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The 95th FS; part of Tyndall's proud fighter heritage

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves and Peter Coffman
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 95th Fighter Squadron celebrated 80 years of proud heritage Feb. 9, 2022.

Originally known as the 95th Pursuit Squadron, the unit was established Jan. 13, 1942, with official activation taking place Feb. 9, 1942, at Harding Field, Louisiana, flying the P-38 Lightning.

The squadron supported the Flying Sergeants program, utilizing commissioned and enlisted officers as instructor pilots to lead enlisted members toward a commission. Shortly after the activation period, the U.S. Army Air Forces abandoned the flying sergeant program marking the end of enlisted pilots. In May 1942, the unit was re-designated as the 95th Fighter Squadron for the first time.

During the height of World War II, the 95th FS deployed to Tafaraoui, Algeria, where the squadron supported Allied Operation Torch, which focused on expelling the Axis Forces from North Africa. Their primary mission was to provide extended escort to bombers through the use of 300 gallon fuel tanks. 

The squadron, known as the “Boneheads”, amassed more than 400 victories, including 199 air-to-air enemy kills, with only 19 losses during WWII. The unit emblem, created during WWII was officially accepted Feb. 4, 1954.

The squadron was relocated, deployed, deactivated and re-designated to serve new mission sets for many years following 1944 before settling at Tyndall with the Checkertails Sept. 1, 1974. The unit provided initial pilot training for those flying F-15 Eagle airframes as well as some advanced training with experienced pilots. The squadron deactivated again Sept. 30, 2010.

The “Boneheads” reactivated again Oct. 13, 2013, to support the F-22 Raptor mission. However, in the wake of Hurricane Michael on Oct. 10, 2018, the 95th FS reallocated personnel and aircraft across the F-22 Raptor fleet to other duty stations.

The long illustrious history of the squadron includes flying many different airframes, including the P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustangs, F-94 Starfire, F-86 Sabre, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-106 Delta Dart, T-33 Shooting Star, F-15 Eagle, and the F-22 Raptor.

The 95th FS has produced many of the nation’s great aviators over the past 80 years, propelling a legacy of dedication to the mission that is evident still today as Tyndall continues to train and project unrivaled combat airpower.