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95th Bombardment Group

Constituted as 95th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 15 Jun 1942. Used B-17's in preparing for duty overseas. Moved to England, Mar-May 1943, and assigned to Eighth AF. Entered combat on 13 May 1943 by attacking an airfield at St Omer. During the next two months, made repeated attacks against V-weapon sites and airfields in France. Began bombing strategic objectives in Germany in Jul 1943 and engaged primarily in such operations until V-E Day. Targets included harbors, industries, marshalling yards, and cities. Received a DUC for maintaining a tight defensive formation in spite of severe assault by enemy fighters and bombing the aircraft assembly plant at Regensburg on 17 Aug 1943. Withstanding concentrated attacks by fighters during the approach to the target and intense antiaircraft fire directly over the objective, the group effectively bombarded marshalling yards at Munster on 10 Oct 1943, being awarded a DUC for the performance. Participated in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. Received another DUC for action during an attack by AAF bombers on Berlin on 4 Mar 1944: while many participating organizations, because of weather conditions, either abandoned the operation or struck other targets, the 95th proceeded to Berlin and successfully bombed a suburb of the German capital despite snowstorms, dense clouds, and severe enemy attack. The group interrupted its strategic operations to strike coastal defenses and communications during the invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944; hit enemy troop concentrations and thus assist the Allied breakthrough at St Lo in Jul 1944; drop ammunition, food, and medical supplies to Polish troops in Warsaw on 18 Sep 1944; attack enemy transportation during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945; and bomb airdromes in support of the Allied assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Flew its last combat mission, an attack on marshalling yards at Oranienburg, on 20 Apr 1945. Dropped food to the Dutch during the first week in May. After V-E Day, transported liberated prisoners and displaced persons from Austria to France and England. Returned to the US, Jun-Aug 1945. Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.

Redesignated 95th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 29 May 1947. Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949.

Squadrons. 334th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949. 335th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949. 336th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949. 412th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949.

Stations. Barksdale Field, La, 15 Jun 1942; Pendleton Field, Ore, 26 Jun 1942; Geiger Field, Wash, 28 Aug 1942; Ephrata, Wash, 31 Oct 1942; Geiger Field, Wash, 24 Nov 1942; Rapid City AAB, SD, 14 Dec 1942-11 Mar 1943; Framlingham, England, 12 May 1943; Horham, England, 15 Jun 1943-19 Jun 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, 14-28 Aug 1945. Memphis Mun Aprt, Tenn, 29 May 1947-27 Jun 1949.

Commanders. Col Alfred A Kessler Jr, 23 Oct 1942; Col John K Gerhart, 22 Jun 1943; Col Chester P Gilger, c. 29 Jan 1944; Col Karl Truesdell Jr, 10 May 1944; Col Jack E Shuck, Dec 1944; Lt Col Robert H Stuart, 28 Apr 1945-unkn.

Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Germany, 17 Aug 1943; Munster, Germany, 10 Oct 1943; Berlin, Germany, 4 Mar 1944.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, a Justin cross throughout or, over all a feather in bend gules. Motto: Justice With Victory. (Approved 26 Feb 1943. This insigne was modified 3 Sep 1957.)

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986


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