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Archives at The Museum of Flight

United States. Army Air Forces. Photographic Squadron, 30th


Historical Note

The 30th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron was activated on May 1, 1943. The Squadron originally trained at Peterson Field (Colorado) but moved to Will Rogers Field (Oklahoma) on October 8, 1943. On January 1, 1944 the squadron was sent to New Jersey, where they took a boat to Europe. They arrived at Chalgrove Airfield (Oxfordshire, England) on February 1, 1944.

The squadron began operations out of Chalgrove in March. The squadron flew numerous missions over occupied Europe, mapping 6,000 square miles of the Netherlands and assessing bombing damage in Belgium, Holland, and France during April of 1944.

In May of 1944 the squadron moved to Middle Wallop (Hampshire, England), and continued to photograph occupied territory. During this period the Squadron received a Distinguished Unit Citation for their work photographing Utah Beach from May 7th–20th, 1944. This mission was particularly dangerous since the Normandy beaches were heavily armed with anti-aircraft ammunition and they needed to fly at very low altitudes to capture the images needed for planning the D-Day invasion.

After the successful invasion of mainland Europe, the 30th moved to Le Molay (Basse-Normandie, France) in July 1944. Throughout 1944 and early 1945 the squadron continued to move east, providing aerial reconnaissance for the First and Third Armies. The squadron entered Germany in August 1944, and took part in the Siegfried Line offensive and the Battle of the Bulge.

After the Army's entry into Germany, the 30th photographed dams and bridges on the Rhine and Roer Rivers and aided the continued Allied assault on German forces. They ended the war in Eschwege, Germany and were sent home to the United States in early July 1945. The 30th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron was officially demobilized on November 7, 1945.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

George E. Adams, Jr. Papers and Photographs

Identifier: 2002-03-15
Abstract Collection of materials related to the military service of Second Lieutenant George E. Adams Jr., who served as a reconnaissance pilot in World War II.

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