Tuesday, October 9, 2007

95th Bomb Group to Release New History

The famed 95th Bomb Group, the first American daylight bomb group over Berlin in World War Two, will be releasing a comprehensive history in 2009. The book will include a narrative history of the group based on new research and interviews, and will include a DVD/CD filled with pertinent data related to the group. The book will be written under the auspices of the 95th Bomb Group Association.

Much work has already been done by a group of highly dedicated volunteers of the group at the National Archives, where mission reports and other rare documents have been scanned by the hundreds. Research trips to the reunion and the Horham Open Day at the 95th old air base in Horham, England will be conducted in 2008. The official 95th BG Association website is found at: http://www.95thbg.org/
The group also has a museum and presence in England at: http://www.95thbg.org/PAGES/95thBG_HA.htm
Some history of the group, gleaned from the 100th BG website:
95th Bomb Group
Activated 15th June 1942 at Barkesdale Field, Louisiana, the 95th BG did not commence operations until late August 1942 at Geiger Field, Washington. On 31st October, 1942, they moved, temporarily, to Ephrata, Washington, returning to Geiger Field on 24th November, 1942.Final training took place at Rapid City Air Force Base from 14th December, 1942 until 11th March, 1942.Taking the southern route, via Florida, Trinidad, Brazil, Dakar and Marrakesh, they arrived in the U.K. in early April 1943.The ground echelon arrived at Camp Kilmer on 21st April, 1943, sailing on the Queen Elizabeth 5th May 1943, and arrived at Greenock 11th May.The Group was stationed at Alconbury 15th April and then At Framlingham from 12th May to 15th June, 1943. The stay at Horham lasted until 19th June, 1945, when the aircraft departed, ariving at Bradley Field, Connecticut 21st and 26th June, 1945.The ground crews sailed from Greenock, again on the Queen Elizabeth, arriving in the U.S. 11th August, 1945.
During operations from Horham, the 95th completed a total of 321 missions (including 6 food drops totalling 456.5 tons). The total bomb tonnage was 19,769.2 tons, of which 211.1 tons consisted of supplies dropped to resistance groups in Europe. Aircraft losses consisted of 157 missing in action and 39 other operational losses. The last 8th Air Force lost on a mission was from the 95th BG, crashing into the sea 7th May 1945.During their distinguished service, the 95th was the first to bomb Berlin (4th March 1944) and received three unit citations:

Distinguished Unit Citation: Regensburg 17 Aug 43
Distinguished Unit Citation: Munster 10 Oct 43
Distinguished Unit Citation: Berlin 4 Mar 44

In the meantime, here is a list of good books about the 95th that I highly recommend.

B-17s Over Berlin: Personal Stories from the 95th Bomb Group (H), edited by Ian Hawkins and produced by the 95th BG, found at http://www.amazon.com/B-17s-Over-Berlin-Personal-Memories/dp/1574888420/ref=sr_1_1/104-1823667-6149529?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191982552&sr=8-1

Munster: Bloody Skies over Germany by Ian Hawkins, found at http://www.amazon.com/Munster-Raid-Bloody-Skies-Germany/dp/0830650016/ref=sr_1_11/104-1823667-6149529?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191982581&sr=1-11

My War: The True Experiences of an Army Air Force Pilot in World War Two, by John C. Walter (reviewed yesterday on this blog) can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/MY-WAR-EXPERIENCES-FORCE-PILOT/dp/1418447250/ref=sr_1_1/104-1823667-6149529?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191982687&sr=1-1

Fletcher's Gang: A B-17 Crew in Europe in World War Two, by Eugene Fletcher, found at http://www.amazon.com/Fletchers-Gang-B-17-Europe-1944-45/dp/0295966041/ref=sr_1_1/104-1823667-6149529?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191982781&sr=1-1

Last Flight of the Lonesome Polecat II, by Michael I. Darter, found at http://www.amazon.com/Fateful-Flight-Lonesome-Polecat-II/dp/0595666515/ref=sr_1_1/104-1823667-6149529?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191983317&sr=1-1

Tom's War: Flying with the U.S. Eighth Army Air Force in Europe, 1944, by James T. Hammond, found at http://www.amazon.com/Toms-War-Flying-Eighth-Europe/dp/0595415393/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-1823667-6149529?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191983001&sr=1-1

Combat Bombardier: Memoirs of Tour Combat Tours In the Skies Over Europe in World War Two, by Leonard Herman with Rob Morris. Found at http://www.amazon.com/COMBAT-BOMBARDIER-LEONARD-HERMAN/dp/1425761313/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-1823667-6149529?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191983438&sr=1-1
You probably can't afford this one (nor can I) but a great book is Contrails: The 95th Bombardment Group H United States Army Air Forces published in 1945.
Also currently unavailable and rare is Contrails II: A Pictorial History of the 95th Bomb Group (H), 8th United States Army Air Force, Horham, England, 1943-1945
Operational Record of the 95th Bomb Group (H) Volume II Supplement to Courage Honor Victory by Paul M. Andrews.
The above three were published by the 95th Bomb Group Association.

This book, which I wrote, contains many good stories about the 95th but is not focused ONLY on the 95th.

1 comment:

deadened-glow said...

My grandfather is Dick Smith and his story was in the first book you listed, the one by Ian Hawkins. My grandfather also has a more comprehensive book that he wrote a few years later. Not sure if you have a copy of it or not. It will be available as an online PDF soon.