WWII Photography in the PTO: The 8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron

I’ve always noticed the vast difference in quality between the typical ETO snapshot and it’s Pacific counterpart.  The European snapshots typically are printed on better paper and of much higher quality.  In this case, I was able able to purchase a pair of Pacific theater photos taken by an artist with the 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron.  The first photograph shows a US Jeep painted up with a cartoonesque rendition of the squadron name complete with shadow effects and 8 ball logo.   The same artist also designed the unit insignia seen below.

Mauer, Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0892010975

Mauer, Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0892010975

8th Photo Recon Squadron Jeep

8th Photo Recon Squadron Jeep

And I was also fortunate to win an Easter card designed by the same artist.  The card is folded in four sections and was made from a single cut sheet of photo paper printed with a special design created specifically for the 1945 Easter season.  A unique piece!  I wasn’t able to win anything else from the auction – many of the sales were in the triple digits and well out of my comfort zone for an obscure topic.

1945 Easter Card

1945 Easter Card

I hope to pick up a copy of a fantastic tome put out a few years back to help my future research in the unit.  http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/lightning/8prs.htm


For those interested in some great footage of the 8th Photo Recon Squadron, please check out the links below:





The WWII Nose Art of Hal Olsen – U.S. Navy Mechanic on Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateers


I recently had the esteemed pleasure of acquiring two nose art photos of PB4Y-2 airplanes.  Using the power of the internet, I was able to look up the two planes, the Green Cherries, and the Lady Luck II.  With a bit of luck I tracked down the name of the original artist.  Hal Olsen painted over 100 nose art pin-up ladies on various planes in the PTO.  He charged $50 per painting and eventually used the money to enter formal art school and travel with his wife.  Having tracked him down, I wrote him a nice letter asking for his autograph and promising that I would send along some copies of my photos.  They go out in the mail tomorrow!  For now, check out the shots and the nice card he sent me.

Thanks Hal!


Lady Luck II

Green Cherries




Hal's Autograph