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 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 ’the longest days’.