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Original U.S. WWII 10th Photo Reconnaissance Group Pilot Grouping - Credited Stuka Kill

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Original Items: One-of-a-kind Set. Lieutenant Maxwell Chambers ASN (O-2059737) was pilot in the 10th Photo Reconnaissance Group and flew in Europe as a pilot of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning during World War Two. Even though he was only a reconnaissance pilot he was credit with a Stuka kill on April 27th, 1945 and later received the Air Medal for his actions that day. The story of his downing of the Stuka is recounted in the book Aerial Reconnaissance: The 10th Photo Recon Group in World War II by Tom Ive (pages 165-167) and is included in the set.

Whether soaring at 30,000 feet or ‘dicing’ on the deck, the 10th Photo Reconnaissance Group got the pictures Allied planners needed.

Compared with fighter jocks and bomber crews, pilots of the photo reconnaissance squadrons were among the unsung heroes of World War II. They flew below the radar, both literally and figuratively. One such American unit, the Ninth Air Force’s 10th Photo Reconnaissance Group, served as the “eyes of the Army” in Europe, flying some of the war’s most dangerous missions. My unit, the 34th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron (PRS), was one of six squadrons in the group. In the spring of 1944 we were tasked with a particularly important mission: photographing the beaches of Normandy prior to the D-Day invasion.

The group’s mount of choice was the Lockheed F-5, a stripped-down version of the P-38 equipped with cameras instead of guns. Flying at wave-top level above the English Channel in order to slip under German radar, the F-5 pilots photographed Normandy’s beaches at an altitude between 15 and 50 feet and an average speed of 350 knots. These low-altitude sorties, which the pilots likened to the roll of dice at a gambling table, were called “dicing” missions. One never knew how they would turn out.

Included in the group are the following items:

- Giant scrap book and photo album that documents Lt. Chambers service during WWII. it begins in 1943 as an Air Cadet and goes to the end of the war and his return to the US from Europe. The scrap book contains numerous original photos, documents such as his wartime commission to 2nd Lieutenant, correspondence (letters, telegrams, V-Mail), orders, maps, news clippings and so much more. The condition of the content of the album is good but the binding and pages are moastly loose and fragile. The album makes wonderful reading, the letters home are fascinating and outline his service in training and combat.

- Converted enlisted mans 4 pocket Class A uniform to Ike jacket featuring embroidered Lieutenant bars and Air Corps lapel wings, sterling pilots wings, and a medal bar with Air Medal and Europe - Africa - Middle East Campaign Medal with battle star.

- Leather A-2 flight jacket with name tag removed. Overall condition of the jacket is good. The leather is still supple and does not have any major cracking or damage but does show wear and use. The liner is original as is the waistband, the cuffs are missing. The zipper is present but the pull is missing.

The original tag is mostly still intact:
DRAWING No30-415
ORDER NoW 535 A.C. 2779B

- Original Army Officer visor cap in size 7 offered din excellent condition.

- Book Aerial Reconnaissance: The 10th Photo Recon Group in World War II by Tom Ive where a story on pages 165-167 that took place on April 27th, 1945 when Lt Max Chambers and Lt. Hood who knocked down three Stukas, The events of that encounter were explained by Lt. Hood for this book.

Overall a really fascinating set of a Reconnaissance turned fighter pilot in World War Two!
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