6th Photographic Group
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The 20th was only one of five squadrons that eventually comprised the 6th Photographic Group, Reconnaissance (later Reconnaissance Group). The other squadrons all flew photo reconnaissance versions of the twin-engined P-38 Lockheed Lightning. These squadrons were the 8th, 25th, 26th, and 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadrons (later Reconnaissance Squadrons).

The 8th PRS "Eightballers" arrived in the SWPA with F-4's in April 1942--18 months before the 6th Photo Group. The 25th PRS and 26th PRS reached Australia from the States in November 1943. The 20th CMS air echelon arrived at Nadzab, New Guinea in March and April 1944, the ground echelon having arrived in theater in September 1943. The 36th PRS joined the group in December 1944.

Five squadrons in today's Air Force trace their lineage to 6th Photo Group squadrons. They are:

  • 8th Flying Training Squadron at Vance AFB, Oklahoma (8th PRS descendent)
  • 20th Intelligence Squadron at Offut AFB, Nebraska (20th CMS descendent)
  • 25th Flying Training Squadron at Vance AFB, Oklahoma (25th PRS descendent)
  • 26th Air & Space Intelligence Squadron at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. (26th PRS descendent)
  • 36th Intelligence Squadron at Langley AFB, Virginia (36th PRS descendent)

This is notable, as every squadron that was subordinate to the 6th during World War II has been deemed worthy of rebirth in the Air Force of today.

Group Lineage

  • Constituted as 6th Photographic Group, 5 Feb 1943. Activated 9 Feb 1943
  • Redesignated 6th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group, May 1943
  • Redesignated 6th Photographic Group, Reconnaissance, Aug 1943
  • Redesignated 6th Reconnaissance Group, May 1945
  • Disbanded, 6 Mar 1947


  • 8th PRS (F-5/P-38): 1943-1946
  • 20th CMS/RS (F-7/B-24): 1943-1946
  • 25th PRS (F-5/P-38): 1943-1946
  • 26th PRS (F-5/P-38): 1943-1945
  • 36th PRS (F-5/P-38): 12/1944-1945

Group Stations

  • Colorado Springs, Colo, Feb-7 Sep 1943
  • Sydney, Australia, 10 Oct 1943
  • Brisbane, Australia, 27 Nov 1943
  • Port Moresby, New Guinea, 10 Dec 1943
  • Nadzab, New Guinea, 17 Feb 1944
  • Biak, Aug 1944
  • Leyte, 3 Nov 1944
  • Clark Field, Luzon, 1 May 1945
  • Okinawa, 31 Jul 1945
  • Chofu, Japan, 27 Sep 1945
  • Irumagawa, Japan, Jan-27 Apr 1946

Group Campaigns

  • Air Offensive, Japan
  • China Defensive
  • New Guinea
  • Bismarck Archipelago
  • Western Pacific
  • Leyte
  • Luzon
  • Ryukyus
  • Southern Philippines
  • China Offensive

Group Decorations

  • Distinguished Unit Citation: Philippine Islands, 18-25 Sep 1944
  • Philippine Presidential Unit Citation

Group Commanders

  • Lt Col Waymond A Davis, 9 Feb 1943
  • Maj Cecil Darnell, 27 Feb 1943
  • Col David W Hutchison, 13 Mar 1943
  • Lt Col Cecil Darnell, 24 Mar 1943
  • Maj Arthur L Post, 24 Jul 1944
  • Lt Col Alexander Guerry, c. 1 Sep 1944
  • Lt Col Ben K Armstrong Jr, 5 Jan 1945
  • Lt Col Joseph Davis Jr, 31 May 1945-unknown
6th Group Squadron colors.Squadron colors for the 6th Group.

The P-38 silhouette (twin-engined) represents the F-4/F-5 squadrons: the 8th, 25th, 26th, and 36th PRS.

The B-24 silhouette (4-engined) represents the F-7 squadron: the 20th CMS/RS LR-Photo RCM.

(Courtesy of Lt Col Johnson, Commander,
26th Air & Space Intelligence Squadron)

The table below shows stations and dates for the group headquarters and for the squadrons. Unless otherwise noted, the squadron ground and air echelons were co-located.

Source for 6th HQ: Air Force Combat Units of World War II by Maurer Maurer.
Source for squadrons: Combat Squadrons of the Air Force - World War II edited by Maurer Maurer. (20th CMS dates are from squadron history where differences from Maurer exist.)

6th Photo Group Stations

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This page was last updated September 5, 2006