95th Air Base Wing: Wikis

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95th Air Base Wing
95 ABW.jpg
Active 28 January 1942 — present
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Type Base Support
Part of Air Force Material Command
Air Force Flight Test Center
Garrison/HQ Edwards Air Force Base
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Bryan Gallagher
Notable
commanders
John K. Gerhart

The 95th Air Base Wing (95 ABW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Force Material Command Air Force Flight Test Center. The unit is stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and is the host unit at Edwards.

The 95 ABW is responsible for operating Edwards AFB, including the infrastructure, communication systems, security, fire protection, transportation, supply, finance, contracting, legal services, personnel and manpower support, housing, education, chapel and quality of life programs on a 301,000-acre base in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the second largest base in the USAF.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 95th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was a Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England, stationed primarily at RAF Horham. It was the only Eighth Air Force group awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations, with the highest total claims of enemy aircraft destroyed of all Eighth Air Force Bomb Groups -425 aircraft. It was also the first Army Air Force group to bomb Berlin.

During the Cold War, the Strategic Air Command 95th Bombardment Wing performed strategic bombardment training with the B-36 Peacemaker and later B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber. It operated in support SAC's global commitments from April 1954 until SAC's phaseout of operations at Biggs AFB, Texas in February 1966.

The 95th Air Base Wing is commanded by Colonel Jerry L. "Indy" Gandy.

Contents

Overview

The 95th Air Base Wing is the host wing for Edwards Air Force Base. The wing oversees base day-to-day operations and provides support for over 10,000 military, federal civilian and contract personnel assigned to a 470 square mile installation. Approximately 1500 Air Base Wing Desert Warriors directly support the flight test and evaluation mission of the Air Force Flight Test Center and the 412th Test Wing.

The 95th is host to over 100,000 visitors annually and supports over 25,000 dependents, retirees, and veterans. Major units within the wing include the 95th Mission Support and the 95th Medical Groups, as well the 95th Civil Engineer/Transportation Directorate, 95th Security Forces Squadron and the Services and Comptroller Divisions. Staff agencies include chaplain services, base comptroller, inspector general, manpower and organization, and military equal opportunity and public affairs.

Units

  • 95th Communications Group (95 CG)
95th Communications Squadron (95 CS)
95th Specialized Systems Division (SCC)
95th Executive Systems Division (SCE)
95th Support Division (SCS)
95th Plans/Policy Division (SCX)
  • 95th Mission Support Group (95 MSG)
95th Contracting Squadron (95 CONS)
95th Force Support Squadron (95 FSS)
95th Security Forces Squadron (95 SFS)
95th Logistics Readiness Division (LGR)
  • 95th Medical Group (95 MDG)
95th Aerospace Medicine Squadron (95 AMDS)
95th Medical Operations Squadron (95 MDOS)
95th Medical Support Squadron (95 MDSS)

History

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Lineage

  • Established as 95 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942
Activated on 15 Jun 1942
Redesignated 95 Bombardment Group, Heavy, on 20 Aug 1943
Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945
  • Redesignated 95 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy, on 13 May 1947
Activated in the Reserve on 29 May 1947
Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
  • Consolidated (31 Jan 1984) with the 95 Bombardment Wing, Medium, which was established on 4 Jun 1952.
Activated on 16 Jun 1952
Redesignated 95 Bombardment Wing, Heavy, on 8 Nov 1952
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 Jun 1966
  • Redesignated 95 Strategic Wing on 8 Aug 1966
Activated on 8 Aug 1966. Scheduled to replace the 4082d Strategic Wing on 2 Aug 1966
Organized on 2 Aug 1966 assuming the resources of the 4082d Strategic Wing (inactivated)
Inactivated on 30 Sep 1976
  • Redesignated 95 Air Base Wing on 16 Sep 1994
Activated on 1 Oct 1994.

Assignments

Attached to 402d Provisional Combat Wing Bombardment [Heavy], 6 Jun-12 Sep 1943

Components

  • 334th Bombardment Squadron (BG): 15 Jun 1942-28 Aug 1945; 29 May 1947-27 Jun 1949; 16 Jun 1952-25 Jun 1966
  • 335th Bombardment Squadron (OE): 15 Jun 1942-28 Aug 1945; 17 Jul 1947- 27 Jun 1949; 16 Jun 1952-15 Jan 1959
  • 336th Bombardment Squadron (ET): 15 Jun 1942-28 Aug 1945; 16 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949; 16 Jun 1952-1 Jul 1959
  • 412th Bombardment Squadron (QW): 15 Jun 1942- 28 Aug 1945; 16 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949
  • 917th Air Refueling Squadron: 1 May 1959- 15 Jan 1965

Stations

Aircraft

Operations

World War II

Emblem of the 95th Bombardment Group
Boeing B-17G-85-BO Fortress 43-38283 (BG-C), Initially assigned to the 334th BS 95th BG, Horham, 13/8/1944, it later transferred to the 336th BS. Piloted by Vermillion, it crashed at Neustadt, Germany after suffering mechanical failure (17/3/1945)
Douglas-Long Beach B-17G-20-DL Fortress 42-37894 (BG-L) *Pegasus IV*

