During the Second World War the task of strategic photographic reconnaissance fell to the Royal Air Force Photographic Reconnaissance Unit(PRU) and its successors. Tackling the most demanding, distant and heavily defended targets, the PR force grew from a single aircraft and three pilots in 1939 to ten squadrons by the end of the war.
Drawing on wartime operational research reports and Coastal Command staff documents, Rob Hewett will look at how the PRU came into being and the challenges it faced. As well as the obvious threats posed by German air defences, the weather and the demands of flying long missions at the edge of their aircraft’s capabilities the PRU had, to build quickly a large organisation under wartime conditions. All of this while ‘keeping the customers satisfied’, where those customers included Churchill, the Admiralty and Bomber Harris.
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