Things to see at Horham
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The 95th in the USA
The Red Feather Club is a memorial in itself to the men of the 95th but within its grounds and buildings are three separate specially-built memorials.
These are, a marble bench commemorating Bob Cozens, the Roll of Honour listing all those lost and a granite memorial to the bomb group.
In 2011, a trio of WW2 veterans from the US, unveiled the granite memorial outside the museum buildings. The veterans – S/Sgt Ray B Waters — a tail gunner, Lt Herbert Wilkov — a navigator and S/Sgt Benjamin Roujansky — a radio operator, were joined by RAF Lakenheath Wing Chaplain Lt Col Bruce A Arnold and a F15E Strike Eagle pilot, Lt Col Brent R Vosseller, recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan, for the emotional dedication of the memorial. The veterans were part of a 20-plus reunion tour of Americans organised by the 95th Bomb Group Heritage Association and the 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation in the US. The memorial itself was built by volunteers Roy Wilkinson and Barry Ransome. It contains a specially-commissioned black granite plaque from Perfitt in Diss which reads:
“The Red Feather Club Museum is dedicated to the memory of the 95th Bombardment Group (H), who served with honour and valour at Horham Airfield (Station 119) June 1943 – June 1945”
Since its early days the Red Feather Club has held a “Roll of Honour” commemorating and naming the men of 95th killed from 1943 to 1945.
But by 2011 the paper list was looking timeworn so in November 2011 volunteers at the Red Feather Club, decided to create a new permanent ‘Roll of Honour’ listing all the men of the 95th who were never to return home to their loved ones and family. Firstly a fitting layout needed to be chosen, one which would give a brief account of each event that lead to each tragic death. The research on this was co-ordinated by Rod Hupp, 95th Bomb Group researcher in America, and Ray Howlett in England. A final draft of the memorial had started to take shape by February 2012. At this point graphic designer and 95th BGHA web designer Matt Miles undertook the mammoth task of turning the list into a finished design. By April, name plates were being engraved, squadron and group badges were being hand painted by Jane Tebbutt and construction of the main framework and lectern was started by Scott Bradley. Pip Florence designed and made a beautiful stained glass window for the lectern. By May it was nearly ready for assembly and with a day to spare final touches were put in place including a hand-made curtain by Sharon Pirrie. So, during the 2012 reunion visit by 95th veterans and their families, Bob Fay, a ball turret gunner with the 334th BS, and Ben Roujansky, a radio operator with the 336th, unveiled the new ‘Roll of Honour’ with the help of Lt Col Paul Cairney, 48th Security Forces Squadron Commander from RAF Lakenheath.
A memorial to one of the exceptional US airmen who served at Horham was unveiled at the Red Feather Club in September 2012.
The memorial, a shining black marble bench, commemorates Lt Col Robert “Bob” C Cozens who is credited with saving the group twice – once during WW2 by rallying them after a particularly deadly raid on Kiel and after the war he secured the future of the veterans’ organisation in the States. The memorial was unveiled in an emotional ceremony by his son Tom, who is the president of the 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation, on his first trip to the the Red Feather Club in Horham. Tom Cozens and his wife Peggy had hoped to visit Horham with Bob, however, Lt Col Cozens’ sad passing earlier in 2012 meant they made the emotional pilgrimage without him. James Hollington, of H.L.Perfitt stonemasons in Diss, who made and engraved the new memorial, is the son of Red Feather Club regulars Steve and Jayne Hollington. Steve is also the Red Feather Club’s resident electrician.
Tom Cozens wrote of his visit:
“I knew that during our stay in Horham, a bench would be dedicated as a permanent memorial to my father. However, its place of prominence and majestic beauty and dignity brought me to tears. The tears where a mix of the pain of my loss, of the gratitude for the honour bestowed upon my father, but also for a measure of humility and perhaps a little embarrassment that I know came from my father. He would be the first to say that he was simply doing his duty and that the honour should go to his crew, his squadron, and particularly the ground crew. Although my father’s name is on the bench, I will always see it as a tribute to the spirit of team work and commitment to duty and honor that embodied the men of 95th.”