Aerial reconnaissance view of the V1 launching ramps at the Luftwaffe Test Installation, Peenemunde West, Usedom Island, Germany, showing a Fiesler Fi 103 flying bomb positioned on its ramp (arrowed). This was the photograph from which Flight Officer Constance Babington-Smith, a photographic interpreter at the Allied Central Interpretation Unit, RAF Medmenham, Buckinghamshire, confirmed the existence of the V1. The sortie was carried out by a Mosquito of No. 540 Squadron flown by Squadron Leader J R H Merifield and his navigator Flying Officer W N Whalley.
Aerial views of V2 Rocket Sites at Peenemunde
Aerial reconnaissance photograph of the Rocket Research Establishment at Peenemunde, Usedom Island, Germany, taken by a De Havilland Mosquito PR Mark IX of No. 540 Squadron RAF, using a Type F.52 (36″) vertical camera. This view shows the concentration of bomb craters on the airfield and damage to technical buildings of the Luftwaffe Test Facility, Peenemunde West, after the raid by Bomber Command on 17/18 August 1943.
Aerial reconnaissance photograph of the Rocket Research Establishment at Peenemunde, Usedom Island, Germany, taken by a De Havilland Mosquito PR Mark IX of No. 540 Squadron RAF, using a Type F.52 (36″) vertical camera. This view shows the devastated Karlshagen Housing Estate, which accommodated the Establishment’s married staff and their families, after the air raid by Bomber Command on 17/18 August 1943. Of the 2,500 dwellings on the estate, only 72 survived.
Farmers gather in the wheat, undisturbed by the presence of these Halifaxes of an unidentified No 4 Group squadron in Yorkshire, August 1943.
The wireless operator of a Handley-Page Halifax of No. 35 Squadron RAF, in his position prior to take-off at Linton-On-Ouse, Yorkshire.
Halifax B Mark II Series 1A, HR861, on the ground prior to delivery to No. 35 Squadron RAF at Graveley, Huntingdonshire. HR861 was lost over Nuremberg, 11 August 1943.
The wreckage of Handley Page Halifax Mark II, JD379 ‘KN-M’, of No. 77 Squadron RAF based at Elvington, Yorkshire, lying in a cleared fir plantation at Queloh, north-west of Eschede, Germany, after being shot down by a night fighter while returning from a major night raid on Berlin on 24 August 1943. 3 members of the crew, including the pilot, Pilot Officer A Massie, were killed and the 4 survivors were made prisoners of war. JD379 was the 25th victim of the Luftwaffe night-fighter ‘ace’, Oberleutnant Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer.
The damaged tail section of Handley Page Halifax B Mark II Series I, HR782 ‘MH-V’, 51 Squadron RAF, following its collision with an Avro Lancaster while returning from a raid on Munchen-Gladbach on the night of 29/30 August 1943. HR782 was ten miles from its temporary base at Ossington, Nottinghamshire, when the Lancaster, apparently on a reciprocal course, collided with the aircraft, damaging the port propellers, gashing the fuselage and tearing off the upper port fin. The pilot, Flying Officer R Burchett, found the aircraft uncontrollable at less than 180 miles per hour, but made a good landing at Ossington despite overshooting the runway. HR782 was repaired and flew on further operations before it was finally lost on a raid to Leipzig on the night of 3/4 December 1943.
Armourers make final checks on the bomb load of an Avro Lancaster B Mark I of No. 207 Squadron RAF at Syerston, Nottinghamshire, before a night bombing operation to Bremen, Germany. The mixed load (Bomber Command executive codeword ‘Usual’), consists of a 4,000-lb HC bomb (‘cookie’) and small bomb containers (SBCs) filled with 30-lb incendiaries, with the addition of four 250-lb target indicators (TI).
Vertical aerial photograph taken over the centre of Dusseldorf at 11 pm on 10 September 1942, at the height of the major night raid by 479 aircraft of Bomber Command. Most of the area photographed is covered with widespread incendiary fires, from which flame and smoke are rising to obscure the target.
Yes, it is.
It's the 'Strike camera', as it would be called today, carried by all RAF bombers, from Mosquito to Lancaster, and was situated on the port side of the bomb aimer's compartment, at the rear, in the Lanc.
The aircraft had to maintain straight and level flight for a number of seconds (time dependent on altitude) whilst the camera was operated and a photo flash dropped, to record the bomb bursts. These were later analysed, to calculate bombing accuracy and effect. The film was processed soon after landing on return from the 'Op', and copies of the prints posted on a notice board for all crews to view. The crew with the best bombing accuracy were often awarded 'points' towards extra leave or similar perks.
Those vertical photos posted previously, showing flak trails and so on, are examples of the strike photos taken by these cameras.
Three Avro Lancaster B Mark Is of No 44 Squadron, Royal Air Force based at Waddington, Lincolnshire, flying above the clouds on 29 September 1942. Left to right: W4125, `KM-W’, being flown by Sergeant Colin Watt, Royal Australian Air Force; W4162,`KM-Y’, flown by Pilot Officer T G Hackney, (later killed while serving with No 83 Squadron); and W4187, `KM-S’, flown by Pilot Officer J D V S Stephens DFM, who was killed with his crew two nights later during a raid on Wismar.