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1st Photographic Group, United States Army Air Forces, World War II

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Surnames/tags: Military_and_War World_War_II
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Established in mid-1941 as a GHQ Air Force aerial mapping and reconnaissance group based at Bolling Field. Mission was to conduct long-range photo reconnaissance after the pattern developed by the British. Each of the four initial assigned squadrons of the group (1st, 2d, 3d, 4th) was assigned to one of the four continental air forces (1st, 2d, 3d, 4th).

The unit had almost no opportunity for training because each of its squadrons was busily engaged in carrying out mapping missions for hemisphere defense. The Photographic Squadrons were largely equipped with short-range second-line aircraft from the 1930s. Not until the end of 1942 were the first modern aircraft, B-25 (F-10) Mitchells, were assigned to observation groups

Long-range reconnaissance squadrons were established as part of combat bombardment groups in the Continental United States as well as the Caribbean and in Hawaii. These squadrons were associated with the 1st Photographic Group for crew training in aerial photography and reconnaissance. These bomber reconnaissance squadrons were designed to provide a long-range reconnaissance capability with each group. However, with the entry of the United States into World War II after the Pearl Harbor Attack, these units could no longer serve as both reconnaissance training and photo-mapping squadrons. The bombers were needed for combat bombing missions more than for reconnaissance. In April 1942 these squadrons were absorbed by those groups and were redesignated as bombardment squadrons.

During World War II, the group charted and mapped areas of the United States and sent detachments to perform similar functions in Alaska, Canada, Africa (including Operation Rusty), the Middle East, India, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Kurils. Inactivated in late 1944.



  • Constituted as 1st Photographic Group on 15 May 1941
  • Activated on 10 June 1941
  • Redesignated 1st Mapping Group 13 January 1942
  • Redesignated 1st Photographic Charting Group ca. 11 August 1943
  • Disbanded on 5 October 1944.
  • Reconstituted on 31 July 1985 and redesignated 358th Special Operations Group


  • General Headquarters Air Force, 10 Jun 1941
  • Redesignated Air Force Combat Command, 20 Jun 1941
  • Second Air Force, 13 Oct 1942
  • 311th Photographic Wing, 5 Mar – 5 Oct 1944


Assigned Photographic Squadrons

  • 1st Photographic Squadron: 10 Jun 1941 – 1 Dec 1943
    Attached to Headquarters, 1st (later First) Air Force, 10 Jun 1941 – 13 Oct 1942
  • 2d Photographic Squadron: 10 Jun 1941 – 5 Oct 1944
    Attached to Headquarters, 2d (later Second) Air Force, 10 Jun 1941 – 13 Oct 1942
  • 3d Photographic Squadron: 10 Jun 1941 – 1 Dec 1943
    Attached to Headquarters, 3d (later Third) Air Force, 10 Jun 1941 – 13 Oct 1942
  • 4th Photographic Squadron: 10 Jun 1941 – 5 Oct 1944.
    Attached to Headquarters, 4th (later Fourth) Air Force, 10 Jun 1941 – 13 Oct 1942
  • 6th Photographic Squadron: 13 Nov 1943 – 5 Oct 1944
  • 19th Photographic Squadron: 11 Aug – 1 Dec 1943
  • 91st Photographic Squadron: 9 Oct 1943 – 5 Oct 1944

Initial Activation

War Department
The Adjutant General's Office

AG 320.2 (5-29-41)

Subject: Constitution and activation of the First Photgraphic Group

To: The Commanding Generals, Third, Forth, Eighth and Ninth Corps Areas.

1. The units listed in the attached inclosure will be activated at the stations and on the dates indicated, from personnel available.

2. The following listed units are assigned to the 1st Photographic Group constituted in letter, this office, (AG 320.2 (2-1-41) MR-M-F),
May 15, 1941, subject : "The Constitution of the 1st Photographic Group, Air Corps":

Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron
1st Photographic Squadron
2nd Photographic Squadron
3rd Photographic Squadron
4th Photographic Squadron

3. Upon activation of the 2nd Photographic Squadron, Flight F, 1st Photgraphic Squadron will be transferred from Grey Field, Fort Lewis, Washington, to Bolling Field, District of Columbia, less personnel and equipment.

4. Upon the activation of the 3rd Photographic Squadron, Flight C, 1st Photgraphic Squadron will be transferred from Maxwell Field, Alabama, to Bolling Field, less personnel and equipment.

5. Upon the activation of the 4th Photographic Squadron, Flight E, 1st Photgraphic Squadron will be transferred from Moffett Field, California, to Bolling Field, less personnel and equipment.

By order of the Secretary of War

Adjutant General.

Headquarters and Headquarters
Sqadron, 1st Photographic
Flights A & D,
1st Photgraphic Squadron
Bolling Field, D.C.Bolling Field, D.C.6-10-41
2nd Photographic Squadron

Flight F,
1st Photgraphic Squadron
Grey Field,
Fort Lewis,
Grey Field,
Fort Lewis,
3rd Photographic Squadron

Flight F,
1st Photgraphic Squadron
Maxwell Field,
Station to be
announced later
4th Photographic Squadron

Flight E,
1st Photgraphic Squadron
Moffett Field,
Biggs Field,
El Paso, Texas

First Mapping Squadron
First Mapping Group, A.F.C.C.
Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Conn.

February 6, 1942

Initial Roster of Headquarters Squadron , Flight A, B & D
First Photographic Squadron

Headquarters Sq. and Flight "A"
Officers and Enlisted Men
Flight "B"
Enlisted Men
2nd Lt. FosterM/Sgt. Merson
2nd Lt. StuberS/Sgt. Mathivet
2nd Lt. LarkinSgt. McGuire
2nd Lt. WilburnPfc. Walls
2nd Lt. SchmidtPfc. Regis
2nd Lt. TylerPfc. Schumann
M/Sgt. StoltePfc. McGinnis
M/Sgt. RhodesPvt. Betts
T/Sgt. WilliamsPvt. Hughes
S/Sgt. PattersonT/Sgt. Lefevere
S/Sgt. RollPfc. MacLeod
Sgt. ErnestPvt. Bass
Sgt. LevitanPvt. Betts
Corp. TaylorPvt. Carnicelli
Pfc. NearhoofPvt. Chandler
Pvt. BrophyPvt. Greenhalgh
Pvt. GutcheusPvt. Hall
Pvt. HaysPvt. Luine
Pvt. JerrettPvt. Mitchelle
Pvt. KirkPvt. Reichle
Pvt. McGeePvt. Shamitz
Pvt. MenhartPvt. Siebern
Pvt. Nelson
Pvt. PellegriniFlight "D" Enlisted men
Pvt. Quinn
Pvt. StiefT/Sgt. Ford
Pvt. TerpayPvt. Agricola
Pvt. VermillionPvt. Baker
Pvt. DeeleyPvt. Bash
Pvt. HegePvt. Campbell, G.J.
Pvt. HughesPvt. Edmonds
Pvt. LloydPvt. Humpries
Pvt. MillerPvt. Maxey
Pvt. YochinPvt. Mueller
Corp. PotterPvt. Reece
Pvt. BeattyPvt. Ziarkowski
Pvt. ReberS/Sgt. Whitson
Pvt. TepperPvt. O'Dell
Pvt. Taff
Pvt. Campbell, L.R.
Pvt. Em?o?ns
Pvt. McDonald


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