486th Bombardment Group

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The 486th Bombardment Group was a heavy bomber unit of the Eighth Air Force. It entered combat in May 1944 operating the B-24 Liberator, flying that aircraft on operations to support the D-Day invasion.

In July 1944 the 486th converted to the B-17 Flying Fortress, flying that aircraft to the end of the war. For most of the rest of the war the group took part in the strategic air campaign against Germany, attacking targets at Stuttgart, Cologne, Mainz, Kassel, Munster, Merseburg, Dollbergen, Hamburg, Bremen, Kiel, Mannheim and Weimar.

Like most Eighth Air Force units the 486th also took part in a number of tactical missions. During July and August it was used to support the fighting in France. During Operation Market Garden it attacked German gun emplacements near Arnhem, in the hope that this might reduce the number of gliders and transport aircraft that were lost in the attack. During the Battle of the Bulge of December 1944-January 1945 and the crossing of the Rhine in March-April 1945 the 486th was used to attack German military installations.


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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 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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1943-June 1944: Consolidated B-24 Liberator
June 1944 onwards: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress


14 September 1943 Constituted as 486th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
20 September 1943 Activated
March 1944 Moved to England to join Eighth Air Force
May 1944 First combat mission with the B-24 Liberator
May-June 1944 Operational with B-24
July 1944 Converts to B-17
August 1945 Returned to United States
7 November 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Colonel Glendon P. Overing: 20 September 1943
Colonel William B. Kieffer: c.13 April 1945
Lt. Colonel James J Grater: July 1945

Main Bases

McCook Field, Nebraska: 20 September 1943
Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona: 9 November 1943-March 1944
Sudbury, England: March 1944-August 1945
Drew Field, Florida: 3 September-7 November 1945

Component Units

832rd Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
833rd Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
834th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
835th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945

Assigned To

1944: 92nd Bombardment Group; 3rd Air Division; VIII Bomber Command; Eighth Air Force
February 1944-45: 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), 486th Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/486th_Bombardment_Group.html

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