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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:36 pm 
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Location: Grosse Pointe, Michigan
[b Project Casey Jones was initiated shortly after VE-Day for the purpose of photomapping most of Europe and some of North Africa. B-17s from the 305th and 306th BG were modified for the purpose. Pathfinder aircraft were valued due to their radar capability but most of the mapping was done from cameras installed in the radio compartment floor rather than the nose as in most RB-17G applications. It was very tedious work.

Unfortunately very few aircraft photos documenting working conditions and/or serial numbers have been located although progress is being made. The following photos are of aircraft either 1) known to have been assigned to Casey Jones; or 2) may have been assigned. Some of these are from the collection of a former veterans who took informal photographs and are invaluable since (apparently) very few "official AF" photos were made of these aircraft.

Casey Jones presaged the wide-spread use of RB-17s across the world, where they photomapped the arctic, large parts of Central and South America, and the Pacific regions during the 1946-50 period. See final photo of 483521, used in the Caribbean and South America.

If any WIX member have further information on Casey Jones please share it.

44-8493 of the 305th. Date and location TBD. [/b]

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44-8789 and others parked at St. Trond, Belgium.
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44-8580 parked at Roberts Field, Liberia October '45.
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44-8708 parked at St. Trond, Belgium. Had been pathfinder with the 401st, transferred to the 305th May '45.
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44-8772 with the 306th. "Low and Slow" is an apt name for B-17 photomappers (43-38649 photographed the Panama Canal at 200 feet AGL ca. 1947).
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44-8809 at St. Trond, Belgium.
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44-8873 with the 305th.

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44-8873 and 44-8964 in formation. Note: 48964 has the supplemental vertical fin code '19-J' - '19' codes were used by photomapping squadrons.

URL=http://s1344.photobucket.com/user/daviemax/media/Casey%20Jones/48964-viewB_zps9bf455a2.jpg.html]Image[/URL]

44-83574 with lifeboat. This aircraft may have also been assigned to Casey Jones, but apparently was primarily used for SAR.
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44-83574 shown without lifeboat. However radar is in nose position. Some records suggest it may have been a Casey Jones aircraft but both existing photos do not clearly indicate that usage.
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44-8374 at Roberts Field, Liberia December '45.
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44-8789 at St. Trond, Belgium.
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43-39193 at Roberts Field, Liberia December '45.
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Line-up including 44-8580, 44-8706 and others Roberts Field, Liberia October '45.
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44-83521 - This aircraft is representative of RB-17Gs that built on the Casey Jones experience and photo-mapped much of the world by 1950. Shown at Ramey AFB Puerto Rico ca. 1948.
Image

_________________
Daviemax
Researcher of Post-War B-17 History
Maintains database of B-17s used from 46- on.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:32 am
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Let me introduce myself, my name is Louis T Via, I am 91 years old and live in Woodbridge Virginia. I was doing some research and found your website talking about the Casey Jones Project begun in 1946. It’s a small world. From November 1944 until May 1945 I flew B-17s with the 422nd Bomb Sq.,
305th bomb group, Eighth Air Force out of Chelveston, England bombing Germany. The airport was located near the town of North Hampton.

As you pointed out, when the war ended the Eighth Air Force was disbanded and moved back to the United States for redeployment to the Pacific theater. Three or more bomb groups remained in England and became assigned to The Casey Jones project-- aerial mapping Germany. The planes were modified by removing all armament and outfitted with a K/20 camera mounted in the radio room. My group was the 305th flying the F model B-17 and bearing the tail insignia Triangle/G.

From my memory now, In July 1945 the entire group moved to St. Trond, Belgium (near Liège) and continued he daily flights over Germany. Then, in late December, we moved to southern Germany to an airfield near Munich. I cannot remember its name.

Here comes the interesting part to me. It is now just after Christmas, 1945 and three or four of our airplanes of the 305th.were assigned to fly to Robert’s Field, Liberia, West Africa. Never heard of it but I was one of them.

It was a long, long, long flight from southern Germany through Rome Italy, south to Tripoli west to Algiers and west again Casablanca in French Morocco. ) No, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall had not yet arrived.) From here it was south to Dakar in French West Africa, and finally to Robert’s field, Liberia where the Casey Joes Project continued, I had no idea why we were in Liberia I continued those photographic missions until April 1946 when I returned to Germany and then finally home.

You show only two photographs of a B-17 model F with a tail designation of triangle G located at Robert’s field in 1946. That had to be one of the plans that left Germany with me and entirely possible that I flew the very same airplane which your photograph shows. What do you think? I’d like to hear from you. Sincerely. L.T. (Pete) Via


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:32 am
Posts: 3
Let me introduce myself, my name is Louis T Via, I am 91 years old and live in Woodbridge Virginia.
I was doing some research and found your website talking about the Casey Jones Project begun in 1946.
It’s a small world. From November 1944 until May 1945 I flew B-17s with the 422nd Bomb Sq.,
305th bomb group, Eighth Air Force out of Chelveston, England bombing Germany. The airport was
located near the town of North Hampton.

As you pointed out, when the war ended the Eighth Air Force was disbanded and moved back to the
United States for redeployment to the Pacific theater. Three or more bomb groups remained in England
and became assigned to The Casey Jones project-- aerial mapping Germany. The planes were modified
by removing all armament and outfitted with a K/20 camera mounted in the radio room. My group was
the 305th flying the F model B-17 and bearing the tail insignia Triangle/G.

From my memory now, In July 1945 the entire group moved to St. Trond, Belgium (near Liège) and continued he daily flights over Germany. Then, in late December, we moved to southern Germany to an airfield near Munich. I cannot remember its name.

Here comes the interesting part to me. It is now just after Christmas, 1945 and three or four of our airplanes of the 305th.were assigned to fly to Robert’s Field, Liberia, West Africa. Never heard of it but I was one of them.

It was a long, long, long flight from southern Germany through Rome Italy, south to Tripoli west to Algiers and west again Casablanca in French Morocco. ) No, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall had not yet arrived.) From here it was south to Dakar in French West Africa, and finally to Robert’s field, Liberia where the Casey Joes Project continued, I had no idea why we were in Liberia I continued those photographic missions until April 1946 when I returned to Germany and then finally home.
You show only two photographs of a B-17 model F with a tail designation of triangle G located at Robert’s field in 1946. That had to be one of the plans that left Germany with me and entirely possible that I flew the very same airplane which your photograph shows.
What do you think? I’d like to hear from you. Sincerely. L.T. (Pete) Via


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