487th Bombardment Group

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The 487th Bombardment Group was a heavy bomber unit of the Eighth Air Force, based at Lavenham, Suffolk, from August 1944 until the end of the war in Europe.

The group entered combat in May 1944, operating the B-24 Liberator against targets in northern France. Before the D-Day landings it attacked German airfields, while during the invasion itself it attacked German coastal defences and transport links. During July the group attacked German positions around Caen, during the British attacks on the town, while in August it flew missions to support the attack on Brest.

In August the group converted to the B-17 Flying Fortress, and began to take part in the strategic bombing campaign, attacking targets in Germany from then until March 1945. It also took part in a number of tactic operations, attacking German gun emplacements during Operation Market Garden, supporting the group troops during the Battle of the Bulge and again during the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945. The group returned to the United States in August-September 1945.


 Consolidated B-24 Liberator (Crowood Aviation), Martin W. Bowman. A well balanced book that begins with a look at the development history of the B-24, before spending nine out of its ten chapters looking at the combat career of the aircraft in the USAAF, the US Navy and the RAF.
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Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Frederick A. Johnsen. A well researched and illustrated history of the B-17, with a very strong section on its combat record, an interesting chapter on the efforts made to improve the aircraft (including a number of suggestions that didn't enter production) and a good selection of colour pictures of the aircraft. [see more]
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September 1943-August 1944: Consolidated B-24 Liberator
August 1944-April 1945: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress


14 September 1943 Constituted as 487th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
20 September 1943 Activated
March-April 1944 Moved to England to join Eighth Air Force
May-August 1944 In combat with B-24 Liberator
August 1944-April 1945 In combat with B-17 Flying Fortress
August-September 1945 Returned to the United States
7 November 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Lt Colonel Charles E. Lancaster: 4 October 1943
Lt Colonel Beirne Lay Jr: 28 February 1944
Colonel Robert Taylor III: 12 May 1944
Colonel William K Martin: 28 December 1944
Lt Colonel Howard C Todt: May 1945
Colonel Nicholas T. Perkins: 3 June 1945

Main Bases

Bruning Field, Nebraska: 20 September 1943
Alamorgordo Field, New Mexico: 15 December 1943-c.13 March 1944
Lavenham, England: 5 April 1944-c.26 August 1945
Drew Field, Florida: 3 September-7 November 1945

Component Units

836th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
837th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
838th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
839th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945

Assigned To

1944: 92nd Bombardment Group; 3rd Air Division; VIII Bomber Command; Eighth Air Force
February 1944-1945: 92nd Bombardment Group; 3rd Air Division; Eighth Air Force; US Strategic Air Forces Europe
1945: 4th Bombardment Wing; 3rd Air Division; Eighth Air Force; US Strategic Air Forces Europe
1945: 14th Bombardment Wing; 2nd Air Division; Eighth Air Force; US Strategic Air Forces Europe

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 February 2008), 487th Bombardment Group , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/487th_Bombardment_Group.html

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