Activated 15 June 1942 at Barkesdale Field in LA. Formation did not commence until late August 1942 at Geiger Field in Washington. The unit moved to Ephrata Washington on 31 October 1943 and back to Geiger Field on 24 November 1943. Final training was conducted at Rapid City AAB, South Dakota from 14 Dec 1942 to 11 Mar 1943. the air echelon moved to Kearney Field Neb for their final processing prior to overseas duty. Aircraft took the southern route via Florida, Trinidad, Brazil, Dakar, and Marrakesh to the United Kingdom, arriving early in April 1943. The ground elements arrived at Camp Kilmer on 21 April 1943 and sailed on the Queen Elizabeth on 5 May 1943, arriving in Greenock on 11 May 1943.

The group entered combat for Eighth Air Force on 13 May 1943. During the next two months, the group repeatedly attacked V-weapon sites and airfields in France. It began bombing strategic objectives in Germany in July 1943 and engaged primarily in such operations until V-E Day. Targets included[harbors, industries, marshalling yards, and cities. The 95th received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for maintaining a tight defensive formation in spite of severe assault by enemy fighters and bombing the aircraft assembly plant at Regensburg, Germany, on 17 August 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 Münster on 10 October 1943, earning a second DUC.

The group participated in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20–25 February 1944. The 95th received another DUC for action during an attack by Army Air Force bombers on Berlin on 4 March 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 June 1944. It hit enemy troop concentrations and thus assist the Allied breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July 1944, dropped ammunition, food, and medical supplies to Polish resistance in Warsaw on 18 September 1944, attacked enemy transportation during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945, and bombed airdromes in support of the Allied assault across the Rhine in March 1945. It flew its last combat mission, an attack on marshalling yards at Oranienburg, Germany, on 20 April 1945. The group dropped food to the Dutch during the first week in May. After V-E Day, it transported liberated prisoners and displaced persons from Austria to France and England.

Redeployed to the US June and August 1945. First of the air echelon departed the United Kingdom on 19 June 1945 and arrived at Bradley Field in Conn on 21 June 1945. Ground echelon sailed, out of Greenock on the Queen Elizabeth on 5 August 1945, and arriving on 11 August 1945 in Sioux Falls AAFd, South Dakota and inactivated there on the 28th.

Cold War

The USAAF 95th Bombardment Group was reactivated and trained as a heavy bombardment group in the Air Force Reserve at Memphis International Airport, Tennessee, from May 1947 to June 1949, as a B-29 Superfortress unit before being deactivated. It is not clear whether or not the wing was fully staffed or equipped.

The 95th Bombardment Wing was established on 4 June 1952, and activated on 16 June 1952 at Biggs AFB, Texas. However it was not manned from until July 1953, assigned to the Eighth Air Force's 810th Air Division, and then minimally manned until September 1953, when it began strategic bombardment training with B-36 Peacemakers. It operated in support of Strategic Air Command (SAC)'s global commitments from, April 1954- February 1966. The wing deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and operated under control of 3d Air Division from, July-November 1955. It added an air refueling mission beginning in August 1959 and carrying through January 1965. From 1959 to 1960, the wing received B-52 Stratofortresses, and KC-135 Stratotankerss and phased out the B-36. The 95th Bomb Wing was inactivated on 25 June 1966 with the closure of Biggs and it's transfer to the United States Army.

Emblem of the 4082d Strategic Wing

In August 1966 the wing was redesignated as the 95th Strategic Wing and reassigned to Goose Air Base, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, where it replaced the SAC provisional 4082d Strategic Wing. The 4082d SW was activated on 1 April 1957 as a provisional MAJCOM wing. In the late 1950s, SAC established Strategic Wings wings to disburse it's B-52 Superfortress bombers over a larger number of bases, thus making it more difficult for the Soviet Union to knock out the entire fleet with a surprise first strike. A 4-Digit MAJCOM wing, it was considered a temporary, provisional unit.

In order to retain the lineage of its MAJCOM 4-digit combat units and to perpetuate the lineage of many currently inactive bombardment units with illustrious World War II records, Headquarters SAC received authority from Headquarters USAF to discontinue its MAJCOM strategic wings that were equipped with combat aircraft and to activate AFCON units, most of which were inactive at the time which could carry a lineage and history. The 95th SW reassigned the B-52s from Goose to other SAC wings in the United States, and supported SAC's KC-135 alert tanker forces in eastern Canada and the North Atlantic. It phased down for inactivation, closing most USAF operations at Goose Bay from, January-September 1976.

Modern era

The wing has managed Edwards Air Force Base, California, for the Air Force Flight Test Center since its reactivation as the 95th Air Base Wing on 1 October 1994.

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-91279-912-9.
  • Mixer, Ronald E., Genealogy of the STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND, Battermix Publishing Company, 1999
  • Mixer, Ronald E., STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND, An Organizational History, Battermix Publishing Company, 2006
  • USAFHRA 95th Air Base Wing Factsheet

External links


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