September 18, 1947, a new branch of the United States military was born.
Proven by the gallant service of the pilots, crews, and commanders in World War Two, the Army Air Corps was finally becoming a separate entity.
This new birth paved the way for military aviation advancements that continue to beat the odds on the world stage.
This same year, someone who would make the Air Force his home was born.
Dave Bowman, who at the age of two, knew he wanted to someday fly airplanes.
At one point, he rode on an airplane from Houston, Texas to Rapid City, South Dakota. On this trip, he was able to visit the cockpit of the aircraft, and this moment forever changed his life.
He grew up in South Dakota, living close to Ellsworth Air Force Base where he could watch cargo planes and B-36 bombers flying practice flights.
In high school, he entered a drawing for a free flight and became one of three people to fly over Yellowstone Park. He was determined someday to fly; thus, he joined the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Wyoming.
He first learned to fly a single-engine Cessna at Laramie, Wyoming.
He then was commissioned as an Air Force officer being sent to Willaims Air Force Base to train in the T-37 and T-38s.
Dave Bowman became certified in the C-130 Hercules flying missions in the Vietnam War. His missions in the country earned him the Air Medal.
His most harrowing experience was surviving a Class “A” C-130 crash in Okinawa.
Dave Bowman holds the FAA rating of Airline Transport Pilot.
Additionally, he performed his duty as a Security Police Shift Commander and an aircraft accident investigation officer.
He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and eventually began flying as a charter airline pilot in reciprocating, turboprop, and jet powered aircraft.
Over the course of his vast career, he accumulated nearly 6,000 hours of pilot time in both military and civilian aircraft.
Lieutenant Colonel Bowman performed as Director for a Collegiate Aviation degree program at Northwest Arkansas Community College. He taught classes in aviation history, aerodynamics, weather, management, and safety. For his service in the classroom Dave was selected as the “Teacher of the Year” in the State of Arkansas by the Aerospace Education Foundation.
Presently, Dave volunteers his time helping educate youth about aviation through such programs as the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles, Civil Air Patrol, and even as a tour guide at the Arkansas Air and Military Museum.