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F5C Recon-Lightning

Lockheed, yes.  P-38, no. And no guns, just cameras.

     The 'F' series of designations stood for 'photographic reconnaissance' prior to 1948. For example, the photographic reconnaissance versions of P-38 Lightning, the P-51 Mustang and the DH-98 Mosquito were known as F-5, F-6 and F-8 respectively.

     After 1948, the F designations were assigned to fighters, and the recon aircraft were given 'R for reconnaissance' prefixes. 

For more on Pop Kalifka,
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     One of the most famous and daring American reconnaissance pilots was thirty-three year old Colonel Karl "Pop" Polifka. When he was considered too old and important to fly missions, he would put himself down in the records as "Lieutenant Jones" and fly anyway.

      One of Col. Polifka's daring photo-runs was a 'Dicing Shot' at Normandy Beach. (see below)

      "Dicing" was the term used for the low altitude daredevil sweeps required to obtain close-up oblique views of reconnaissance targets. The term is thought to originate from the phrase "dicing with death" as these locations were heavily defended with anti-aircraft weapons.

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