The 95th Bomb Group – based in Horham in Suffolk from June 1943 until the end of the war – was famously the first US group to bomb Berlin in daylight during WW2.
The last B‑17 Flying Fortress shot down in Europe was from Horham and the 95th was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Distinguished Unit Citation) on three occasions, the most of any bomb group.
The group received its first Presidential Unit Citation for maintaining a tight defensive formation in spite of severe assault by enemy fighters while bombing an aircraft assembly plant at Regensburg in Germany on August 17th 1943.
It was awarded the second for withstanding concentrated attacks by fighters during the approach to the target and intense anti-aircraft fire directly over the objective while effectively bombing rail marshalling yards at Münster on October 10th 1943.
The unit received its third citation for the first daylight raid on the German capital on March 4th 1944 – while many participating groups, 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 95th flew more than 300 missions and, as well as strategic bombing sorties, targeting harbours, industries, rail yards and cities, it dropped food and supplies to starving civilians and the resistance in occupied Europe, it supported the D‑Day invasion and ended the war transporting liberated prisoners of war back to the UK.
Glenn Miller also famously played in one of the hangars at Horham Airfield on his final tour before his disappearance.
95th Dates & Facts
- European Theatre, May 13th 1943-April 20th 1945
- Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe, Air Combat, European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre.
- Assigned to:
- III Bomber Command, June 15th 1942;
- II Bomber Command, June 26th 1942;
- Eighth Air Force, May 11th 1943;
- VIII Bomber Command, May 19th 1943;
- 4th Bombardment Wing, May 25th 1943;
- Attached to 402nd Provisional Combat Wing Bombardment (Heavy), June 6th ‑September 12th 1943;
- 3rd Bombardment Division, September 13th 1943;
- 13th Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy) (later, 13 Bombardment Wing, Heavy), September 14th 1943-August 1945.
- Stationed at:
- Barksdale Field, Louisiana, June 15th 1942;
- Pendleton Field, Oregon, June 26th 1942;
- Geiger Field, Washington, August 28th 1942;
- Ephrata Army Air Base, Washington, October 31th 1942;
- Geiger Field, Washington, November 24th 1942;
- Rapid City Army Air Base, South Dakota, December 17th 1942-March 11th 1943;
- RAF Alconbury (USAAF Station 102) April 15th 1943-June;
- RAF Framlingham (USAAF Station 153), England, May-June 15th 1943 (during May and early June the 95th operated from both Alconbury & Framlingham;
- RAF Horham (USAAF Station 119), England, June 15th 1943-June 19th 1945;
- Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, August 14th ‑28th 1945.
- The 95th was the only Bomb Group to receive three Distinguished Unit Citations.
These were for:
- Maintaining a tight defensive formation in spite of severe assault by enemy fighters and bombing the aircraft assembly plant at Regensburg, Germany, on August 17th 1943.
- Withstanding concentrated attacks by fighters during the approach to the target and intense antiaircraft fire directly over the objective, but still effectively bombarding marshalling yards at Münster on October 10th 1943.
- Proceeding to Berlin and successfully bombing a suburb of the German capital despite snowstorms, dense clouds, and severe enemy attack while many participating organisations, because of weather conditions, either abandoned the operation or struck other targets, on March 4th 1944.