The Consolidated F-7 was a photographic reconnaissance version of the B-24 Liberator, produced at the Army Modification Centres. The F-7 saw service in most theatres of the war, with groups operating the type in the south west Pacific and from India, Britain and the Mediterranean. The long range of the Liberator also made it well suited to mapping missions, with three groups using it for that purpose.
The experimental XF-7 was produced by fitting a B-24D with eleven cameras, in the nose, bomb bay and aft fuselage/
The four F-7s were produced by the Northwest Modification Centre, at St. Paul, Minnesota and were essentially the same as the XF-7.
The version to be produced in large numbers was the F-7A. This version carried two vertical cameras in the aft bomb bay and a trimetregon camera in the nose. This is an array of three cameras that take overlapping pictures of the ground and is normally used to map steep sided valleys. A total of 89 F-7As were converted from B-24Js.
The F-7B was the final photographic version of the Liberator. It carried five cameras, all in the bomb bay. A total of 124 aircraft were converted to this standard, 122 from B-24Js and 2 from B-24Ms.
Some sources suggest different figures for the F-7A and F-7B, but still suggest that the same number of aircraft were converted.
Units operating the F-7
1st Photographic Group (US based mapping)
2d Reconnaissance Group (US based training)
6th Reconnaissance Group (Southwest Pacific)
8th Reconnaissance Group (India)
9th Photographic Group (Training)
11th Photographic Group (Mapping world wide)
25th Bombardment Group (Recon) (Reconnaissance from Britain)
68th Reconnaissance Group (Reconnaissance over North Africa and Italy)