Gallery - Peter Fahy - reconnaissance pilot

Squadron Leader Peter Fahy was a reconnaissance pilot in 16 Squadron, Royal Air Force, during the Second World War. He flew photographic reconnaissance versions of the Supermarine Spitfire aircraft on solo missions over occupied Europe, flying fast and high to evade interception by enemy aircraft. His aircraft carried two vertically-mounted cameras, which he used to take photographs of locations of interest to Allied intelligence.

 

In the weeks before D-Day, Squadron Leader Fahy, and many other pilots like him, photographed large swathes of the Normandy and Cotentin coastlines of France, which had been selected as the landing beaches for the largest amphibious invasion ever attempted. After returning to base, his photographs were quickly processed and printed, allowing Allied photographic interpreters to examine them in three dimensions using their stereoscopic viewers. A wealth of intelligence on German defensive positions, beach obstacles and terrain features was gleaned from them, to inform Allied planning for D-Day.

 

In the weeks following the invasion, Squadron Leader Fahy flew missions to take photographs ahead of the advancing Allied forces, to identify key communications links and enemy dispositions. Images from some of his missions are presented below.