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489th Bombardment Group at Halesworth

History

The 489th Bombardment Group was stationed at Halesworth in Suffolk, England, from May 1944 to November 1944.

It was activated on October 1, 1943 at Wendover Field in Utah.

The group was formed and trained at Wendover Field, except for some specialised training for certain detachments of the group.

The 489th left Utah on April 3 1944 for England. The air crews flew their 70 B-24 Liberators via the southern ferry route through South America and Africa.

The ground crews travelled from New York via the USS Wakefield on April 13 1944.

Their destination was Halesworth, the closest Second Air Division airfield to the English Channel.

The first mission was against Oldenburg, Germany on May 30 1944.

From this date, until their last mission on November 10 1944, the group flew 106 missions for 2,998 sorties. They lost 26 aircraft in combat.

A 489th Bomb Group airman, Lt Col Leon R Vance, was awarded the Medal of Honor.

This was for his bravery and sacrifice on June 5 1944 during a mission against French coast defences in preparation for D-Day.

The 489th was the first bomb group from the Eighth Air Force to be redeployed to the United States.

The group was relieved of their assignment on November 29 1944.

The 489th was officially returned to the United States for redeployment to the Pacific, but many of the aircraft and personnel were reassigned to other bomb groups in England.

If you want to view various records relating to the 489th, visit our digital archive.

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