The 7th Photographic Group (variously known as 7th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group, 7th Photographic Group ((Reconnaissance)), and 7th Reconnaissance Group) was activated on 1 May 1943 and assigned to the Eighth Air Force on 7 July 1943. Stationed initially at Mount Farm, England, in March 1945 they moved to Chalgrove, England, and then from October 21 through November 1945 were stationed in Hitcham, England; they were inactivated in England on 21 November 1945. The group was tasked 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. 7th Photo Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for operations during the Normandy campaign of June 1944; later that year they covered missile sites in France, carried out photographic mapping missions for ground forces advancing across France, and provided reconnaissance support for the airborne attack on Holland and for the Battle of the Bulge.
7th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group
0.21 Cubic feet ((1 flat box))
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This collection consists of a 90 page photo album (unbound); each page is assembled from a montage of photographs, drawings (usually charcoal sketches), and/or typed text labels, with professionally hand-drawn graphic titles. The completed page setup was then photographed and printed as a 9 x 9 inch copy photograph. The first portion of the album presents an overview of the reconnaissance unit's activities, showing bombardment damage to German industrial targets, airfields, and V-2 rocket launch sites, and reconnaissance support for the US Army advance across France following D-Day. Also depicted are the dangers faced by reconnaissance pilots (shown flying the Lockheed F-5 Lightning) from "Weather, Fighters, and Flak!" Later portions of the album show assorted views of England, including unidentified rural areas as well as noted landmarks in London, Oxford, Windsor, and Stratford-upon-Avon. There are several pages showing visits by celebrities including Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. A couple of pages show assorted aircraft in flight, including North American P-51 Mustang, Boeing B-17 Superfortress, and Supermarine Spitfire in USAAF markings.
Crosby, Bing, 1904-1977
Hope, Bob, 1903-2003
North American P-51 Mustang Family
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Family
Supermarine Spitfire Family
7th Photo Group History Photograph Album, Accession XXXX-0669, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
National Air and Space Museum Archives