II World War contrails



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Description B-17 of J Group. Captions from published books:
"FIGHTERS protect bomber formations at high altitudes where thin, freezing air makes vapor trails like these left by P-47s."[1]
Date 1943-09-27[2]
Source 390th.org
Author Sgt. Stanley M. Smith
(Reusing this file)
Public domain This image or file is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain.

Seal of the US Air Force.svg
Other versions

[1], negative (Smithsonian Institution. Disc 3A-19813, Negative No. 26566), [Painting]


  1. ? Arnold, Henry H.--Foreword (June 1944--Special Edition for AAF Organizations) [May 1944]. AAF: The Official Guide to the Army Air Forces. New York: Pocket Books. p. 315.
  2. ? A 1944 source mis-identifies this image as from an RAF mission on February 15, 1944:
    • Turner, S.J., F. R. G. S -- maps (1946(1946)) [1944]. Pictorial History of the Second World War: Vol. 3 [September 3, 1943—September 1, 1944]. Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc. p. 1162.:
    R.A.F. over Germany at night February 15, 1944
    R.A.F. OVER BERLIN On February 15, the R.A.F. made a very large-scale night attack on Berlin. Over 1,000 aircraft dropped 2,500 tons of bombs at the rate of eighty tons a minute. The ground defenses were active but little fighter opposition was met. Large fires were started and the smoke clouds rose four miles high. The communications of the city were put out of action. Top:[this photo] Allied bombers on the raid show fantastic vapor trails. Bottom: Incendiary bombs [with cookie at bottom center of image] drop towards their target.

Public Domain


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