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Preparing the Cold War: Project Casey Jones: Post Hostilities Aerial Mapping

Posted By: AlenMiler
Preparing the Cold War: Project Casey Jones: Post Hostilities Aerial Mapping

Preparing the Cold War: Project Casey Jones: Post Hostilities Aerial Mapping: Iceland, Europe and North Africa from June 1945 to December 1946 by Robert Boyd
English | 14 Oct. 2016 | ASIN: B01M6XDL9B | 67 Pages | AZW3/MOBI/EPUB/PDF | 6.61 MB

Germany's surrender meant that World War II was over in Europe and no further bombing missions would be flown there. Rumors were rife and one started floating that the 305th and 306th Bombardment Groups would not accompany the Eighth Air Force to the war in the Pacific. Instead, these two units, with the greatest amount of service in the European theater, would be detailed to a new mission for preparing the Cold War: Photographic mapping of the continent of Europe, North Africa and Iceland. This rumor was confirmed on a morning early in June 1945. The group commanders briefed their men on the new mission, nicknamed “Project Casey Jones”.

The initial reaction of the crews that were to fly the new mission was that the stringency of the task made its successful completion nearly impossible. Their experiences and their knowledge of what was involved with a broad-gauged operation such as Casey Jones told them how difficult and complicated this precision mission actually was. Everyone had to adapt, but the former gunners who were converted into cameramen had to face the greatest amount of change. And, the Army Air Forces personnel of the two bomb groups surprised themselves and others by completing the project in slightly over 18 months.

The crews had to fly their B-17s on a rigid flight route. They were intercepted by fighter aircraft over Spain and, being unarmed and unarmored, discretion dictated evasion. They were constantly warned by superiors and commanders to scrupulously avoid the airspace over the Russian zones of occupied Europe. Project Casey Jones was probably the largest single photographic mapping project ever.