View Full Version : Aerial photos - 457th Bombardment Group - WW2

01-29-2010, 04:30 PM
Talk about a dream job for mappers - I'm so damn lucky. Just today someone brought me 65 aerial photographs taken by the bombers of the 457th Bombardment Group, over Normandy just prior to the D Day invasion (softening coastal targets), over France and Germany.

I have to scan them at 600 ppi, print them to scale to be shipped to Germany, for a purchase from EBay for these photos. I will print these for resale, then burn them to CD, plus he has more photos to bring me - about 80 more! These are the actual photos taken by the US Army Air Corps 1944.

The first photo below is the Normandy Coast taken on June 2, 1944 - four days before D Day. You can clearly see Omaha Beach in this photo - before the landing!

The second photo is the bombing of Plaven Bridge (I think this is France, but am not sure) many of these photos are hand labeled to include the date, bombing site, the plane that took the photo, and the 457th Bombardment Group listed.

If I find anymore, really cool photos of this set, I'll post them up here, but lots of the same kind of photos to scan yet. I might be able to post higher res images, since the biggest ones are only 9" x 10".

I thought these are awesome cool!



01-29-2010, 05:04 PM
Are the picture scans being sold individually or will a collected CD be available?


01-29-2010, 05:07 PM
For this set of 65 photos the actual photos are being shipped to Germany as they've been purchased online on EBay already, however, I am scanning them for print and for CD prior to the actuals being shipped. He plans to sell individual photos prints, but may have the full CD available as purchased collection. I will see what he plans to do that route, even convince him to make them available as a collection - since I know interested parties!

You can bet I'll keep a CD of this collection myself!


01-29-2010, 05:09 PM
Be sure to scan them at 48bpp if you can or at least at a high enough resolution to capture the film grain. I have some old BW photos that I scanned at 24bpp and I still regret not getting enough dynamic range to do any useful image processing (the originals are destroyed now, unfortunately). 24bpp (8 bpp grayscale) isn't enough dynamic range to handle really subtle shades of colors like you get on some film.

01-29-2010, 05:12 PM
I'll see what I can do, otherwise for sure I can scan these at 1200 ppi, though the client won't need those.


01-29-2010, 07:28 PM
Way cool stuff, man. I might play around and color these for my own self.

01-29-2010, 11:30 PM
Maybe I can get the client to let me sell the CD from my website, for a small cut in the profit (don't know what he'd charge) to make them available for those who are interested in these photos. I'm sure WW2 afficianados, members of the 457th Bombardment Group and most cartographers here would take an interest!

I'll find out next Tuesday!


01-30-2010, 02:12 AM
Interesting. I found myself sort of humming the sound of an old bomber as I looked at those....I know, I live in my own little world but it's a pretty fun place most of the time :)

Not that I want to bomb anyone, I was just imagining what the crew must have been hearing as they flew over and took these.

01-30-2010, 02:26 AM
Reflecting your comment, Jaxillion, a further weird fact regarding these photos. After I finish the job next week, these photos are being shipped to Germany, apparently one of the photos shows Berlin just prior to a bombing raid, matched by dates, the guy in Germany who purchased this set of photos clearly shows his father's house (a tiny speck, no doubt). Apparently his father's house was bombed that day - no one killed, but surely remembered by this guy's father. His Dad's birthday is in 3 weeks and these photos are a gift to remember the day his house was bombed!! :P


01-30-2010, 04:25 AM
Amazing Pics GP. Thanks for posting!!

01-30-2010, 09:04 AM
There was a guy I was chatting to a long while back doing WWII console game for DDay landings and was after just this sort of thing as maps and ref material for the game. He wanted some maps he had georefferenced to modern maps so he could work out where stuff was at the time. I bet he would have wanted maps like these.

Lord Ghee
02-26-2010, 02:52 PM
Would one want to remember the day your house was bomded?

How about what the house look liked befroe it was bombed.

Question, usally with photos the rights go with the Photo, did he reserve the rights so that he could publish copies?

Lord Ghee

02-27-2010, 05:49 AM
Are you sure that is Omaha beach? I don't recall it being near a harbour installation.

02-27-2010, 08:50 AM
Actually wouldn't these photo's actually be owned by the US Military and unless they were purchased legally with something from the military well then ya know .... Not That I really care or anything just saying

02-27-2010, 08:19 PM
I love B17's. Simple, cheap aircraft that could and did fly with horrendous gobs of it shot off. A lot of us Americans are alive today because of the durability of the Flying Fortress, because our grandfathers or fathers lived to come back. Here's a picture of one that probably didn't make it back to England...