Sidney J. Bowlin

Picture of Sidney Bowlin SIDNEY J. BOWLIN, born 28 Sep 22 in Gorman, Texas. Graduated high school at Van Horn, Tex.; later enlisted as an Aviation Cadet graduating single-engine Advanced, Class 43-I.

First assignment was 327 Ftr Gp (P-47) for RTU; later to Matagorda Island gunnery school and thence to Norfolk as IP for P-47 gunnery training. Next assigned to 9 AF, 371 Ftr Gp, 405 Sqdn (P-47). Flew 56 combat missions through V.E Day from France and Germany and was awarded Air Medal w / 4 OLC's.

Remained in Germany and continued flying the Jug with 36th, 86th and 27th Ftr Gps. From initial checkout in Oct 43 thru last Jug night in May 47, he logged 1054 hours P-47 time.

Reassigned to ZI in Jun 47 to 20th Ftr Bmr Gp, 79 FBS with P-51 's, later converting to F-84 aircraft. He remained with the 20th FBG from Jun 47 thru Jun 55, logging over 1000 hours in the F-84. During this period he twice led the unit gunnery team in Fighter Weapons Meets at Nellis AFB, led units on the first mass formations of fighter aircraft across the North Atlantic on FOX ABLE 1 and FOX ABLE 2.

He later pioneered in the development and testing of nuclear weapons delivery systems for fighter aircraft. He deployed with this unit to England in 1952 thus augmenting NATO forces with their first fighter unit with a nuclear capability.

Returning to the States in 1955 he attended AC&SS at Maxwell before being assigned to the Pentagon for staff duty in DCS/OPNS. While there he new B-25's, T-33's and B-57's. Next assignment in 1959 was a 4.year stint as test pilot with Flight Test Operations at Eglin AFB flying F-100's and F-104's.

In 1963 he was again assigned to NATO; this tour with DCS/OPNS, 4th ATAF, Ramstein, responsible for employment plans of joint/ Combined tactical air units. He was reassigned to MacDill AFB in 1966 where he served in DCS/PLANS Strike Command in test and evaluation of tactical forces in joint operations. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal during this period and he retired in Aug. 1971 as a Lt. Col. with over 5,000 hours flying time.

He married Norma Jacks in 1951 and they have three children: Tom, Scott and Vicki

List of all p51 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
W.B. 'Tex' Badger Eight and Ninth Air Force in WWII. B-l7's, P-51's and P-47's. Fifth Air Force in Korea, F80's and F86's. WWII and Korea, Flew 156 missions. Tactical units served in with the USAAF and USAF were: 305th BG , 368th Fighter Group, 4th Fighter Group, 49th Fighter Group, 12th Fighter Wing, 506th Fighter Wing.
Robert T. (Bob) Bagby He trained in P47's at Cross City and Dale Mabry Fields, Florida and then joined the 341st FS Black Jack Squadron), 348th FG of the 5th AF in Brisbane, Australia in June 1943. Bob flew 78 combat missions in New Guinea (Port Moresby, Finchafen, Sador, Wakde and Biak) primarily as wingman to squadron CO's John Campbell and John Moore. Also privileged to fly wing to Neil Kirby on several occasions.
Frank Baker After brief stops at Stone and Atcham, England he joined the 313th Fighter Squadron of the 50th Fighter Group in France. He flew 90 missions through V.E. Day. Most of the missions were close support attacks on various ground targets with a few B-26 escort missions thrown in. All of the missions took place in eastern France and southern Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters.
John M. Balason To relieve the boredom, Balason went down on the deck and blew up a locomotive he had observed at altitude. A few seconds after making his strafing pass he received a hit in his left wing tank and a fire started immediately in the cockpit. The paralyzing effect of the intense heat made climbing out of the cockpit impossible.
Albert W. Barlow, Jr. He flew 69 escort and ground support missions. Destroyed one E/A (ME-I09). Was shot down on Sept. 8, 1944, and evaded enemy ground forces for 8 days. Was picked up by an American Recon. Unit behind the German lines. Was hospitalized until Feb. 1948, when he was medically retired with the rank of Capt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart.
William T. Beckler In July, 1944 Beckler exchanged his P-40 for a P-47N Thunderbolt. Missions in the Jug covered Northern Italy and Southern France. These included escorting medium bombers. The Bombers, based in Southern Italy, would be escorted to France by Thunderbolts based on Corsica. Shortly before target the Jugs would pull ahead of the bombers and bomb the enemy gun positions. Beckler's activities while participation in three major campaigns earned him the DFC, two Air Medals and two Presidential citations.
Herbert R. Benson After training in P-47 Thunderbolts at bases in North Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, he was assigned to the European Theatre of operations and joined the 48th Fighter Group 493rd Fighter Squadron at St. Trond, Belgium. After flying 44 combat missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf clusters.
Marvin C. Bigelow Training in the Southeast Training Command with the class of 44C, he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant single engine pilot at Marianna, Florida with the class of 44D. After checking out in the P-40 at Marianna, he transitioned in the P-47 in the Northeast Defense Command and after gunnery at Dover, Delaware was shipped on the Queen Mary to England.
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