North American B-25 Mitchell Color Photographs Part VII – 17th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

The 17th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron first saw combat operating from Guadalcanal in February, 1943.  They were initially equipped with the F-5 Lightning, a photo reconnaissance version of the P-38.  In May 1945 they transferred to Puerto Princesa Airfield, Palawan, Philippines and by that time had been re-equipped with the B-25 Mitchell, where these photos were taken.

Most of these aircraft are B-25Js with the 8-gun strafer noses, indicating the Squadron was then taking a more active role than just taking photographs.  Several of these Mitchells have had the “cheek” guns on the fuselage sides removed, reportedly they proved difficult to adjust and were problematic for armorers.  A few aircraft have the “glass” noses indicating a Bombardier, it was not uncommon for squadrons to operate a mix of sub-types.

The airfield and parking areas were covered in “Marston Mat” or Pierced Steel Planking (PSP).  These were interlocking steel planks which could be assembled over any flat, packed surface, allowing the rapid constructions of airfields.

Many of these photographs show the Mitchells being serviced or maintained, excellent inspiration for modelers looking to construct dioramas.

Several of these photographs are attributed to the Fred Hill Collection, I assume they were all taken at approximately the same time by one photographer.

B-25 Mitchell color photographs part VIII here: