WWII Navy aerial photographt

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by Dan Brant, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Dan Brant

    Dan Brant Member

    Jan 10, 2018
    Portage, MI
    Hello, I work for a military aircraft museum called the Air Zoo in Portage, Michigan. We are currently in the process of restoring two WWII Navy aircraft, a Grumman FM-2 Wildcat and a Douglas SBD-2P Dauntless dive bomber (Bu. No. 2173). The "P" in SBD-2P stands for photographic. Only 14 examples of this particular model were built. The aircraft has an opening fashioned into the bottom of the fuselage just behind the rear gunner's position. A mount for an aerial camera is located there and the camera was probably operated remotely by the gunner. No camera was in place when we received the aircraft. I know there were several aerial cameras in use during WWII, but which one might have been used in this particular aircraft is the info I'm looking for. We have a Fairchild F-8 camera and a K-20 camera in our archives. I have removed the mount from the airplane, cleaned it up and brought the mount and the cameras together to see if either camera was an obvious fit . . . but neither was an obvious match. However, the F-8 has more potential than the K-20. So . . . I'm hoping someone in this forum maybe has some background here that might help me determine what aerial camera was most likely to have been used in this airplane. If I can resolve this question and find enough information and photos of the camera, we will build a mockup of it to mount in the airplane. By the way, this SBD is destined to go to the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. when it's finished! Thanks in advance for any information you might offer.
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