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Ralph Irving Bowman Jr


Flight leader 55th FS July 17, 1944 - Jan 13, 1945
296 combat hours
1 ME-109 destroyed air + 1 DO-24 destroyed water + 1 DO-24 damaged water
Transferred to 4th Combat Bomb Wing at completion of tour.
KIFA Beach C-45 s/n 44-87129 April 5, 1951


Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 4th Combat Bomb Wing
  • 20th Fighter Group

    20th Fighter Group

    In August 1943, the 20th Fighter Group arrived in Clyde, Scotland, before travelling to Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire, which was to be their base for the rest of the war. The Group flew 312 missions before their last mission on 25 April 1945. The...

  • 55th Fighter Squadron


  • 44-14430

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 55FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 351FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF.

Associated Place

  • Kings Cliffe

    Military site : airfield
    Kings Cliffe began as a satellite air base for the Group based at nearby Wittering. The 56th Fighter Group, however, were all based at Kings Cliffe and it was here that the pilots trained in P-47 Thunderbolts and flew their first missions in the...


Event Location Date
Born North Carolina, USA 26 September 1921
Promotion Wittering, Peterborough PE8, UK 21 October 1944

Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.

Promotion Wittering, Peterborough PE8, UK 19 December 1944

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Transferred 14 January 1945

Transferred to 4th Combat Bomb Wing.

Promotion Wittering, Peterborough PE8, UK 14 January 1945

Promoted to Captain.

End Tour of Duty (ETD) England, UK April 1945

Ended Tour of Duty (ETD).

Crashed Las Cruces, NM, USA 5 April 1951

Fatal Crash Ground Collision 15 Miles E Las Cruces, NM C-45F 44-87129 4914FOS 910ABG Kirtland AFB, NM


Date Contributor Update
27 April 2019 16:26:47 fugari Changes to biography

Corrected spelling

Date Contributor Update
27 April 2019 16:25:59 fugari Changes to role, biography, awards, events, place associations and media associations

JCook Photo Collection & Archives

Date Contributor Update
28 June 2017 11:06:34 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia;
- King's Cliffe Memorial Edition

Date Contributor Update
25 March 2017 09:54:18 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography, awards and events

Date Contributor Update
25 March 2017 09:27:26 Al_Skiff Changes to suffix, nickname, highest rank, role, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:21:49 AAM AAM ingest

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list