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Pacific World War II Book Review  
Order Book
by John Stanaway
& Bob Rocker
Schiffer  1999
Soft cover
184 pages
Index, photos
ISBN: 0764309102

Language: English

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The Eight Ballers
Eyes of the Fifth Air Force
The 8th Photo Reconnaissance Sqn in WWII


This book details the history of the 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (8th PRS) a squadron of the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF), 5th Air Force (5th AF), 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group (6th PRG) that operated the photographic reconnaissance version of the P-38 Lightning, the F-4 Lightning and later the F-5 Lightning over New Guinea and the Philippines.

The book reproduces the text of the 8th PRS diary titled "The Diary of 8th Photo Squadron New Guinea" prepared by Harlan H. Olsen that spans from July 27, 1942 and ends on December 31, 1943 and was published by Ad Press, 1945. This book includes an appendix with the story of 1st Lt. Fred Hargesheimer covering his June 5, 1943 mission piloting F-5 "Eager Beaver" 42-13073, shoot down and escape and evasion from the Japanese on New Britain and eventual rescue by submarine.

In New Guinea, the squadron flew photographic missions over Japanese occupied areas and airfields. The photographs taken were used to create aerial maps and target documentation for combat missions. Often, these missions were dangerous as pilots usually flew alone and often experienced bad weather and difficult navigation. Over targets, pilots flew steady course often at lower altitude to get quality photographs and experienced anti-aircraft fire or were intercepted by enemy aircraft. During later missions, F-4s were escorted by armed P-38 Lightnings as escorts.

Interview with author John Stanaway


Review by  Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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