Constituted as 490th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 Sep 1943. Activated on 1 Oct 1943. Trained for combat with B-24's. Moved to England in Apr 1944 for operations with 8th AAF. Entered combat in Jun 1944, bombing airfields and coastal defenses in France immediately preceding and during the invasion of Normandy Then struck bridges, rail lines, vehicles, road junctions, and troop concentrations in France. Supported ground forces near Caen in Jul and near Brest in Sep 1944. After that, converted to B-17's and operated primarily against strategic targets until the end of Feb 1945. Mounted attacks against enemy oil plants, tank factories, marshalling yards, aircraft plants, and airfields in such cities as Berlin, Hamburg, Merseburg, Munster, Kassel, Hannover, and Cologne. Interrupted strategic missions to attack supply lines and military installations during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Beginning in Mar 1945, attacked interdictory targets and supported advancing ground forces. After V-E Day carried food to flood-stricken areas of Holland and transported French, Spanish, and Belgian prisoners of war from Austria to Allied centers. Returned to the US, Aug-Sep 1945. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945.