Majuro Atoll aerial photo - aircraft present

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by RMIAP, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. RMIAP

    RMIAP New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hi,
    I'm a geologist doing some work in the Marshall Islands and have come across 2 vertical aerial photos of Majuro Atoll. One is dated 14 Dec 1944, the other is undated. I am nearly certain the undated photo pre-dates the December 1944 photo as there are a lot more structures present in the December 1944 image, which is typical after the US took control from the Japanese.
    Maj_WWII.jpg
    Some of the metadata on the photo provides some detail of the photo (i.e. focal length/elevation), but I'm not 100% sure of the date. My educated guess from the metadata below is the photo was taken 03/20/1943 at 23:00 hr GMT. I am not certain what 43IBS means in the photo metadata.

    (ADVON-43IBS-7AAF-4MSP)(V-1)(3:20:23:00Z)(24:10000)
    MAJURO, MARSHALL GP.

    Would anyone know how I'd be able to get concrete info on the date of the photo? I know very little about WWII aviation, perhaps someone might be able to identify the aircraft in the photo and the meaning of the metadata.

    Many thanks!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    25,149
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary
    Quite a selection of aircraft. PBY Catalinas, a C-47, Corsairs, Dauntlesses and a couple of Hellcats.
     
  3. RMIAP

    RMIAP New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Awesome, thanks. I guess this dates the photo between Feb 1944 and Dec 1944. I have a few oblique photos from this time if anyone is interested.
     
  4. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    453
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    431 bombardement squadron 7 airforce ?
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    They may have been stationed there but those are obviously naval aircraft.
     
  6. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Good spotting Andy - I agree. Note only one of the Corsairs has it's wings folded (in front of the PBY-5As)
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,663
    Likes Received:
    1,417
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    I'm not sure exactly how U.S. photo annotation was done, but some of it is similar to the format used by RAF PR and other units, with the unit (that took the photo), location, time, date, altitude or map scale etc.
    In that case, then yes, the photo was taken by an aircraft from the 431st Bombardment Squadron, 7th Army Air Force.
    The '4MSP' I'm guessing is a sub-unit, or detachment, and may be something like '4th Maritime Surveillance - Photographic' - but that's only a slightly informed guess.
    The 'V-1' is possibly for Vertical camera, number 1 - RAF and Commonwealth units normally noted the negative number here, The rest is, as you deduced, the time and date, with what I presume is the map scale, rather than the altitude from which the photo was taken.
    There's probably someone here who is more familiar with the American system of photo annotation, who can probably provide the correct information.
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,195
    Likes Received:
    2,032
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    ADVON = Advanced Echelon

    I find it interesting that it denotes the 431st BS of the 7th AF, but doesn't specify which BG. Also, the 7th AF had two photo recon units: the 28th and the 41st PRS (operating F-5 aircraft)

    Is it possible that the 7th AF overflew this site as part of a mapping or asset inventory assignment?
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,663
    Likes Received:
    1,417
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Good point Dave - given that a map scale is shown, this could have been part of a mapping survey. By stating the Squadron, it's being more specific, as this would not only provide the info regarding the Squadron, but would automatically identify the Group.
     
  10. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    453
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    #10 Snautzer01, Dec 30, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
    Notice repair tent middle left of picture
     
  11. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Great info Terry and Dave!

    Forgot to say too: great photo RMIAP - thanks for posting!
     
  12. RMIAP

    RMIAP New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Wow - thanks for all the interesting info. I have some vertical aerials from Kwajalein and perhaps Wotje, Jaluit and Maleolap. I'll have a look through and if there's any aviation related images I'll post them.
     
  13. RMIAP

    RMIAP New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    #13 RMIAP, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
    Kwaj_9Jan1944.jpg

    Kwajalein 9th of Jan 1944.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,069
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Now that's an awesome picture!
     
  15. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    178
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Italy
    The picture is certainly awesome, but by my personal point of wiev not the aim of the bombardier.....
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Great photo RMIAP!
     
  17. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,195
    Likes Received:
    2,032
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    Thought you guys might get a kick out of this...

    On the Kwajalein photo (showing the bomb on it's way down), there were actually three bombs in the photo:

    Kwajalein_9Jan44_1[720x473].jpg

    And there were also alot of other interesting details in the photo, like the piers, buildings and what looked like and overgrown airstrip in the lower portion of the photo. However, in the upper portion of the photo, on the tip of the island, was this very interesting complex:

    Kwajalein_9Jan44_2[720x473].jpg

    A radar station, perhaps?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. rogerwilko

    rogerwilko Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Crop circle?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    9,562
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Graphic Designer
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Home Page:
    These are some fantastic photos.

    I think that's a Hellcat Evan. It looks like the wings are folded back, and on the left wing you can see the roundel. It's towards the back (which it would be if it was a Hellcat) and more importantly, you can actually see it. The only visible roundel on a Corsair with its wings folded would be on the other wing.

    --------------------------------

    Here's a map I've made. I'm sure most people here know what's what, but maybe it'll help someone who stumbles across this. I just cannot decided what the upper two aircraft are. I almost think the top one is Corsair and the other a Dauntless.

    AircraftMap.png
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,195
    Likes Received:
    2,032
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    #20 GrauGeist, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
    That would be the best explanation. Ever. :evil4:

    In regards to aircraft ID, some are pretty obvious but then, some are not as easy due to lighting, angle and photo clarity.
    Here's the original photo as reference:
    Majuro-Atoll_14Dec44.jpg

    I've made some enlargements of the original, and as much as I wanted to zoom in closer, the resolution was a little out of focus to start with, so this was as good as I could possibly get.

    Top Left:
    Marjuro-Atoll_14Dec44_001[720x473].jpg

    Center Left: (note the guys on the starboard wing of the Hellcat)
    Marjuro-Atoll_14Dec44_002[720x473].jpg

    Top Right:
    Marjuro-Atoll_14Dec44_003[720x473].jpg

    Center Right:
    Marjuro-Atoll_14Dec44_004[720x473].jpg

    Bottom Right:
    Marjuro-Atoll_14Dec44_005[720x473].jpg
     
    • Like Like x 2
Loading...

Share This Page