Sponsor Message:
Military Aviation & Space Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Usaf Photo Rec Spitfires In WW2  
User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6734 posts, RR: 11
Posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8202 times:

There was an interesting program in the BBC last night (spoilt in my view by the rather breathless and overstated narration) about the use of photo reconnaissance Spitfires and the interpretation of the photos they generated, in 3D. I was interested to see that there was some film of Spitfires carrying American markings and being flown by American personnel. Were these really RAF aircraft that were used by the Americans for the duration or did the USAF actually own and operate them themselves?

Iplayer link for those who can access it

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b011cr8f/Operation_Crossbow/

It was indicated that the one thing more than any other that brought the UK and US together was the use of photo reconnaissance and that they called on the artistic talents of Hollywood in the actual interpretation of the images.


wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5696 posts, RR: 44
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8178 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I don't have my references to hand as they are all in storage at the moment but I believe the USAAF operated something like 600 Spitfires from 1942 into 1944 and not only for P/R.
I think 13 or more USAAF pilots became aces in Spitfires with approx 300 Axis aircraft falling to the clutches of USAAF spitfires.



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8137 times:

Quoting stealthz (Reply 1):
believe the USAAF operated something like 600 Spitfires from 1942 into 1944 and not only for P/R.

A doco on a recent QF flight referred to USAAF Spits and while recce was mentioned other roles were implied.


User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6734 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8002 times:

Quoting stealthz (Reply 1):
I don't have my references to hand as they are all in storage at the moment but I believe the USAAF operated something like 600 Spitfires from 1942 into 1944 and not only for P/R.
I think 13 or more USAAF pilots became aces in Spitfires with approx 300 Axis aircraft falling to the clutches of USAAF spitfires.

You must have a great memory for facts. A short history of USAAF Spitfires here confirming what you say.

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/uncle-sams-spitfires.html



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7964 times:

It was a good doc, though I agree narrator 'Miss Moneypenny' Samantha Bond was a bit excitable.

Certainly the links forged then between the US and UK intel communities remains.

A lot of nice colour footage of the USAAF Spits too.


User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7929 times:

Quoting oly720man (Thread starter):
photo reconnaissance Spitfires and the interpretation of the photos they generated, in 3D.

The method they used for photo interpretation to get the "3D" effect has been used for decades. It's called Stereoscopy. It works by taking two offset photographs of the same area and looking at them through a Stereoscope:



The concept is the same as why we see things in 3D, our eyes are offset giving us depth perception. There are many applications where this is useful like making topographic maps, determining the height of objects on the ground, or identifying stream locations.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinecmb56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 7751 times:

There were hundreds of Spitfires used by the USAAF during WWII. Especially in North Africa. I have seen many photos of Spitfires and also Hurricanes with desert camo on them and US stars on a blue circle. The Hurricanes may have been PR, British planes and pilots with US marking to keep the French in NA from getting too mad. General Billy Mitchell was reprimanded for flying his Spitfire without proper escort for an officer of his rank. The 8th AF in England used Mosquitos for weather recon for a period of time. These were painted PR blue with a blaze red tail. Once the Mustang became available they simply sent a flight of P-51 to do the weather recon instead.

User currently offlinegphoto From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 829 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7665 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 5):
There are many applications where this is useful like making topographic maps, determining the height of objects on the ground, or identifying stream locations.

I actually did some topographic mapping as part of my degree course many years ago. The equipment was exactly like in your post and the way the images look is quite remarkable. The way 3D clarifies the picture cannot be overstated, you are able to extract so much more information from those two dimensional images. This was long before the recent vogue for 3D and so looking at a three dimensional image was still quite a novelty to me as a student back then.

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 932 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7617 times:

When the Eagle Squadrons transferred to the US Army Air Force, they remained with their previous RAF aircraft for some time before converting onto USAAF standard types. It would not surprise me if PR units were amongst them, or if the fighting spits of Eagle Squadrons were converted into PR spits for USAAF units when new fighters were introduced to replace the RAF legacy aircraft.

User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5696 posts, RR: 44
Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7587 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting oly720man (Reply 3):
You must have a great memory for facts.

