The 95th Reconnaissance Squadron (95 RS) is a squadron of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the 55th Operations Group, Air Combat Command, stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The squadron is equipped with several variants of the Boeing C-135 aircraft equipped for reconnaissance missions.
The 95 RS is one of the oldest units in the United States Air Force, first being organized as the 95th Aero Squadron on 20 August 1917 at Kelly Field, Texas. The squadron deployed to France and fought on the Western Front during World War I as a pursuit squadron.
During World War II the unit served in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) as part of Twelfth Air Force as a B-26 Marauder light bomber squadron, participating in the North African and the Southern France Campaign. In the Cold War, the squadron fought in the Korean War with B-26 Invader medium bombers, then later as part of Strategic Air Command, flying TR-1A Dragonlady reconnaissance aircraft supporting NATO.
Conducts RC-135 Rivet Joint flight operations in the European and Mediterranean theaters of operations as tasked by National Command Authorities and European Command. Provides all operational management, aircraft maintenance, administration, and intelligence support to produce politically sensitive real-time intelligence data vital to national foreign policy. Supports EC-135, OC-135, and E-4B missions when theater deployed.
Although it is a component of the 55th Operations Group, main flying operations are conducted from RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom and Souda Bay, Crete.see 95th Aero Squadron for the World War I history of the squadron.
The 95th RS was originally activated as the 95th Aero Squadron (a fighter unit) on 20 August 1917 at Kelly Field in Texas. It deployed to various locations in France during World War I, initially at Issoudun. On 5 May 1918, it was assigned to the 1st Pursuit Group. Well-known pilots with the 95th Aero Squadron who perished in World War I included Lt. Quentin Roosevelt, the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt, and Irby Curry. Both of them died while the squadron was based in Saints, France. A number of aces also served with the unit, including Lansing Holden, Sumner Sewall, Harold Buckley, Edward Peck Curtis, James Knowles, and one of its commanding officers, Captain David M. Peterson.
After the war ended on 11 November 1918, the 95th Aero Squadron was demobilized on 18 March 1919.
The 95th Aero Squadron underwent various activations and inactivations over the years and experienced numerous name changes. During World War II, it was known as the 95th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) and was a squadron in the 17th Bombardment Group that provided B-25 Mitchells and 6 crews for the Doolittle Raid and later flew the B-26 Marauder in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.
After being inactivated on 25 June 1958, it was redesignated as the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron on 20 January 1982 and reactivated at RAF Alconbury in the United Kingdom on 1 October 1982. It flew U-2 and TR-1 aircraft in support of NATO and US Air Forces Europe missions. After the end of the Cold War, the 95th RS was no longer needed and the unit was inactivated on 15 September 1993. This hiatus did not last long as the unit was reactivated on 1 July 1994 at RAF Mildenhall, this time flying the RC-135 Rivet Joint, OC-135 Open Skies and E-4B aircraft.Organized as: 95th Aero Squadron, on 20 August 1917
Re-designated as: 95th Aero Squadron (Pursuit)
, on 5 March 1918
Demobilized on 18 March 1919
Organized on 12 August 1919
Re-designated: 95th Squadron (Pursuit)
on 14 March 1921
Re-designated: 95th Pursuit Squadron
on 30 September 1922
Re-designated: 95th Pursuit Squadron, Air Service
, on 25 January 1923
Re-designated: 95th Pursuit Squadron, Air Corps
, on 8 August 1926
Inactivated on 31 July 1927
Re-designated: 95th Pursuit Squadron, and activated, on 1 June 1928
Re-designated: 95th Attack Squadron
on 1 March 1935
Re-designated: 95th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
on 17 October 1939
Re-designated: 95th Bombardment Squadron, Medium
, on 9 October 1944
Inactivated on 26 November 1945
Re-designated: 95th Bombardment Squadron, Light, on 29 April 1947
Activated on 19 May 1947
Inactivated on 10 September 1948
Re-designated: 95th Bombardment Squadron, Light, Night Intruder, on 8 May 1952
Activated on 10 May 1952
Re-designated: 95th Bombardment Squadron, Tactical
, on 1 October 1955
Inactivated on 25 June 1958
Re-designated: 95th Reconnaissance Squadron on 20 January 1982
Activated on 1 October 1982
Inactivated on 15 September 1993
Activated on 1 July 1994
Nieuport 28, 1917–1918
SPAD XIII, 1918
B-25 Mitchell, 1941–1942
B-26 Marauder, 1942–1945
Lockheed U-2 and TR-1, 1983–1993