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20th Combat Mapping Squadron (20th CMS) "Flying Dumbos"
U. S. Army Air Force, 5th Air Force, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF), 5th Air Force (5th AF), 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group (6th PRG) as the 20th Combat Mapping Squadron (20th CMS). Equipped with the F-7 photographic reconnaissance version of the B-24J Liberator. This was the first multi-engine reconnaissance unit assigned to the 5th Air Force.

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On October 10, 1943 the ground echelon of the 20th CMS arrives at Sydney. Meanwhile the unit's F-7 are flown across the Pacific and arrive at Brisbane on November 23, 1943 then move to Port Moresby on December 1, 1943.

On February 14, 1944 the 20th CMS moved to Nadzab Airfield No. 1 on the north coast of New Guinea. On April 5, 1944 the unit flies their first photographic reconnaissance mission.

On April 16, 1944 "Black Sunday" lost is F-7A 42-73042  pilot Harms returning from the mission encountered a severe weather front and force landed at Saidor Airfield and written off afterwards.

On May 22, 1944 lost is F-7A "Under Exposed!" 42-73052  pilot Barstow crashed Mount Wilhelm.

On June 17, 1944 damaged is F-7A "The Wango Wango Bird" 42-64048 landing at Nadzab Airfield and written off.

On August 7, 1944 based at Nadzab Airfield begins operating from Mokmer Drome on Biak with F-7s with the rest of the squadron arriving by September 3, 1944.

On September 30, 1944 lost is F-7B 44-40422  pilot Harms on a mission over Leyte and while returning went Missing In Action (MIA).

On October 4, 1944 damaged is F-7B "Idle Curiosity" 44-40423 afterwards written off and scrapped.

On November 15, 1944 the squadron moves to Dulag Airfield on Leyte in the Philippines while their F-7's continue operating from Mokmer Drome on Biak.

On November 25, 1944 destroyed is F-7B 44-40895 by Japanese air raid at Pitu Airfield (Pitoe) on Morotai.

On January 11, 1945 lost is F-7B 44-40961 (MIA) pilot 2nd Lt Francis N. Riley missing a mission bound for Luzon that aborted due to bad weather.

On February 24, 1945 a detachment from the 20th CMS begins operating from San Jose Airfield on Mindoro in the Philippines.

On April 5, 1945 damaged during a taxi accident and written off is F-7B 44-40199.

On April 21, 1945 lost is F-7B "Cherokee Strip" 44-40198  crashed into the sea off San Theresa village on Mindoro.

On May 17, 1945 the 20th CMS moves to Clark Field on Luzon.

During June 1945 F-7A "The Rip Snorter" 42-73047  written off at Biak.

Other Aircraft assigned to the 20th Combat Mapping Squadron (20th CMS)
F-7A "Patched Up Piece" 42-64047  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
F-7A "Bourbon Boxcar" 42-64048  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
F-7A "American Beauty" 42-73045  scrapped Nadzab Airfield
F-7A "Photo Queen!" 42-73049  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
F-7B Liberator 44-41013  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
F-7 44-40199  flew 100 missions on April 2, 1945 taxiing accident written off Mindoro
F-7B 44-40961  pilot Flogg MIA January 11, 1945 MACR 11773
F-7B 44-40602  flew 52 missions ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped

References
20th Combat Mapping Squadron via WayBack Machine March 10, 2016



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