Not as great as you think... I first read about this at spitfiresite and went searching for more detail... I went back to spitfiresite to confirm my recollection before posting!

Thanks for the compliment in any case



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7451 times:

Quoting gphoto (Reply 7):
I actually did some topographic mapping as part of my degree course many years ago. The equipment was exactly like in your post and the way the images look is quite remarkable. The way 3D clarifies the picture cannot be overstated, you are able to extract so much more information from those two dimensional images. This was long before the recent vogue for 3D and so looking at a three dimensional image was still quite a novelty to me as a student back then.

I completely agree. When I was a student GIS was in it's infancy and Google Earth didn't exist. One of my college jobs was cataloging a library of aerial photographs the university had of our state. I used to take the stereoscope, a couple of offset aerial photographs and look at some of our university buildings. I still occasionally use this technique at work. As you said, you're able to extract much more information by doing that, and in my opinion the tool still has applications that are better than using Google Earth.

You can understand after seeing photos in stereo why countries tasked extensive resources for photo reconnaissance to gather these stereo images in peacetime and in war to make maps and see what their adversaries were up to.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinegphoto From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 829 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7420 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 10):
You can understand after seeing photos in stereo why countries tasked extensive resources for photo reconnaissance to gather these stereo images in peacetime and in war to make maps and see what their adversaries were up to.

It's a very strange experience isn't it? You have these two almost identical photos and before you use the stereoscope you can see everything in the photo, all the data is there, nothing is hidden, but it is all flat, quite literally two-dimensional. It is only when you use the steroscope that the data is fully revealed. Nothing has changed except the way you look at the pictures - same pictures, same eyeballs, same brain. Yet the amount of useful data you have access to has grown several-fold. It's an excellent illustration that data in itself is not the whole story. It is how you look at that data that is every bit as important as the actual data itself, which is a much more important concept. I think the stereoscope is a great way of illustrating this to the man in the street - it should be used more!

But enough philosophy for today!  

Suffice to say it was a simple, yet powerful technique that was particularly well exploited by the Allies. Good work all round and especially to those who had by fly into harms way.

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlinebe77 From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7401 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 5):
The method they used for photo interpretation to get the "3D" effect has been used for decades. It's called Stereoscopy. It works by taking two offset photographs of the same area and looking at them through a Stereoscope

Ugh - I got a headache just looking at the picture of the tools...it's been a long time since I had to use them, but it still hurts thinking about it...although I have to admit it wasn't that bad, unless you had been to the pub the night before....



Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
User currently offlineScooter01 From Norway, joined Nov 2006, 1204 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7390 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting gphoto (Reply 11):
the stereoscope is a great way of illustrating this to the man in the street - it should be used more!

My first experience with a stereoscope was when my mother brought home one of these after a visit to North America in the 50s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View-Master

Scooter01   



"We all have a girl and her name is nostalgia" - Hemingway
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7388 times:

Spits in USAAF service were still designated Spitfires, whether they were photo-reconn or fighters. Interestingly, de Havilland Mosquitos used in USAAF for photo-reconn were called F-13s. Hawker Hurricans also retained their British names and no USAAF designation.

BTW, before the US entered the war, many Americans flew for the RAF, including in the Battle of Britian, several became an ace. I believe they were called the Yankee Squadrons.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 15, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7376 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 14):
I believe they were called the Yankee Squadrons.

Not quite, the Eagle Squadrons.

User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 932 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7351 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 14):
de Havilland Mosquitos used in USAAF for photo-reconn were called F-13s

Sorry to divert a little from the topic, but when US fighters were still given "P" designations for "Pursuit", what was "F"? Photo?


User currently offlineCadet985 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1555 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7311 times:

Quoting Baroque (Reply 2):
A doco on a recent QF flight referred to USAAF Spits and while recce was mentioned other roles were implied.

I just started reading a book on my Kindle called Woodbine Red Leader: A P-51 Ace in the Mediterranean Theater, and the author mentions that when he first got to Italy, they couldn't get Mustangs there fast enough, and a lot of pilots were flying Spitfires with US markings. I had never heard of this before tonight.

