Aerial reconnaissance in World War II
A transformational growth in air reconnaissance occurred in the years 1939-45, especially in Britain and then in the United States. It was an expansion determined mostly by trial and error, represented mostly by new tactics, new procedures, and new technology, though rarely by specialized aircraft types. The mission type branched out into many sub-types, including new electronic forms of reconnaissance. In sharp contrast with the case during the pre-war years, by 1945 air reconnaissance was widely recognized as a vital, indispensable component of air power.