487th Bomb Group

Group
The insignia of the 487th Bomb Group. media-395162.jpg FRE 5219 The insignia of the 487th Bomb Group.

N.B. The nickname "Gentlemen From Hell" has only been used in connection with the Group since the 487th Bomb Group Association was formed in 1967. It was not an official wartime nickname. The "Gentlemen From Hell" patch was used by a very few members of the 487th Bomb Group at Alamogordo, New Mexico during training Jan–Mar 1944, and during the early days of operations at Lavenham, England. Most veterans of the 487th Bomb Group knew nothing about it during the war.
This looks like a postwar reproduction. Mr. Freeman probably obtained it from a 487th Bomb Group veteran after 1967. It definitely was not the insignia of the 487th Bomb Group. There was no official 487th Bomb Group insignia. Roger Freeman Collection

Added qualification to image caption after correspondence with Paul Webber, Secretary, 487th Bomb Group Association (http://www.487thbg.org/)

Object Number - FRE 5219 - The insignia of the 487th Bomb Group. N.B. The nickname "Gentlemen From Hell" has only been used in connection with the Group since the 487th Bomb...

The 487th Bomb Group began operations as preparations for D-Day were reaching their crescendo and played their part by bombing airfields in northern France. Like the 486th Bomb Group, the 487th switched to B-17 Flying Fortress for missions from 1 August 1944 and undertook strategic missions against targets in Germany. The Group led the largest Eighth Air Force mission of the war, 24 December 1944, when clear weather led to a concerted attack by more than 2,000 bombers on airfields and communication sites in western Germany.



The nickname "Gentlemen From Hell" has only been used in connection with the Group since the 487th Bomb Group Association was formed in 1967. It was not an official wartime nickname. The "Gentlemen From Hell" patch was used by a very few members of the 487th Bomb Group at Alamogordo, New Mexico during training Jan–Mar 1944, and during the early days of operations at Lavenham, England. Most veterans of the 487th Bomb Group knew nothing about it during the war.

Commanding Officers

Personnel of the 97th Bomb Group look out for the return of B-17 Flying Fortresses from a raid on Rouen, from the top of the Control Tower at Grafton Underwood.

 Image stamped on reverse: 'Photo Supplied Photopress Central.' [stamp], 'Passed for publication 18 Aug 1942.' [stamp], 'USA (BRI) CCC.' [written annotation] and '216036.' [Censor no.] 

Printed caption on reverse: 'Picture shows: Aerodrome Personnel on the Control Tower watching for the return of the planes from the raid.' Handwritten captio
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 487th Bomb Group 490th Bomb Group Headquarters Squadron (490th Bomb Group) 838th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-309771
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Group commander
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group 839th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 431316
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Commanding Officer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Group Commander
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group 487th Bomb Group
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Pilot
Colonel Martin of the 487th Bomb Group. Handwritten on reverse: 'Col Martin.'
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group Headquarters (487th Bomb Group)
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Group commander

Connections

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Unit stations

Station Location Date

Based

Lavenham 5 April 1944 - 24 August 1945

Encompassing

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group 1685th Ordnance Supply & Maintenance Company
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Armourer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group 839th Bomb Squadron
  • Role/Job: Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Civilian
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group 836th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Peg O My Heart
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group 838th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: The Big Bad Wolf
  • Unit: 448th Bomb Group 487th Bomb Group 715th Bomb Squadron 838th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Flak Hack
  • Unit: 487th Bomb Group 836th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Ramp Rooster
  • Unit: 398th Bomb Group 487th Bomb Group 602nd Bomb Squadron 836th Bomb Squadron

Mission

Revisions

Date
ContributorPaulWebber
Changes
Sources

838th Air Engineering Squadron was not part of the 487th Bomb Group (Heavy) at Lavenham, England. The 669th Aero Engineering Squadron was part of the 487th Bomb Group at Lavenham. (Source: 487th Bomb Group Association)

It appears that the 838th Air Engineering Squadron was part of the 100th Bomb Group at Thorpe Abbots. (Source: https://www.100thbg.com; Go to History > Abbreviated History)

Date
Changes
Sources
Date
ContributorLucy May
Changes
Sources

Added qualifications to nickname after correspondence with Paul Webber, Secretary, 487th Bomb Group Association (http://www.487thbg.org/)
For details see: http://487thbg.org/Stories/487th%20BG%20Insignia%20Memo.pdf

Date
Contributorrossingtonj
Changes
Sources

487th Bomb Group website: http://www.487thbg.org/BriefHistory.htm

Date
ContributorAAM
Changes
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / The Mighty Eighth. A History of the Units, Men and Machines of the US 8th Air Force.' by Roger A. Freeman (1989). 'Air Force Combat Units of World War II' compiled by the Department of the US Air Force, edited by Maurice Maurer (1983). / Units in the UK from ETOUSA Station List, as transcribed by Lt. Col. Philip Grinton (US Army, Retired) and extracted by IWM; air division data from L.D. Underwood, based on the 8th Air Force Strength Report of 6th August 1944, as published in 'The 8th Air Force Yearbook' by Lt. Col. John H Woolnough (1980)

487th Bomb Group: Gallery (220 items)