WWII's 16th Photo Tech: A Project. By Theresa Everline.

November 30, 2009

Aerial reconnaissance history: A good find

Filed under: Military reconnaissance — Theresa Everline @ 1:19 pm

I’ve started to read Unarmed and Unafraid: The First Complete History of the Men, Missions, Training and Techniques of Aerial Reconnaissance, a 1970 book by Glenn Infield. Check out my Military Reconnaissance page to read about the Wile E. Coyote-esque attempts by balloonists to to useful during the Civil War.

November 19, 2009

This was intelligence work, after all

Filed under: Uncategorized — Theresa Everline @ 2:51 pm

Yesterday when I spoke with the daughter and son-in-law of Raymond Adamus, they reminded me that the members were not allowed to disclose their location when writing letters home and so forth. Apparently some came up with code ways of doing so, anyway.

November 10, 2009

Locating the Members

Filed under: Uncategorized — Theresa Everline @ 3:46 pm

This blog post will be regularly updated as I search for the members of the 16th PTU, alphabetically.

Raymond A. Adamus, East Orange, NJ: “Adamus” is a fairly unique name, but a Google search of the full name in quotation marks turns up just one URL from ancestry.com, and I can’t access the page itself because it’s a fee service. But WhitePages.com has two New Jersey addresses for Raymond Adamus, North Plainfield and Watchung! [10Nov09] Located! Yesterday I spoke with his daughter and son-in-law in Jersey! [19Nov09]

John P. Andolina, Rochester, NY: Located online a mailing address for a John P. Andolina Jr. in Rochester. Will send a letter. [19Nov09]

Harry C. Asbury, Keene, NH: A website of “Keene NH Vital Statistics” gives me a record of Asbury’s marriage (on June 5, 1937, at age 20, to June Weatherbee). And a 2001 obituary for Mildred Aiken, 85, of Tampa says she’s survived by a brother, Harry C. Asbury, of Tampa, and two nephews, Robert Asbury of Massachusetts and Roger Asbury of Arizona. Having a difficult time narrowing down the right person here. [17Nov09]

Golden G. Bader, Great Bend, KS: No matches found anywhere. [19Nov09]

Joseph A. Bajek, Ambrige, PA: Probably should be “Ambridge.” Can’t find any matches except for a Joe Bajek who works in healthcare IT in Colorado. [19Nov09]

Maurice I. Barstow, St. Petersburg, FL: Can’t pinpoint a likely candidate.

William C. Bartlett, Springfield, VT: In 1967 a William C. Bartlett of Rutland, VT, was the president of the Professional Photographers Association of New England. It’s an awfully common name, though — I’m finding William Bartletts who fought in the Battle of Springfield in 1780. [19Nov09]

November 6, 2009

National Archives: No 16th PTU Records. Nothin’.

Filed under: The squadron — Theresa Everline @ 11:11 am

Yesterday I received an email response to an inquiry I made to the National Archives and Records Administration. I asked if they had anything on the 16th Photo Tech Unit and noted that the unit was attached to the 67th Tactical Recon Group. This is what they said:

“We have searched our available finding aids for the records of the 16th Photographic Technical Unit without success. There are some reports from the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group among our Records of the Army Air Forces (Record Group 18), WW II Mission Reports. Attached is a folder list.”

The document they attached lists 15 folders pertaining to the 67th Tactical Recon Group, most of them monthly “Operations Reports” for the period between June 1944 and May 1945. There are also two folders of “Field Orders.” I can see the records if I go to their research room in College Park, Md.

Looks like it’s road trip time!

November 2, 2009

Reconnaissance then and now: first thoughts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Theresa Everline @ 12:12 pm

On the “Technology and Its Effects” page I’ve posted links to stories in the LA Times and The New Yorker about the current unmanned aircraft that do surveillance (not to mention air strikes). The hovering drones supply live video feed as opposed to the stills developed by WWII photo labs. Live video feed allows for targeted bombing of people. The daily stills were used, I believe, to monitor significant facilities, infrastructure, and troop movements. These things, obviously, continue to be watched (and thwarted: see “North Korea, Iran, nuclear plants”) — but the WWII photo reconnaissance was mainly about large-scale destruction. “Targeted” seems to have meant something different.

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