Spitfire Photo-Recce Units of World War 2 cover


This book explores the fascinating feats of RAF's photographic reconnaissance aircraft.

During World War 2, photographic reconnaissance in the RAF started gathering intelligence on the enemy using cameras installed in PR Spitfires. The aircraft that proved this concept was the Supermarine Spitfire, which, stripped of all excess weight, and carrying cameras and additional fuel, penetrated deep into enemy territory to bring back photographs that specialist interpreters could scrutinise to determine the enemy's activities.

This fascinating book examines the evolution of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit (PRU), from a small clandestine flight of the British Secret Intelligence Service into an operational group fulfilling the photographic requirements of clients including the RAF and the War Office. From various bases in Britain, the uniquely camouflaged blue (and, occasionally, pink) Spitfires of the PRU covered targets in occupied Europe from the Norwegian fjords to the great German industrial centres. Their superior performance made an immediate impact in North Africa and Malta as the PR Spitfires kept watch on German and Italian forces. Further afield, in India, Spitfires flew over the jungles of Burma monitoring Japanese troops.

Using specially commissioned aircraft profile artwork, first-hand accounts and original photography, aviation expert Andrew Fletcher explores the fundamental role of the iconic PR Spitfire throughout the war and its various theatres.

Table of Contents

(Subject to Confirmation)
1. Origins (1939 to November 1940)
2. Re-organisation (November 1940 to November 1941)
3. Overseas operations (1942–43)
4. USAAF operations (1943–45)
5. Global operations (1944–45)
- Listing of operational units equipped with PR Spitfires (variants and locations)
- Colour plates commentaries

Product details

Published Aug 17 2023
Format Ebook (Epub & Mobi)
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781472854629
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Colour artwork plates and maps; black & white and colour photographs and illustrations.
Series Combat Aircraft
Short code COM 150
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Andrew Fletcher

Andrew Fletcher is the author of a number of artic…


Jim Laurier

Jim Laurier is a native of New England and lives i…


Gareth Hector

Gareth Hector is a digital artist of international…


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