W/C Alan M Bowman DFC and Bar

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by Antipodean Andy, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    CO of 39 Sqn with Blenheims and Marylands in Egypt. Mentioned in chapter titled An Electrical Storm in The Armed Rovers by Roy Nesbit.

    Australian, commanding 39 in Feb 41. Already had DFC and bar by that time. In Sept 41, he and a colleague found a Ju87 that had run out of fuel. They must have found some fuel as they managed to fly her to their base. Shortly after, he was killed piloting a Blenheim near the Italian fortress of Jalo, Libya.

    I can't find any reference of him on the net. What on earth did he do before Feb 41 to earn a DFC and bar?

    If anyone ever comes across a copy of The Armed Rovers and you don't own it, buy it! An excellent read so far.
  2. spidge

    spidge Active Member

  3. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

  4. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    He is definitely listed on the Roll of Honour however he is not listed on the DFC list either.............strange!

    Alan McDonald Bowman DFC & BAR

    Rank Squadron Leader [Sqn Ldr]
    Service Number 32138
    Unit Communication Flight ME
    Service RAAF
    Conflict 1939-1945
    Date of Death 30 November 1941
    Place of Death Gialo, Middle East
    Cause of Death Flying Battle
    Source AWM148 Roll of Honour cards, 1939-1945 War, Air Force
  5. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    He looks older than the norm but could have earned them in WWI? Maybe ops in the desert have made him look older than he is and thrown me off track!

    Is it conceivable that he could have been 20 in 1918 and therefore 43 in 1941 (seems a bit young to be a flyer in WWI...to me). Armed Rovers does say something along the lines of "he had been unable to settle into a desk job and yearned to continue flying". This, however, suggests he was flying earlier in the war and was then given a desk. I reckon I'm way off with my WWI idea.
  6. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    This is the link that Spidgeman followed to get to that photo of our hero.


    I love the little touch of the poppy where his name is listed on the memorial in Canberra. Beautiful attention to detail so thought I'd share!
  7. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    He is not on the nominal roll and nowhere else it seems in the national archives.
  8. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    :poster_oops: DFC came into being in June 1918, don't know what I was thinking there! Still a possibility but...

    Spidgeman, I just checked NAA as well. Had to have interest raised on this guy!
  9. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Alan McDonald Bowman

    Alan McDonald Bowman was awarded the following honours:
    Distinguished Flying Cross

    Service Number32138ServiceRAFRankSquadron LeaderUnit39 Sqn RAFConflictSecond World WarDate of London Gazette25 October 1940, page 6194, position 1 More information about a Distinguished Flying Cross (Wikipedia)

    Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross

    Service Number32138ServiceRAFRankWing CommanderUnit39 Sqn RAFConflictSecond World WarDate of London Gazette8 August 1941, page 4570, position 1
  10. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Where did you find that, Spidgeman?

    Good old diggerhistory!

    Squadron Leader Alan McDonald Bowman, of Tasmania, was awarded the D.F.C. at the age Of 29. He had proved himself a courageous and determined leader with sound judgment who, by leading his squadron by day and night on bombing raids over Germany, had set a fine example and a high standard. He had led i i most successful raids on enemy territory, and had once beaten off an attack on one of the bombers in his formation and thus enabled it to return to British territory. In conjunction with fighter aircraft, he had organized and carried out an attack which had destroyed three enemy petrol dumps and an ammunition dump.

    "The influence of his untiring efforts and of his example is reflected in the many successes of his squadron, the citation stated.
  11. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

  12. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    LG Summary

    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/ViewPDF.aspx?pdf=34294&geotype=London&gpn=3840&type=ArchivedIssuePage&all=&exact=Alan%20McDonald%20Bowman&atleast=&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
  13. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Nice one, Kyt. I see Hughie Edwards was gazetted for his DFC on the sam page of 11 March 41.
  14. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    As was Acting Squadron Leader Peter Guy WYKEHAM-BARNES,


    And the site should be a lesson that no matter how good the information presented, it shouldn't be taken as gospel. It gives WB's service number as 41092 which infact belonged to Squadron Leader Vernon Crompton WOODWARD D.F.C.

    WB's service number was 33211.
  15. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Huh, flew with Pattle! There's one of those cool little links I've been talking about that one stumbles across in this big war.
  16. spidge

    spidge Active Member

  17. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Ooooooh, me likey. Onya, Spidgeman!
  18. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    As a career officer in the RAF from the early 1930s, and as there's no indication that he ever transferred between national air forces, he probably wouldn't ever have counted as "RAAF", even though he hailed from Oz. His service number is definately RAF.
  19. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Bowman's 32138?
  20. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Yes, though service numbers were rarely listed in the LG before the war (or even during it for W/C and above). Makes LG searches rather tricky sometimes.

    Australians usually had either "Aus.XXXXX" and/or "RAAF" in their LG entry

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