Marc


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7247 times:

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 17):
I just started reading a book on my Kindle called Woodbine Red Leader: A P-51 Ace in the Mediterranean Theater, and the author mentions that when he first got to Italy, they couldn't get Mustangs there fast enough, and a lot of pilots were flying Spitfires with US markings.

I am taking the return QF flight tomorrow and I assume that doco will still be loaded so I will watch it again with a bit more attention to the USAAF bits. Will post anything interesting - when I recover!


User currently offlinegphoto From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 829 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7215 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting GST (Reply 16):
Sorry to divert a little from the topic, but when US fighters were still given "P" designations for "Pursuit", what was "F"? Photo?

Correct.  

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 20, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7178 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 15):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 14):
I believe they were called the Yankee Squadrons.

Not quite, the Eagle Squadrons.


Quoting GST (Reply 16):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 14):
de Havilland Mosquitos used in USAAF for photo-reconn were called F-13s

Sorry to divert a little from the topic, but when US fighters were still given "P" designations for "Pursuit", what was "F"? Photo?
Quoting gphoto (Reply 19):
Correct.


Thanks for the correction on the squadron names, GDB.

Yes, the correct mission (for the USAAC and USAAF) was called photo-reconn. The "F" designation was assigned to aircraft who's primary mission was in this role, reguardless of the size, performance, and manuverability of the aircraft. The B-17 in photo-reconn was the F-9 (redesignated as FB-17 in 1948), the P-38 was the F-5, and the P-51 was the F-6. I said the Mosquito was called the F-13, that is wrong, it was the F-8. The F-13 was the long range photo-reconn version of the B-29 (redesignated as RB-29 in 1948). The B-24 was the F-7, and the B-25 was the F-10.


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 years 4 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6892 times:

Quoting gphoto (Reply 11):

It's a very strange experience isn't it? You have these two almost identical photos and before you use the stereoscope you can see everything in the photo, all the data is there, nothing is hidden, but it is all flat, quite literally two-dimensional. It is only when you use the steroscope that the data is fully revealed.

With practice when doing fieldwork, you can eliminate the lenses alltogether. Which is good, those things can be heavy when tromping through the mountains. It's sort of like crossing your eyes for the "magic eye" images.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):
The B-24 was the F-7, and the B-25 was the F-10.

And the P-61 was the original F-15



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (3 years 4 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6762 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 21):
With practice when doing fieldwork, you can eliminate the lenses alltogether. Which is good, those things can be heavy when tromping through the mountains. It's sort of like crossing your eyes for the "magic eye" images.

I wouldn't be surprised if we've used aerial photos for similar work. But, I'd get a headache if I did that too often. The pocket stereoscopes aren't that heavy though, but I've never found a good field application for 3D photos that I can't use a google earth image for. Even in very remote mountain areas topographic maps do the trick.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Usaf Photo Rec Spitfires In WW2
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Military aviation related posts only!
  • Not military related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
British Aircraft Carriers Sunk In WW2 (help) posted Thu Sep 29 2005 19:09:47 by FlagshipAZ
Usaf Aircraft Shot Down In Iraq? posted Wed Apr 21 2004 18:33:31 by Russophile
Usaf C-9A To Retire In 2004 posted Thu Jul 24 2003 18:43:04 by Lt-AWACS
Usaf Photo Recce-2 Questions posted Fri Dec 20 2002 13:12:08 by Tomh
Incredible German Aircraft Designed In WW2! posted Fri Jun 29 2001 20:38:35 by Norbb
Usaf F-22 Missing In Alaska posted Wed Nov 17 2010 05:32:50 by bjornstrom
Building A Plane In 24hrs - Wellington During WW2 posted Mon Sep 13 2010 02:54:19 by oly720man
Last Radial Engine In Usaf Service? posted Fri Apr 2 2010 13:58:31 by SLCPilot
A Or B,Usaf Tanker Decision In Mar '10 Pt. 2 posted Sun Sep 13 2009 13:39:22 by KC135TopBoom
Trainee Pilot Aircraft Selection In The Usaf posted Tue Jan 6 2009 18:39:48 by B787

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format