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486th Bombardment Squadron

486th Bombardment Squadron
Emblem of the 486th Bombardment Squadron (Provisional)
Active 1942-1945; 1947-1949; 1952-1963;1963-1971
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Bombardment
SAC emblem, 1952-1970
World War II B-25 Mitchell squadron emblem
File:B-25J-1 43-27770 486th BS - 1944.jpg
B-25J-1 43-2770, 486th Bombardment Squadron on landing approach to Rimini Airfield, Italy in early 1945.

The 486th Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last was assigned to the 22d Bombardment Wing, stationed at March Air Force Base, California. It was inactivated on 1 July 1971.


Established as a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber squadron in mid-1942, trained by Third Air Force in the southeastern United States. Deployed to IX Bomber Command in Egypt initially in March 1943 via Air Transport Command South Atlantic Route through Caribbean, Brazil, Liberia, Central Africa and Sudan, then reassigned to Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO), and to XII Bomber Command in Tunisia. Supported Allied ground forces in Tunisian Campaign; participated in Invasions of Sicily and Italy during 1943, supporting Allied ground forces with tactical bombing of enemy targets. Participated in liberation of Corsica during the spring of 1944, then returned to Italy engaging in attacks on enemy ground forces and targets in the Po Valley during the spring of 1945.

Personnel demobilized in Italy during summer of 1945; squadron returned to the United States, being prepared for deployment to Pacific Theater for use as a tactical bomb squadron in programmed Invasion of Japan. Japanese capitulation led to squadron's inactivation in November 1945.

Activated as an A-26 Invader squadron in the postwar Air Force reserves in 1947; inactivated in 1949 due to budget reductions.

Reactivated in October 1952 as a Strategic Air Command B-47 Stratojet squadron. Initially equipped with prototypes of the Boeing RB-47B Stratojet (YRB-47) to perform long-range photo-reconnaissance with a flight of B-29 Superfortress bombers assigned. In November 1953 began to receive production B-47E medium bomber aircraft; prototype reconnaissance aircraft already received exchanged for medium bomber versions. Participated in SAC REFLEX deployments to Europe and North Africa throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1966 with the phaseout of the B-47 the aircraft sent to storage at Davis-Monthan and inactivated. Became B-52D Heavy bombardment squadron with takeover of assets of the 325th Bombardment Squadron and transfer to Bergstrom AFB, Texas. Stood nuclear alert until 1966 when SAC turned over Bergstrom to Tactical Air Command.

The 486th Bomb Squadron was transferred completely as a B-52D conventional bomb squadron to March AFB, California as part of the 22d Bombardment Wing in 1966. Performed frequent rotations to Western Pacific, engaging in Arc Light strategic bombardment of enemy targets over Indochina as part of Vietnam War. 486th crews were the first to land B52's at, U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield! In 1970 it was permanently deployed to U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield and placed in provisional status. Inactivated in 1971 due to budget reductions.


  • Constituted 486th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 10 August 1942
Activated on 20 August 1942
Inactivated on 7 November 1945
  • Redesignated 486th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 8 October 1947
Activated in the reserve on 31 October 1947
Inactivated on 19 August 1949
  • Redesignated 486th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 3 October 1952
Activated on 20 October 1952
Inactivated on 1 September 1963
  • Redesignated 486th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 1 September 1963
Organized on 1 September 1963, assuming personnel/equipment/aircraft of 335th Bombardment Squadron (Inactivated)
Redesignated 486th Bombardment Squadron (Provisional) on 21 January 1970
Inactivated on 1 July 1971
  • Redesignated 486th Bombardment Squadron (Provisional) on 1 Jun 1972 and placed in provisional status.
Unmanned / Not Operational 01 Jun 1972 - 15 Nov 1973.
Inactivated and Discontinued on 15 Nov 1973


Attached to: 307th Strategic Wing, 21 January 1970-1 July 1971



See also

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12px This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links