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Capt. Dan P Bowling, B-25 Pilot, MTO /WWII
1944 | Italy
Frank Bowling of New Orleans, LA moved around in variuos Western mining camps and towns looking for work. Frank eventually landed in AZ where he met his future wife, Florence "Flossie" Gallagher, a native of Bisbee, AZ They were married in 1910. Arizona was still a Territory !
Dan Bowling was born the 5th of six children (in Miami, AZ). Dan's family moved to Bisbee in Southern AZ soon after he was born where there was more opportunity for work. Dan and his family then remained in Bisbee for the duration of about 18 years. Immediately after graduating from the Bisbee High School, Dan went to visit relatives in San Piedro, in the harbor area of Los Angeles. Within a year, the entire family moved from Bisbee for much better opportunities in Southern California.
Dan continued to work at Bethlehem Steel until Oct. 1942. . . . Dan's Story is one of intense commitment, unbelievable obsticales and fierce determination in the face of all odds. His persistance and amazing durability eventually brought him through MANY trials by fire and indeed, he made it into the Army Air Corp. "A True Hero"
Dan P Bowling "Follow P-D-I" B-25 Pilot
Nov. 2009 | Calif.
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).
Dan P Bowling B-25 PILOT - WWII MTO
1944-1945 | Corsica, France
Read this true accounting of Dan's amazing war-story, of a boy who became a man nearly overnight... who ascerted his leadership qualities while yet a nameless Private. Dan was not to be "just a pilot" but destined to be one of our best and a leader of men, then a leader of pilots. American ingeniuty with commitment and determination... Dan would lead the way, using his quest for excellence [of himself] as a light and eventually for his men too. Dan instinctivly knew that no matter how good he was, he was nothing without his men. And so began his leadership built out of pure determination!
Just when America needed it the most, she would produce MEN of courage, dedication and stamina. Capt Bowling would play a large part in helping to win the war. This is a great book......
Barbi Ennis Connolly, 321st Bomb Group Historian and 57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com