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487th Bombardment Group (Heavy)

Activated on September 20, 1943 and equipped with B-24 Liberators, the 487thdeployed to England in March 1944 for service with the Eighth Air Force. Constituent units included the 836th, 837th, 838thand 839thbombardment squadrons. The 487thbombed airfields in France in preparation for the invasion of Normandy, and attacked coastal defenses, road junctions, bridges and locomotives during the invasion itself. The group attacked German troops and artillery positions in support of British forces near Caen in July, struck gun emplacements to support the Allied siege of Brest in August, and covered the airborne attack into Holland in September. The group also flew missions against German industries, refineries, and communications during the period from May through August. 

A B-17 of the 487th Bombardment Group. The 487th Bombardment Group began combat in May 1944, bombing airfields in France before the invasion of Normandy.
Teare and crew of the 487th Bombardment Group, based in Lavenham, Suffolk, England on January 7, 1945.

The 487thconverted to B-17 Flying Fortresses in August, and then attacked oil refineries in Merseburg, Mannheim, and Dulmen, factories in Nurnberg, Hannover, and Berlin and marshalling yards in Cologne, Munster, Hamm, and Neumunster. The group supported ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 through January 1945, and again supported ground operations in March as the Allies crossed the Rhine and made their final thrusts into Germany. The 487thBombardment Group returned to the United States in August and September and inactivated on November 7.

A view of the B-24 "Classy Chassy" of the 838th Bombardment Squadron, 487th Bombardment Group in May 1944.
A crew poses in front of "Miss Bea Havin", a B-17 of the 837th Bombardment Squadron, 487th Bombardment Group, at Station 137 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England.

Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe