May was a month of firsts at the Red Feather Club as the 95th Bomb Group Heritage Association geared up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the 95th Bomb Group in Horham and the reunion tour.
The association’s first 1940s weekend proved a major success with re-enactors, military vehicles and stalls pulling in the crowds. Liberation 44 and Ranger re-enactment groups presented a full military camp display and re-enactments of air force personnel.
During the weekend of May 18th and 19th re-enactors portrayed WW2 USAAF (United States Army Air Force) personnel in basic day-to-day life. They completed close order drill, rifle drill, roll call, mail call and payroll. There were displays of air force equipment and tents laid out as they would have been in WW2. There were opportunities for the public to handle deactivated weapons and try to learn drill.
On Saturday night four DJs – ‘Texas Tommy’, ‘Django Man’, ‘Short Back & Sides’ and ‘Andy AV8’ – along with special guest singers Jodie ‘Topsy’ Harris and Jade Grand entertained at our 40s dance.
Earlier that week the Wings of a Mighty Fortress, a documentary telling the story of 95th Bomb Group crew of Easy Goin’, got its rescheduled UK premiere with two showings at the Red Feather Club attracting approximately 230 people. Three years in the making, the film by Mark Werkema and Jim Koehn, features interviews with crew members. The documentary is due to be screened on US TV this year.
We also hosted a successful quiz night earlier in the month.
On Spring Bank Holiday as part of the celebration of 70th anniversary of the arrival of the US Eighth Air Force in East Anglia there was a flypast taking in the Red Feather Club. B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, with four fighters from the Eagle Squadron, a historic four-ship group comprising a Hawker Hurricane, Spitfire, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang and a further Mustang, flew over a selection of former USAAF bomber and fighter bases in East Anglia, including Horham.
Spring Bank Holiday also saw the unveiling of a memorial at Alconbury in Cambridgeshire commemorating the men of the 95th who lost their lives in a bomb loading accident before the bomb group arrived in Horham.
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