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You Can Run But You Can’t Hide, So Smile- You’re On RF-8 Crusader Camera!

The Photo Reconnaissance Version of the Vought F-8 Crusader Took Some Of The Most Important Photographs In History

Official US Navy Photograph

United States Navy (USN) training films were usually made to familiarize personnel with new or revised weapons systems. Here at we like to share these films for two reasons. The first is that the films are usually chock-full of information- often information of which our readers might not be aware. The second reason is that although it’s rare to find these films transferred using HD equipment, the visuals are still often quite striking. This Navy training film, produced by Jam Handy in 1961 as a part of the Seapower For Security series, tells the viewer about Vought’s new (at the time) F8U-1P Photo Crusader. Thanks as always to YouTuber Jeff Quitney for uploading this time-capsule of a video.

Marine Corps Major John H. Glenn completed the first supersonic transcontinental flight in a F8U-1P, flying from Naval Air Station (NAS) Los Alamitos in California to Floyd Bennett Field in New York in just 3 hours, 23 minutes and a few seconds July 16th 1957. F8U-1Ps were re-designated RF-8As in 1962. The later version of the RF-8A, the updated and uprated RF-8G, served the country up until 1987 and were in the thick of Navy and Marine Corps tactical reconnaissance duties the entire time, RF-8s provided critically important information to this country’s leaders during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. The film features descriptions and operating overviews of the camera and photo flash systems incorporated into the Photo Crusader.

Photo Credit: aceebee


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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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