High Hall of Fame Inductee - 1988
Dr. James Everett Bowman
Class of June, 1940
James Bowman joined the Army in 1943 at Camp Dodge, Iowa. From Camp
Dodge, as Private Bowman, he was sent to Keesler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi
for basic training, etc. in the Army Air Corps. He became a member of
the famous Tuskegee Airmen, graduating with that group (44-K-SE on February
1, 1945) and flew as a flight officer for 2-1/2-3 years. He served at
various Army Air Corps bases in the South. He survived the crash of
his plane in a snake-infested swamp
Bowman, James E. 44-K-SE 2/1/1945 Flt. Officer T68699 Des Moines IA
After retiring from military service, James Bowman returned to the Des Moines area and attended Drake University, gaining his BS at Drake. From Drake, he went to Texas where he taught education and psychology at Wiley College, Marshall, Texas, in concert with obtaining his Master's at Wiley. After his time at Wiley College, he returned to the Des Moines area and taught science at Nathan Weeks Middle School for nine years. Eventually, Dr. Bowman entered administrative roles in the Des Moines educational community, advancing to Assistant Superintendent of Instruction for the Des Moines Public Schools. Dr. Bowman is and has been an active leader in various civic and community organizations. He continues to lecture nationally on multi-cultural educational issues, black history, and his experiences as a Tuskegee Airman. The Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (TAI) is a foundation dedicated to preserving the history of America's first black military airmen. http://www.tuskegeeairmen.org/.
Locally, Dr. James E. Bowman is one of the founding members of the Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Centers board of directors.
Dr. James Everett Bowman's 1940 North High class page: http://ndmhs.com/pages/yearclass1940(1990.50).html
The first training facility for black combat pilots was offered at Moton Field, Tuskegee, Alabama from 1941-1945. Of the 992 graduate airmen who became the 99th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Composite Group, 450 saw combat during World War Two including 200 escort missions without losing a bomber to enemy fighter planes. Iowa had twelve graduate airmen including several of the most notable and a number of others who trained but where "washed-out" for often unjust reasons. Moton Field at Tuskegee was built by prominent black engineer Archie Alexander who was a native of Ottumwa.
|12/11/09: Residing in Des Moines, IA 50312|
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