9th PRS:Chronology


9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

28 Jan 42- Acting under orders from Army Air Corps Headquarters, Bradley Field headquarters transferred 28 enlisted men of the First Mapping Squadron (1st Photographic Squadron) in grade with specialist ratings to the 9th Photographic Squadron (Reconn) Cadre. The orders places the men on detached service at Bradley Field, Connecticut, and attached them to the First Mapping Squadron. (S.O. No. 25, Hw., Bradley Field, 28 Jan 42).

30 Jan 42- Army Air Corps Headquarters activated the 0th Photographic Squadron (Reconn) at Mitchel Field, New York. (G.O. No. 12, Air Base Hq., Mitchel Field, 20 Jan 42).

16 Feb 42- Army Air Corps Headquarters assigned Captain Dale L Swartz, O-281514, to the 9th Photographic Squadron (Reconn) at Mitchel Field and placed him on detached service with the Cadre at Bradley Field, Connecticut. (S.O. No. 42, Hq., Bradley Field, 16 Feb 42).

28 Feb 42- Captain Edwin Kessler, )-219819, a recalled reserve Infantry Officer, reported to the 9th Photographic Squadron (Reconn) at Mitchel Field and assumed temporary command. (S.O. No. 59, Hq., Mitchel Field, 28 Feb 42).

10 Mar 42- Army Air Corps Headquarters transferred the 9th Photographic Squadron (Reconn) from Mitchel Field to Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Major Dale L. Swartz assumed command.

5 Apr 42- 35 enlisted men arrived at Bradley Field from Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, and joined the 9th Photographic Squadron (Reconn).

7 Apr 42- 54 enlisted personnel joined the squadron from Sheppard Field, Texas, where they had just completed aircraft mechanics school. (S.O. 83, Sheppard Field, 2 Apr 42).

12 Apr 42- The squadron departed Bradley Field by troop train enroute to Felts Field, Spokane, Washington, where it arrived on 16 April. (S.O. 90, Hq., Bradley Field)

13 May 42- An advance detail of two officers and six enlisted men departed under Secret orders for the Charleston Port of Embarkation to prepare for overseas shipment of the squadron. (S.O. 128, Geiger Field, 9 May 42). 18 May 42- The squadron departed Felts Field by train for Charleston, South Carolina. The flying officers remained at Felts Field, later proceeded to Lowry Field and Colorado Springs for additional training.

22 May 42- The squadron arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, and moved into barracks at Sullivan’s Island. Captain Kessler again was in temporary command.

27 May 42- Squadron personnel loaded aboard USAT #22, the S.S. Mariposa. The ship sailed from the Charleston Port the next morning with the quadroon complement of nine officers, one Warrant Officer, and 178 enlisted men. The destination remained Secret.

31 May 42- The Mariposa anchored in the harbor at Bermuda, but sailed again in the early afternoon.

12 Jun 42- The Mariposa anchored in the harborof Freetown, Sieera Leone.

19 Jun 42- The Mariposa sailed out of Freetown harbor and joined a large convoy including the British battleships Rodney and Nelson.

20 Jun 42- The squadron was reorganized in accordance with T/O 1-757, 1 July 1942, with a new authorized strength of 33 officers, two Warrant Officers, and 223 enlisted men.

1 Jul 42- The convoy docked at Capetown, South Africa, where all personnel were granted shore leave.

4 Jul 42- The convoy sailed from Capetown.

23 Jul 42- The Mariposa docket at Karachi, India, 58 days after leaving Charleston.

24 Jul 42- The 9th Photographic Squadron (Reconn) disembarked, loaded onto trucks, and proceeded to Karachi Air Base.

4 Aug 42- Lt. Col. Jerald W. McCoy reported to the unit and assumed comman. (S.O. No. 37, Hq., Karachi Air Defense Area, 1 Aug 42)

16 Aug 42- Cpl. Philip R. Zarda went to Kunming, China, to build a photo lab for China Air Task Force. (S.O. 42, Hq., Karachi Air Defense Area, 1 Aug 42)

10 Sep 42- The squadron F-4 aircraft arrived by ship at Karachi and were offloaded. Squadron personnel towed the disassembled aircraft through the streets of Karachi and over the long road to the air base.

Sep 42- The squadron received word that in June the War department had changed the unit designation to the 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron. (Lt., War Dept. Adj. Gen. Office, 9 Jun 42)

28 Oct 42- Five enlisted men departed enroute to Kunming, China, where they were to augment the photo technicians already there. (S.O. 90, Karachi American Air Base Command, 16 Oct 42).

