COL. Glendon P. Overing (09/20/43 to 04/13/45
COL William B. Kieffer (04/13/45 to - )
|Base Ground Exec
|Base Air Exec
|Base Personnel Off.
AAF Station 174
8th AF/3rd Bombardment Division/92nd Combat Bombardment Wing (04/05/44 to 11/22/44)
|Combat Missions: 191||First Combat Sortie: 05/07/44||Last Combat Sortie: 04/21/45|
|Field Map||486th Combat Stats||Mission Log|
The 486th was created on September 14, 1943 and was activated 6 days later at McCook Army Airfield, Nebraska with COL Glendon P. Overing commanding. The group was originally the 9th Antisubmarine squadron stationed in Miami, FL. This squadron was redesignated the 835th bomber squadron assigned to the 486th. The remaining squadrons (832nd, 833rd, and 834th) were created shortly thereafter. Prior to their overseas deployment the crews worked up in the B-24H and B-24J "Liberators" at McCook and Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz. The 486th was transferred to England in March of 1944 and stationed at Sudbury, England, located NE of London.
The group would fly 49 missions in the liberators until July 21, 1944. The first sortie was against the marshalling yards at Liege, FR and all aircraft returned. The 486th would lose only 8 liberators before the transition to the B-17G "Flying Fortresses" began in July.
The original group symbol was a black "O" in a white square. The square was painted on the tail, top right wing, and bottom left wing. The square identified 3rd Air Division aircraft, the O signified the group. However, when the transition to the B-17 began it was thought the "O" would be confused with the "D" of the 100th BG. To avoid any confusion all 486th Fortresses were identified by a white "W" in a black square.
The Liberators were originally painted olive drab on all upper surfaces, and light gray-blue on all ventral surfaces. This paint scheme was originally meant to camouflage the aircraft. When the Fortresses arrived they had only a natural aluminum finish. It was felt that the 8th had gained air superiority and it was believed that weight savings could be used to better advantage. Color was still used to identify planes from various units. This allowed for quicker identification of other aircraft and allowed various units to assemble more efficiently. It was also recognized that color could be used as a morale booster and build esprit de corps.
The group originally belonged to the 92nd combat bombardment wing when it began operations in April of 1944. In November of 1944 the 486th and its sister group, the 487th, were reassigned to the 4th combat bombardment wing. By December of 1944 the 4th CBW also began painting a chevron on the wing surfaces near the end. This chevron was two toned; the outer leg was insignia blue, and the inner leg was painted insignia red. On existing aircraft the chevron was painted over the square W on the wings, obscuring it for the most part. By late January 1945, the 4th CBW began having the entire vertical and horizontal stabilizers painted yellow, wing colors. The 486th BG aircraft were identified by 3 36" yellow bands spaced 12" apart forward of the horizontal stabilizers. Planes of a particular squadron within the 486th could also be identified by a color band aft of the bombardiers bubble. The 832nd's color was yellow, followed by blue, red and green for the 833rd, 834th and 835th respectively.
The 486th flew 192 combat missions, losing 49 aircraft. In early May of 1945, the 486th took part in food drops to the Netherlands. The retreating Germans had flooded the low lands and left the Dutch in a sad state. Following VE day, the 486th conducted "Victory Tours." These tours were flown to give ground crews a look at the damage that their planes had created. These flights took up to 10 passengers with a minimum crew and flew at 2500 ft. "Survival/Mercy Missions" followed and continued into June. These missions carried food to various places in continental Europe. After dropping off the food shipment, passengers (ex-POWs or exiles) would be boarded and flown back to their homelands.
Throughout the summer of 45 the 486th made preparations for relocation to the PTO following 30 days of R&R stateside. However, in August the Japanese surrendered and the redeployment to the Pacific was cancelled. The final remnants of the 486th left Sudbury, England in late August, 1945. Stateside the 486th conducted operations out of Drew Field, Tampa, FL. On October 10, the airbase at Sudbury was transferred back to the RAF; the 486th was de-activated on November 4th.
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|Staff of the 486th BG. Seated (L to R): MAJ Groves, MAJ Tarr, MAJ Morris, MAJ Brooke, LTCOL DeCoursey, MAJ Newman, MAJ Thompson, MAJ Cobb, COL Overing, MAJ Norton, MAJ Howell, MAJ Cormier, MAJ Uhle, MAJ Havens, MAJ Gardenhire. Standing (L to R): CAPT Sumner, CAPT Bornstein, MAJ Erickson, CAPT Skipp, CAPT Buck, CAPT Boehlert, CAPT Checkie, LT Smith, Chaplain Costner, CAPT Meek, LT Bloom, CAPT Murdock, LT Katz, CAPT Parker, CAPT Rumisek, CAPT Shaver, LT Culp, 1st LT Doty, 1st LT McNaughton.|
|Created 01/14/99 � Modified 09/10/2012|
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