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Thread: Geoffrey Hilton Bowman

  1. #1
    Eddie Fell

    Default Geoffrey Hilton Bowman

    This airman had 32 victories to his credit during WWI.

    He rejoined the RAF (RAFO) in August 1940 as a Wing Commander. Can anybody give me a clue as to where he served during WWII.
    He doesn't show up as receiving any further promotions (or at least I can't find any in the LG)
    There is a photo (somewhere - found it and lost it!) showing S/Ldr. J.D. Nettleton with a Wing Commander Bowman. If this is the same Bowman then it would indicate he was with No. 5 Group at some time.
    All clues greatly appreciated

    Cheers

    Eddie

  2. #2
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    Hi Eddie

    Bowman's one of 'mine' as he was CO of 41 Squadron 1918-1919. I don't think the following bio fully answers your query (I also don't have any info on his WWII postings, but do know that he was only called up 1 Sep. 1939-15 Dec. 1941), but I hope it will at least give you some background info on him, even though it's not complete and has a number of gaps. (d/u in my text means 'date unknown').

    Hope this helps

    Steve

    BOWMAN, Geoffrey Hilton ‘Beery’, RWR & RFC/RAF; b. Barton I, England, 2 May 1891; ed. Haileybury & Trinity Coll., Cambridge; Cadet, OTC, d/u; Prob. 2 Lt., 3 Btn. RWR, 15 Aug. 1914; secnd. to RFC, 20 Mar. 1916; B Flt., CFS, 27 Apr. 1916; first solo flt., 11 May 1916; Flg. Off., 29 Jun. 1916; 29 Sqdn. (D.H.2), Abeele, 7 Jul. 1916-16 Dec. 1916; first op. sortie, 9 Jul. 1916; first vic., 1D Roland Scout, 2 Sep. 1916; 1D Balloon, Kemmel Hill, Belg., 27 Sep. 1916; war leave, 17 Dec. 1916; Flt. Cdr. (Temp. Capt.), 1 Jan. 1917; Capt., 1 Apr. 1917; Flt. Cdr., C Flt., 56 Sqdn. (S.E.5), Vert-Galant, 11 May 1917; to UK with 56 Sqdn., 21 Jun.-5 Jul. 1917; leave, 25 Aug.-7 Sep. 1917; MC, 14 Sep. 1917; Bar to MC, 26 Oct. 1917; ctd. w. 9 vics. with 56 Sqdn.; Sqdn. Cdr. (Temp. Maj.), 3 Feb. 1918; CO, 41 Sqdn., 9 Feb. 1918-7 Feb. 1919 (or 11 Jan. 1919?); DSO (56 Sqdn.), 26 Mar. 1918; Flt. Lt. in RAF, 1 Apr. 1918; ctd. with 21 vics. with 41 Sqdn.; Naval Co-Op- Crse., Calshot, 1919; served in Russia, 1919; DFC, 30 May 1919; Actg. Maj., 7 Jun. 1919; CdG (B), 15 Jul. 1919; rel. com. in RWR on app. to perm. com. in RAF as Flt. Lt., 1 Aug. 1919; svce. in N. Russia, 1919; svce. in India, 1920; Sqdn. Ldr., 1 Jan. 1921; SNCAN (Coastal Area), d/u ca. 1921; Supry., RAF Depot (Inland Area) & att. CFS for Flg. Refresher Crse. pending emb. OS, 16 Jan. 1922; CO, 8 Sqdn., Iraq, 24 Feb. 1922-d/u 1924; staff, 5 FTS Sealand, d/u 1925; Staff Coll., Quetta, & to HQ RAF India, Dec. 1925-d/u 1928; placed on half pay list, scale B, 12-29 Dec. 1925; CO, 8 (B) Sqdn., Aden, 21 Jan. 1928; Wg. Cdr., 1 Jan. 1929; brought to notice for distinguished svce. during Jun.-Aug. 1928 ops. in Aden Prot., 15 Mar. 1929; svce. in Egypt, 1929; placed on half pay list, scale B, 7 Jun.-8 Aug. 1929; CO, 1 ATC, Catfoss, Yorks., 1 Mar. 1932; att. 41 Sqdn. reunion, 13 Dec. 1930; CO, Exp. Sect., RAE, S. Farn., 15 Nov. 1932; marr. Pamela Ward, Marden Hill, Herts., 5 Dec. 1932; CO, RAF S. Farn., (RAE, SOP, 4 Army Co-Op. Sqdn.), 16 Oct. 1933; air staff duties, HQ 23 (Trng.) Grp., Granthem, d/u early 1934; placed on ret. list at own request, 20 Jan. 1937; att. 41 Sqdn. reunion, 27 Feb. 1937; recalled, 1 Sep. 1939-15 Dec. 1941 (where?); ret. as Wg. Cdr., rtng. Grp. Capt., 15 Dec. 1941; d. 25 Mar. 1970; crem. at Southwest Mdx. Crem., Hanworth, Feltham, Mdx., 2 Apr. 1970; Mem. Svce., St. Clement Danes Church, Aldwich, 17 Apr. 1970
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

  3. #3
    Eddie Fell

    Default Gh Bowman

    Thanks Steve

    I've sent you an e mail

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    In the summer of 1940, Wing Commander Bowman was the Deputy Director of Combined Operations (Air), designated DDCO(Air), based at the Admiralty. He purloined Louis Strange from No. 24 Squadron to run the newly-formed Parachute Training School at RAF Ringway, promoting Strange (a Lt. Col. in 1918) from PO Strange RAFVR to Acting S/Ldr Strange at the end of his interview. (The first CO of the PTS, S/L Ross Shore, had broken his ankle.) Bowman is not listed in the RAF List of Air Ministry appointments - I checked yesterday - because Combined Ops was still highly secret. Why he retired in 1941 I do not know.

  5. #5
    Eddie Fell

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    Many thanks for that

    Eddie

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    Alex Revell, author of the excellent 56 Sqn WWI history 'High in the Empty Blue' (1995, Flying Machine Press) might be able to throw some light on the WWII career of 'Beery' Bowman. The publisher or the Cross & Cockade society might be able to provide a contact for him.

    Errol

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