Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr: 28 Feb. 1944 - 11 May 1944 MlA-evaded.
Col Robert Taylor lIl: 12 May 1944 - 27 Dec. 1944.
Col William K. Martin: 28 Dec. 1944 - May 1945.
Col Nicholas T. Perkins: 3 Jun. 1945 - Aug. 1945.
First Mission: 7 May 1944
Last Mission: 21 Apr 1945
Total Sorties: 6,021
Total Bomb Tonnage: 14,041 Tons
Aircraft MIA: 48
Claims to Fame
Led largest 8th AF mission of war on 24 December 1944.
Led 3AD in bombing accuracy from January 1945 to end of war with strikes within 1,000 ft MPI.
Activated 20 September 1943 at Bruning AAFd, Neb., and moved to Alamogordc AAFd, NM. on the 15 of December 1944 to complete training. Ground unit left Alamogordo on the 10 March 1944 for Camp Kilmer, NJ. and sailed on Duchess of Bedford on the 23 March 1944, arriving in Gourock on the 3rd April 1944. The aircraft flew overseas on the 23 March 1944, taking southern ferry route to the UK arriving Nuts Corner, Valley and Prestwick in early April 1945.
Redeployed to the US July 1945. The aircraft left Lavenham on the first week of July 1945. The ground unit sailed on the Queen Elizabeth on the 25th August 1945, and arriving in New York on the 1 September 1945. The Group established at Drew Fd, Fla 3 September 1945, and inactivated there on the 7 November 1945.
Began combat in May 1944, bombing airfields in France in preparation for the invasion of Normandy; then pounded coastal defenses, road junctions, bridges and locomotives during the invasion. Attacked German troops and artillery positions to assist British forces near Caen in Jul; struck gun emplacements to support the Allied effort at Brest in Aug and to cover the airborne attack on Holland in Sep 1944. Flew a few missions against German industries, refineries, and communications during the period May-Aug 1944, but operated almost solely against strategic targets from Aug 1944, when conversion to B-17's was completed, until Mar 1945. Attacked oil refineries in Merseburg, Mannheim, and Dulmen; factories in Nurnberg, Hannover, and Berlin; and marshalling yards in Cologne, Munster, Hamm, and Neumunster. Aided ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945, and turned again to support and interdictory operations in Mar 1945 as the Allies crossed the Rhine and made the final thrust into Germany. Returned to the US, Aug-Sep 1945. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945.
Patches, #43-38893 - B-17 of the 836th Squadron
Miss Bea Havin
486BG aircraft first mission
487BG aircraft first mission