10 Nov 42- An advance party of one officer and four enlisted men left Karachi enroute to Chakulia Air Base, Bihar State, to prepare for the arrival of the squadron at its new base.

12 Nov 42- A pilot and 19 enlisted men went to Kunming, China, as an addition to the China Air Task Force detachment.

20 Nov 42- Major Swartz led a flight of three F-4 aircraft to Kunming, China.

24 Nov 42- In the first major squadron move in India, eight officers and 95 enlisted men left Karachi by train, arriving at Chakulia on 30 November. Captain George Bantel commanded the advance detachment.

10 Dec 42- Two officers and 30 enlisted men arrived at Chakulia with the squadron motor vehicles, having driven 1,500 miles over India’s roads.

11 Dec 42- One officer and 13 enlisted men left Chakulia Air Base enroute to Barrackpore, India, where they were to set up a squadron detachment.

12 Dec 42- col. McCoy, squadron commander, and Captain Henry Miller flew the first two squadron reconnaissance missions over enemy territory in Burma. Durin ghte remainder of the month squadron pilots flew 17 additional missions.

3 Jan 43- Beginning another squadron move, a motor convoy with three officers and 32 enlisted men left Chakulia and arrived at Pandaveswar that afternoon.

4 Jan 43- Major Dale L. Swartz replaced Col. McCoy as squadron commander when the latter became Photographic Staff Officer at Tenth U.S. Air Force Headquarters.

6 Jan 43- A second party of four officers and 30 enlisted men moved to Pandaveswar by truck.

10 Jan 43- The remainder of the squadron arrived at Pandaveswar by train.

12 Feb 43- Two trained photo interpreter officers joined thes quadroon to establish a first-phase photo interpretation section.

16 Feb 43- Major Swartz led a flight of two F-4’s on the first photo reconnaissance mission over Rangoon, Burma.

1 Mar 43- Tenth U.S. Air Force Headquarters changed the squadron designation to 9th Photographic Squadron. (G.O. 12, Hq., Tenth U.S. Air Force, 1 Mar 43).

18 Mar 43- An F-4 aircraft, pilot, and support personnel moved to Dnijan, Assam, on detached service.

27 May 43- The first “war-weary” B-25 assigned to the squadron arrived from the Third Air Depot. B-25 pilots and navigatyors also joined the squadron.

10 Jun 34- Lt. Schmeisser (pilot), Lt. Roebuck (co-pilot), Lt. Redd (navigator), and photographers Lt. Wilson and M/Sgt Hall flew the first squadron B-25 mission over Burma, covering the railroad from Sgaing to indaw.

27 Jun 43- Lt. Bates flew the first mission over Burma with the new F-5 aircraft.

7 Jul 43- The newly-arrived 21st Photo Squadron transferred four officers and 31 enslited men to the 9th Photo Squadron, while the latter transferred and equal number of its personnel then on detached service at Kunming, China, to the 21st Photo Squdaron.

17 Jul 43- The squadron desgination changed to the 9th Photographic Squadron, Light. (G.O. #66, Hq., 10th Air Force).

21 Jul 43- Three additional enlisted men moved to Barrackpore on detached service.

24 Jul 43- Ten more enlisted men joined the detachment at Barrackpore.

Jul 43- The squadron discontinued its detachment at Dinjan and returned all except one enlisted man to the squadron headquarters at Pandveswar.

Sep 43- The squadron moved two B-25’s, crews, and photo laboratory equipment to Dinjan to establish a detachment at that Assam base. A third B-25 was to was to join the detachment early in October.

Sep 43- The squadron began a move from Pandaveswar to Barrackpore. Personnel moved in small groups to gradually shift to the new base without interrupting operations.

5 Sep 43- Lt. Philip Robertson flew the longest reconnaissance mission to date in CBI, staying aloft 8 hours and 55 minutes.

30 Oct 43- Hq., AAF, IBS, CBI activated the 5306th Photographic and Reconnaissance Group (Prov.) at New Delhi, India, and named Colonel Jerald W. McCoy, former squadron commander, as the group commander. It also assigned the 9th Photographic Squadron to the Group, the first time the unit had been part of any Group or similar larger organization. (G.O. #11, Hq., AAF, IBS, CBI)

13 Nov 43- The squadron designation was changed to the 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron.

Nov 43- The squadron completed its move to Barrackpore.

7 Dec 43- Captain (later Major) Henry E. Miller, Jr., became squadron commander when Major Dale L. Swartz departed enroute to his new assignment at Hw., Army Air Forces, in Washington.

