The CAMS 55 was a reconnaissance flying boat built in France in the late 1920s and which equipped the French Navy throughout the 1930s. Its design was derived from the unsuccessful CAMS 51 and followed the familiar Chantiers Aéro-Maritimes de la Seine (CAMS) formula of a conventional biplane flying boat configuration with tandem tractor-pusher engines mounted in the interplane gap. The cockpit was open, and there were open gun positions in the bow and amidships. The bow also incorporated an observation balcony with windows sloped to afford a good downward view.
A single prototype was followed by two machines to compare different engine installations, one with air-cooled radials and the other a liquid-cooled V engine; in the end, the French Navy ordered some of each. Eventually, 15 escadrilles were equipped with CAMS 55s of various subtypes, replacing the Latham 47 in some units, and in turn being relegated to secondary duties when the Breguet Bizerte became available in 1936. Twenty-nine remained in service at the outbreak of World War II, with the last examples serving with Escadrille 20S in Tahiti until January 1941.