485th Bombardment Group

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The 485th Bombardment Group was a B-24 group that fought with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy from May 1944 to April 1945, mainly taking part in the strategic bombing offensive.

Consolidated B-24H Liberator 'Valiant Lady'
Consolidated B-24H Liberator
'Valiant Lady'

The group was formed in the United States in September 1943. In March-April 1944 the group moved to the Mediterranean with the ground echelon going to Italy and the air echelon to Tunisia for extra training. The group entered combat in May 1944 and spent most of the war attacking strategic targets across occupied Europe and Germany. The group was awarded a distinguished unit citation for an attack on an oil refinery at Vienna on 26 June 1944.

The group also took part in a number of tactical missions. During the advance on Rome the group was one of ten B-24 groups that took part in a 17 May 1944 attack on the harbours at Piombion, San Stefano and Porto Ferraio on Elba as part of the campaign to prevent supplies from reaching the German front line. In August 1944 it attacked bridges, harbours and German troops to support Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the south of France. In March and April 1945 it was used to support the British Eighth Army during the final offensive in the north of Italy.

In May 1945 the group returned to the United States, and in August it was redesignated as the 45th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). It began to train with the B-29 but never used it in combat. It was assigned to Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946 but was inactivated on 4 August 1946.




September 1943-May 1945: Consolidated B-24 Liberator
c.August 1945-August 1946: Boeing B-29 Superfortress


14 Sept 1943 Constituted as 485th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
20 September Activated
Mar-April 1944 To Mediterranean and Fifteenth Air Force
May 1945 To US
August 1945 Redesignated as 485th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy)
21 May 1946 To Strategic Air Command
4 August 1946 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Col Walter E Arnold Jr: 27 Sep 1943
Col John P Tomhave: c. 29 Aug 1944
Col John B Cornett: 17 Feb 1945
Lt Col Douglas M Cairns:, 23 Mar 1945-unkn
Lt Col Richard T Lively: 6 Aug 1945
Col John W White: 15 Sep 1945
Col Walter S Lee:, 1946-Aug 1946

Main Bases

Fairmont AAFld, Neb: 20 Sep 1943-11 Mar 194
Venosa, Italy: Apr 1944-15 May 1945
Sioux Falls AAFld, SD: 30 May 1945
Sioux City AAB, Iowa: 24 Jul 1945
Smoky Hill AAFld, Kan: 8 Sept 1945-4 August 1946

Component Units

506th Bombardment Squadron: 1946
828th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1946
829th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1946
830th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1946
831st Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1946

Assigned To

1944-45: 55th Bombardment Wing; Fifteenth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 April 2014), 485th Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/485th_Bombardment_Group.html

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