15 Dec 43- Hw., Eastern Air Command, activated the Photo Reconnaissance Force, a joint RAF-USAAF command. (G.O. #1, par 1, 4 (d), EAC, 15 Dec 430).

19 Dec 43- Capt. John E. Buffin flew and F-4 from Barrackpore to Kunming, China. The next morning he flew the first photographic reconnaissance mission over Bangkok, Thailand and returned to Kunming for refueling. He then flew directly to New Delhi, India, where his film was processed and interpreted.

Dec 43- The squadron received a new table of organization that increased the aircraft authorization from 13 to 16 and personnel strength to 44 officers and 297 enlisted men.

17 Jan 44- when the 5306th Photo and Reconnaissance Group (Prov.) was deactivated, the squadron again became a separate unit attached to Tenth U.S. Air Force.

10 Feb 44- An officer and six enlisted men moved a photo trailer down the Ledo Road to process film dropped to them from B-25 aircraft.

Feb 44- The squadron became part of the joint Photo Reconnaissance Force, under the command of Group Captain Wise, RAF, whose headquarters was at Bally Seaplane Base on Hooghly River, north of Calcutta.

7 Mar 44- The squadron reassigned to Hq., AAF, IBS, CBI and further assigned to 10th Air Force. (G.O. #34, Hq., AAF, IBS, CBI)

25 Apr 44- Hq., Tenth U.S. Air Force, assigned the squadron to the 8th Photo Group. (G.O. #38, Hq., 10th U.S. Air Force, 25 Apr 44)

17 May 44- The Dinjan Detachment rejoined the squadron when the 20th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron assumed the photo reconnaissance mission from Dinjan.

1 Jun 44- The squadron was authorized four additional officers under T/O&E 1-757, 17 Sep 43. The new authorized strenghth was 49 officers, 1 Warrant Officer, and 297 enlisted men. (G.O. #76, Hq., AAF, IBS, CBI)

5 Jun 44- Squadron strength was further augmented. (G.O. #79, Hq., AAF, IBS, CBI)

17 Jun 44- Captain John E. Buffin became squadron commander when Major Henry E. Miller, Jr., completed his tour and departed for a new assignment in the United States.

27 Jun 44- Major Paul (NMI) Turner, Jr., assumed command of the squadron.

18 Jul 44- With its parent 8th Photo Group, the squadron was transferred from Tenth U.S. Air Force to Hq., AAF, IBS, CBI. (G.O. #113, Hq., AAF, IBS, CBI)

15 Aug 44- The squadron sent two F-5 aircraft and support personnel to Chittagong, India, to work with the RAF 224th Group.

12 Nov 44- An officer and five enlisted men of the 40th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron arrived at Chittagong and began taking over the operation there. As more personnel of the 40th arrive, the 9th Squadron personnel returned to their base at Barrackpore.

20 Nov 44- Three C-47aircraft arrived without warning at Tingkhawk Sakan to transport the detachment to Myitkyina, Burma.

29 Nov 44- The Tingkhawk Sakan detachment completed the air movement to Myitkyina North Airfield. The squadron shifted its base from Barrackpore, India, to Myitkyina, Burma.

3 Jan 45- Nine men were thrown from an amphibious D.U.K.W. “duck” that overturned in a stretch of the Irrawaddy River rapids 15 to 20 miles about Myitkyina. Four of the men reached shore, one body was recovered, and the remaining four men were listed as missing.

25 Jan 45- Major Paul Turner, Jr., returned to the United States. Major MacArthur Gorton, Jr., assumed command of the squadron

18 Apr 45- After three days of hurried packing, a truck convoy left Myitkyina North Airfield to begin the squadron move to its new base at Piardoba, India.

19 Apr 45- The remaining squadron personnel flew from Myitkyina Nort Airfield to Dinjan in C-47’s on the first leg of their air-rail trip to Piardoba.

May 45- The squadron was stationed at Piardoba Air Base.

24 Aug 45- Captain Joseph P. Lezon, Jr., became squadron commander, replacing Major Paul H. Ponder.

Nov 45- The squadron boarded C-46 aircraft for the trip to Karachi Air Base and Malir Cantonment.

15 Nov 45- The 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, with 24 officers and 295 enlisted men, boarded the USS Gen. Meigs enroute to the United States.

3 Dec 45- The ship docked in New York after a trip through the Mediterranean and the cold North Atlantic.

4 Dec 45- The Army Air Corps inactivated the 9th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey

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