95th Fighter Squadron
Published November 19, 2015
Provide air dominance for America.
The 95th FS, proudly nicknamed the "Boneheads," activated in early 1942 flying the original twin-tailed fighter, the P-38 Lightning, supporting the Allied invasions of North Africa and Italy. The squadron performed amazing aerial combat and support, winning two Distinguished Unit Citations during attacks on the Italian peninsula. The first DUC involved the 95th FS flying its P-38s at an altitude of 100 feet for hundreds of miles to attack enemy fighters based at Foggia, Italy. With other squadrons, the 95th FS damaged and destroyed dozens of aircraft with minimal losses. The second DUC was awarded after the 95th FS protected 72 B-25s returning from a bombing mission over the Cancello marshalling yards near Naples. All friendly bombers returned and many enemy aircraft were shot down. A year later, in Oct. 1944, the 95th FS participated in the attacks on the Ploesti oil refineries. Each aircraft carried a 1,000-pound bomb and a 300-gallon gas tank. For delivering its bombs "right on target," the squadron won its third and final DUC. By the end of World War II, the 95th FS tallied more than 400 total victories, including 199 air-to-air kills and honored seven aces.
During the post-war period, the squadron was assigned to Alaskan Air Command, flying the P-51 Mustang. The squadron was responsible for defending the U.S. northern territories and patrolling the Aleutian Island Chain. In the fall of 1959, the 95th FS was reassigned to defending Washington D.C. and the National Capitol Region. The Boneheads assumed 24-hour alert status supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), specifically to count the threat of strategic bomber attacks. Armed with the world's fastest interceptor, the F-106 Delta Dart, the squadron could be airborne in minutes, fully loaded and armed with conventional or nuclear armaments.
The squadron was reassigned to Tyndall Air Force Base on Aug. 15, 1974, as the 95th Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron flying the T-33 Thunderbird. The Boneheads joined the Checkertails of the 325th Fighter Weapons Wing in 1981 and were once again redesignated, this time as the 95th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on April 1, 1988, trading in their T-33's for the mighty McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle. Finally, the squadron was renamed the 95th Fighter Squadron on Nov. 1, 1991 as part of the conversion to Air Education Training Command. During this period the Boneheads provided initial pilot training in the F-15, as well as conversion and recurrence checkouts for experienced pilots.
At the turn of the millennium, the Boneheads continued to provide air superiority training in the F-15 at Tyndall. The force structure of the Combat Air Forces changed as Air Force leadership was faced with the demands of a Global War on Terrorism and a shrinking Air Force budget. With the F-15 fleet aging rapidly, the Air Force decided to retire almost all F-15 A-D models and close the F-15 training units. Thus, the 95th FS inactivated on Sept. 21, 2010. The Boneheads glorious heritage and overwhelming local support made it the perfect selection for the new operational F-22 squadron at Tyndall, Florida. The 95th FS reactivated Oct. 11, 2013.
Lieutenant Col. Joshua M. Biederman