a different camera installed) of which there were a final 25 conversions completed.
Based on the
the first photographic reconnaissance variant, the
F-4-1 was based on the
P-38E. With all the weapons removed from
the noise bay, this left a spacious area to install cameras. Nine of
these aircraft were deployed to the United Kingdom as part of the 5th PS (Photographic
Squadron) in mid 1942. Later, a number of the reconnaissance versions of the
P-38G, designated the
F-5A, started to arrive in the UK and became
part of 13th Photographic Squadron. Listed as the principal USAAF photographic reconnaissance
aircraft, it was continually
upgraded, F-5Bs, F-5Cs and
F-5Es were in regular use, with all three
variants often operating together in the same squadron.
F-6D with 3 Camera mounted in the rear of the aircraft.
Due the aircrafts early
evaluation in the UK, it was noted for its poor high altitude
performance. So the early Mustang Mk.1s
began the service life with the RAF in the tactical reconnaissance role.
They equipped 14 RAF Army Co-operation Command squadrons.
Behind the cockpit was a
large, transparent rear quarter-light which, because of the shape and
position of the pilot's seat, this was almost useless for rear vision.
However; it was
perfect for the installation of a single
port facing oblique camera.
Low-level photo-recce was not
glamorous duty, but the early Mustangs was well suited to it. To
ensure that the pilot took the the right photographs, the target was
lined-up with a mark on the port wing, thus allowing images to be taken
from a distance, reducing the risk the the aircraft being hit by
anti-aircraft fire. The
differed by having four cannons fitted, unlike the
which had only
four machine guns. Later versions of the Mustang,
called the P-51, were
also used in the tactical
photo-reconnaissance role. Designated the F-6
a number of variants were produced -
The P-39 was one of America's first-line pursuit aircraft first flying in December 1941. Twenty seven were converted into P-39F-2 sub-variants which were equipped for the ground-attack and reconnaissance role.
The Supermarine Spitfire PR XI, an unarmed photo-recce variant of F Mk IX (fighter), was used during the later part of 1943 by the US 8th Air Force which received twelve PR XI's, they equipped the 14th Photographic Squadron, 7th Photographic Group and were based in at Mount Farm Airfield in Oxfordshire, UK. All the Spitfires delivered were in the standard RAF "PRU Blue" with the aircrafts serial number painted on the tail.
A 120 Mosquitoes were ordered for photographic reconnaissance duties, however, only 40 were delivered and were given the designation F-8-DH. Unlike the RAF PR.XVI Mosquito which had its cameras mounted in the bomb-bay, the F-8-DH had its mount in the nose. Only sixteen reached Europe, where eleven were passed to the RAF in exchange for the PR.XVI variant and five were sent to Italy. The RAF provided 145 PR Mk XVI aircraft to the 8th USAAF Air Force between 22 April 1944 and the end of the war. These were used for a variety of photographic and night reconnaissance missions by various USAAF units.