486th Bomb Group
The 486th was based at Sudbury, East Anglia, from early 1944 onwards during WW2 taking part in many of the daylight bombing missions of that time. A critical part of the B17 missions was ensuring that the necessary defensive formation was put together at an early stage of the flight. Some considerable time was required after take-off in forming up to 800 aircraft into a single effective group. The wartime logs for the 486th are available on the ínet and demonstrate the time required to achieve this link up with the other elements of the bombing force. A typical time line was a mission briefing at 0330, with engine start at 0650, takeoff at 0720 and the formation formed up, over Great Yarmouth, ready to depart for the target at 0910. The image shows some of the 486th in the early stages of formation join-up climbing out of the East Anglia base - they would return to Sudbury by mid afternoon, certainly one of íthe longest daysí.
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