Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dad's Service in the USAF

Today, this Veteran's Day 2015, I have enjoyed sharing some interesting photos with my son.  They are all relating to my dad's (John Ryburn Bowden) years of service in the USAF.  My 24 year-old son, Benny Bowden, showing interest in his Grandfather makes me realize how important it is to share what little I know about my Dad so that his life story may continue for future generations to know.

Dad did not tell me a lot about his military service, but here's a few things I learned from him and my mother.

His military career started in 1951 as an ROTC student in the Corps while at Texas A&M College.  After graduation, he remained in the USAF reserves while teaching High School Ag class until he was called to active service in 1955.  My sister Kay had been born by this time as they were stationed for a time in Montana.  My brother Eddie was born that year and soon dad was reassigned to service in Korea.

Dad attending a meeting of the Rotary International Service organization while in Korea

Dad always downplayed his role in Korea, arriving there after the war ended, he said he was there during the clean up efforts after the war was over.  He told me he had participated in efforts to salvage instruments and equipment from crashed airplanes.

Most of his Korea stories related to his "Off" time when he enjoyed going Pheasant hunting and and trying to fight boredom around the base.  He was part of a team who built a u-control B-29 Superfortress.  He said it flew well in a large parking lot until one of its flyers lost control and it flew into a parked vehicle.

In 1957 back in the States, Dad was assigned to the Dallas Air Defense Filter Center.  There he was in charge of commanding the radar test operations.  He once told me they would send out large squadrons of Beechcraft Bonanzas throughout the southern United States to test radar efficiency to see how low they would have to fly to slip under radar contact.  This was during the Cold War efforts by the military to provide a security net of radar coverage across the nation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Barnstmr's Random Slideshow

Blog Followers