489th Bomber Group Memorial
The extreme right memorial.
A trapezoidal granite block set on a stone base. On the front face, the dedication message is inscribed in English in gold lettering. The message ends with a bible verse. Printed on the top-center is the insignia of the 8th Air Force. At the top surface, the plan of runways is printed.
The Eighth Air Force 489th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrived at RAF Halesworth from Wendover AAF Utah on 1 May 1944. The group was assigned to the 20th Combat Bombardment Wing and the group tail code was a "Circle-W". Its operational squadrons were:
- 844th Bombardment Squadron (4R)
- 845th Bombardment Squadron (T4)
- 846th Bombardment Squadron (8R)
- 847th Bombardment Squadron (S4)
The 489th flew the Consolidated B-24 Liberator as part of the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing campaign. The group entered combat on 30 May 1944, and during the next few days concentrated on targets in France in preparation for the Normandy invasion.
In an attack against coastal defenses near Wimereaux on 5 June 1944, the group's lead plane was seriously crippled by enemy fire, its pilot was killed, and the deputy group commander, Lt. Col. Leon R. Vance Jr., who was commanding the formation, was severely wounded; although his right foot was practically severed, Vance took control of the plane, led the group to a successful bombing of the target, and managed to fly the damaged aircraft to the coast of England, where he ordered the crew to bail out; believing a wounded man had been unable to jump, he ditched the plane in the English Channel and was rescued. For his action during this mission, Vance was awarded the Medal of Honor.
The group supported the landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944 and afterward bombed coastal defenses, airfields, bridges, railroads, and V-weapon sites in the campaign for France. It began flying missions into Germany in July and engaged primarily in bombing strategic targets such as factories, oil refineries, and storage plants, marshaling yards, and airfields in Ludwigshafen, Magdeburg, Brunswick, Saarbrücken, and other cities until November 1944.
Other operations included participating in the saturation bombing of German lines just before the breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July, dropping food to the liberated French and Allied forces in France during August and September, and carrying food and ammunition to the Netherlands later in September.
The 489th Bomb Group returned to Bradley AAF Connecticut in November 1944 to prepare for redeployment to the Pacific theater. Redesignated 489th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in March 1945 and was re-equipped with Boeing B-29 Superfortresses. The group was alerted for movement overseas in the summer of 1945, but war with Japan ended before the group left the US. Inactivated on 17 October 1945.
Source of information: Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register, en.wikipedia.org
Source of images: Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register, www.tracesofwar.com
DEDICATED TO ALL WHO SERVED
HERE WITH THE 489TH BOMB GROUP
(USAAF) ESPECIALLY TO THOSE
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE
CAUSE OF FREEDOM AND HUMAN
THE 489TH GROUP WAS STATIONED AT
HALESWORTH AIR FIELD FROM APRIL TO
NOVEMBER 1944, AND FLEW 106
OPERATIONAL MISSIONS IN B24
LIBERATOR HEAVY BOMBERS.
COLONEL EZEKIEL W. NAPIER, COMMANDER.
THE LORD SAID LO, I AM WITH YOU
ALWAY[sic], EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD.