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WW II Recognizance Photography
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Nov 10, 2017 15:43:13   #
moptopper52
 
My dad was an Army Staff Sargent serving in Belgium and France with 42nd Rainbow during the”Battle of the Bulge”. He said he would receive “drops” of aerial negatives that he would develop and print in his Jeep mounted darkroom which he would send up to forward command for strategic planning.

Does anyone have any info on this practice?

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Nov 10, 2017 16:26:39   #
rmorrison1116 (a regular here)
 
I'm guessing you mean Reconnaissance.

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Nov 10, 2017 16:29:05   #
OddJobber
 
The word you want is reconnaissance. :)

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Nov 10, 2017 20:11:24   #
moptopper52
 
Thanks for correcting...Reconnaissance

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Nov 10, 2017 21:03:25   #
BHC
 
moptopper52 wrote:
My dad was an Army Staff Sargent serving in Belgium and France with 42nd Rainbow during the”Battle of the Bulge”. He said he would receive “drops” of aerial negatives that he would develop and print in his Jeep mounted darkroom which he would send up to forward command for strategic planning.

Does anyone have any info on this practice?

I wonder if he was using the word “jeep” generically. Some ¾’s we’re used as field labs, but, for the most part, deuce-and-a-half’s were the most common labs. Many of the 2-½’s we trained on at Ford Ord still smelled strongly of stop bath, so much so that a lot of the recruits thought they were old field kitchen carriers.

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Nov 10, 2017 21:14:44   #
moptopper52
 
Funny, great point! I never got dad to talk much about the war, but he still had a lot of old negatives in a trunk. I never got to print any, but I did see several graphic negatives. Wish I could find them!

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Nov 11, 2017 05:54:40   #
johneccles
 
When I was in the RAF this was my job my title was "Reconnaissance Surveyor", at the time Canberra bombers had 10" film cameras installed and had a dual purpose use.
Firstly to test the bomb aiming accuracy of the bomber aimer, secondly the camera were used for map making, which was my role. The films were developed and I had to turn the images into huge maps for the Ordnance Survey Dept. These OS maps as they are now known, are still popular today with walkers, hikers and cyclists are they are renowned for detail and accuracy. I suppose I was the precursor to the current satellite mapping which now totally digitised.

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Nov 11, 2017 06:57:56   #
Notorious T.O.D. (a regular here)
 
I thought that a key aspect of the Battle of the Bulge was the poor weather which kept the Allied planes grounded during the early days of the battle. Then once the weather cleared the Allied fighter planes bombed the heck out of the Germans. It is a great story and I hope you can find the photos. Did they print the film in the field? Were they large negatives and contact prints?

Best,
Todd Ferguson

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Nov 11, 2017 08:46:22   #
Dun1
 
Notorious T.O.D. wrote:
I thought that a key aspect of the Battle of the Bulge was the poor weather which kept the Allied planes grounded during the early days of the battle. Then once the weather cleared the Allied fighter planes bombed the heck out of the Germans. It is a great story and I hope you can find the photos. Did they print the film in the field? Were they large negatives and contact prints?

Best,
Todd Ferguson

Yep if and it may have been over dramatized during the movie "Patton" but there was a scene where General Patton called on the chaplain for a weather prayer,
copy of the original prayer Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.

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Nov 11, 2017 09:45:14   #
Notorious T.O.D. (a regular here)
 
Yes, I usually think of the Battle of The Bulge movie with Henry Fonda and Robert Shaw...

Dun1 wrote:
Yep if and it may have been over dramatized during the movie "Patton" but there was a scene where General Patton called on the chaplain for a weather prayer,
copy of the original prayer Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.
Yep if and it may have been over dramatized during... (show quote)

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Nov 11, 2017 10:08:34   #
mas24
 
moptopper52 wrote:
Funny, great point! I never got dad to talk much about the war, but he still had a lot of old negatives in a trunk. I never got to print any, but I did see several graphic negatives. Wish I could find them!


I wish you can find those negatives. The Battle of the Bulge was Hitler's last attempt to defeat the Allied Forces after the D-Day Landing. His Generals failed again.

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Nov 11, 2017 10:14:24   #
William J Renard
 
The Army had a field photo lab called the ANGR-7? I don't know if they had it in WW2, but I was trained on it at Fort Monmouth in 1962. It was a combat lab

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Nov 11, 2017 10:16:29   #
William J Renard
 
The Army had an ANGR7? Photo Lab, that I was trained on at Fort Monmouth in 1962

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Nov 11, 2017 10:42:11   #
Bigmike1 (a regular here)
 
Hitler’s generals didn’t fail him. He was his own worst enemy by refusing to listen to his generals. His inept generalship on the battlefield guaranteed the defeat of his own forces.

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Nov 11, 2017 10:52:45   #
Zooman 1
 
I was in the Army from 7-61-7-64, was also trained at FT. Monmouth, then spent 2.5 years in Furth, Germany working with aerial photography. Our lab, the Antique 7, was mounted on a 2-1/2. It was very simple and even boring photography. My guess is that the WWII lab was on a 3/4 ton truck. But, if the film was from a standard graphic it would be possible to be on a jeep. Actual aerial cameras we used had a much larger format 10x10 roll film. Would have been difficult to handle in a small lab. I would guess in WWII, lots of things were accomplished by less than standard means. I must also add that during my time in the army in Germany we used drones equipped with the 10x10 aerial cameras. Just wanted to point out the use of drones is not a new thing!

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