The 486thBombardment Group (Heavy) was constituted on September 14, 1943 and activated on September 20, 1943. The group moved to England in March 1944 where it was assigned to the Eighth Air Force. The group entered combat in May 1944 with B-24 aircraft but soon converted to B-17s.
The 486thBG operated chiefly against strategic objectives in Germany until May 1945. Its targets included marshalling yards in Stuttgart, Cologne, and Mainz; airfields in Kassel and Munster; oil refineries and storage plants in Merseburg, Dollbergen, and Hamburg; harbors in Bremen and Kiel; and factories in Mannheim and Weimar. Other missions included bombing airfields, gun positions, V-weapon sites, and railroad bridges in France in preparation for or in support of the invasion of Normandy in June 1944.
In addition, the group's mission goals were striking road junctions and troop concentrations in support of ground forces pushing across France in July and August 1944; hitting gun emplacements near Arnheim to minimize transport and glider losses during the airborne invasion of Holland in September 1944; bombing enemy installations in support of ground troops during the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944 through January 1945); and the assault across the Rhine (March through April 1945). The 486threturned to the United States in August 1945 and was inactivated on November 7, 1945.
Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.