Dan's Personal experiences during WWII, the TRUTH of "The Way It Was".
My Experiences as an AAF B-25 Pilot During World War II
by Dan Bowling
“Follow P-D-I” tells the story of a young B-25 bomber pilot’s military life while attached to the Mediterranean Theater during World War II. As a squadron lead and group lead pilot of the 57th Bomb Wing, 321st Group, 445th Squadron, twenty-two year old Dan Bowling flew sixty-seven combat missions over Northern Italy between August 1944 and May 1945.
Based on his war diary and a long forgotten, expanded account he wrote soon after leaving the military, the story traces his war time experiences including induction into the Army at San Pedro, California, aviation cadet school, combat missions, and his return home. After graduation from aeronautical school in late 1943 and before being sent overseas, Bowling and three other pilots were given experimental training in advanced instrument flying – an invaluable skill while flying in inclement weather. In 1944, Bowling flew, along with several other planes, from Miami, Florida to Africa via Ascension Island and was stationed at Corsica where he joined the 321st Group. During the next ten months, Bowling and the 445th Squadron concentrated most of their energy on military targets held by the Germans in Northern Italy including Galliate, Roverto, Argenta, Ostiglia, Bologna, Bozzola, Vipetano and the Brenner Pass. The book chronicles about a third of Bowling’s combat missions, and describes daily life on primitive Army air force bases. It is illustrated with numerous period photos and contains an appendix of rare, original documents relating to air operations during World War II.
Dan's book is a truthful accounting of how prepared our Country was.... or better yet, was NOT. Misconceptions and empty promises that had no chance of being fulfilled. The undercurrent of dedication and patriotism that came together despite disorganization and more than a few clueless leaders. The Depression still prevailed and our "Boys" became men - "Heroes" ... despite lack of education and many basic skills.... this is a story of our "Tried and True". This Hero Dan was a Leader of men and this is his true story.
(Barbara Ennis Connolly, 321st Bomb Group Historian and 57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher).