RAF Australians - Wing Commander ALAN MCDONALD BOWMAN(DFC & Bar)

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by spidge, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Wing Commander ALAN MCDONALD BOWMAN(DFC & Bar)

    The research says that he was promoted later to Group Captain however I am unable to verify this information. Does anyone know a way of checking this out?

    It is only right I continue the story of Alan Bowman, who took the photos shown here.
    Tasmanian Times

    This is Alan Bowman:

    View attachment 3816

    ALAN MCDONALD BOWMAN was the Son of Adrian McDonald Bowman and Olive Eileen Bowman, of Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia.

    Australian CO of 39 Sqn with Blenheims and Marylands in Egypt.

    To say his story is typical of so many of his generation, is not to detract from him as an individual, but to indicate that events swamped people and bestowed upon millions a common destiny. Bowman’s career in the RAF was swashbuckling and short-lived, common enough characteristics of many young men of the RAF and Luftwaffe.

    Along with a party of RAF officers Bowman was deported from Germany during the Berlin Olympics of 1936. I am not sure why but I think it was because of commendably ratbag behaviour. Bowman was an avid skier and did a lot of skiing in Europe as well as a little gentle climbing. He was chosen as liaison officer on Bauer’s Expedition because of his fluency in German.

    He was intensely interested in the Ju52 flown by Thoenes and he paid especial attention to the gun mountings on the plane. He was not allowed to take photographs of the interior of the plane but did manage to take one of the control panels in the cockpit. So a certain tension did exist and Alan Bowman apparently had no doubt as to the direction the world was taking. As he flew past the mighty walls of Nanga Parbat I wonder if he appreciated the fine edge on which he was balanced, a witness to the desperate battles that had taken place on the mountain and a future participant in the battles just over a year off?

    Scribbled across the top of a contemporary newspaper report in the Mercury (Hobart) of Bowman’s involvement with the 1938 Expedition as liaison officer aboard the Ju52 are the words: Good practise for a flight over Mother Germany. Such were the times.

    Soon after the outbreak of war Bowman became Wing Commander, one of the youngest squadron leaders in the RAF and received a DFC and Bar for his bombing raids against Italian mustard gas dumps in Ethiopia and for the destruction of major ammunition and petrol dumps in the desert. He captured a Ju87 (Stuka) on the Libyan frontier and flew it back over British lines, dodging British fighter patrols and AA batteries, making three forced landings and eventually picking up, early in the morning near Tobruk, 10 gallons of fuel and a naval officer who was “enjoying quiet leave from Tobruk.”

    The story has been continued far enough because for Alan Bowman it ends in death. On November 30th 1941, Wing Commander Bowman died in the crash of his Bristol Blenheim in the Western Desert.

    Portrait of 32138 Wing Commander Alan McDonald Bowman DFC and Bar, of Tasmania, who is serving with No. 39 Squadron RAF. Later promoted to Group Captain, he was lost on operations on 30 November 1941 at Gialo, Libya.
    Australian War Memorial - SUK10686

    The undermentioned are granted short service commissions as Pilot Officers for four years on the active list with effect from and with seniority of 12th Jan. -1932:
    Alan McDonald BOWMAN.
    Gazette Issue 33793 published on the 26 January 1932. Page 7 of 64

    The undermentioned Pilot Officers are promoted to the rank of Flying Officer: —
    22nd Apr. 1932.
    Alan McDonald BOWMAN.
    Gazette Issue 33824 published on the 10 May 1932. Page 7 of 90

    The undermentioned Flight Lieutenants are granted permanent commissions in this rank. 1st June 1936:—
    Alan McDonald BOWMAN.
    Gazette Issue 34294 published on the 16 June 1936. Page 6 of 76http://beta.gazettes-online.co.uk/Vi...east=&similar=

    The undermentioned Flight Lieutenants are promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader,1st Dec. 1938: —
    Alan McDonald BOWMAN.
    Gazette Issue 34576 published on the 2 December 1938. Page 13 of 88

    Distinguished Flying Cross
    Squadron Leader Alan McDonald BOWMAN (32138).
    No Citation
    Gazette Issue 34978 published on the 25 October 1940. Page 4 of 36

    Squadron Leaders to be Wing Commanders (temporary).
    Alan McDonald BOWMAN, D.F.C. (32138).

    Gazette Issue 35102 published on the 11 March 1941. Page 3 of 46

    Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.
    Wing Commander Alan McDonald BOWMAN, D.F.C. (32138), No. 39 Squadron.
    This officer has commanded the squadron since April, 1941, during which period it has carried out a large number of long distance reconnaissances. By his leadership, skill and determination, Wing Commander Bowman has contributed largely to the great successes achieved.

    Gazette Issue 35241 published on the 8 August 1941. Page 8 of 86

    In Memory of
    Wing Commander ALAN MCDONALD BOWMAN (D F C and Bar)

    Royal Air Force
    who died age 30 on 30 November 1941
    Son of Adrian McDonald Bowman and Olive Eileen Bowman, of Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia.
    Remembered with honour

    Loss details of the above officer.......

    30 November 1941

    Western Desert Communications Flight
    Blenheim IV Z7589

    W/C. A. McDonald Bowman +
    F/S. J. McLaren (Wop/Ag) +
    G/C. C. Dearlove +
    Capt F. Benn (Army passenger) +

    Shot down by friendly AA fire and crashed near Gialo Oasis, Sudan.

    The Bristol Blenheim - Warner

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