Geoffrey Hilton Bowman
|Geoffrey Hilton Bowman|
May 2, 1891|
|Died||March 25, 1970(aged 78)|
|Service/branch|| Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
|Years of service||1915(?)-1934|
|Unit||No. 29 Squadron RFC
No. 56 Squadron RFC
|Commands held||No. 41 Squadron RAF|
|Awards||Distinguished Service Order; Military Cross with Bar|
Group Captain Geoffrey Hilton "Beery" Bowman DSO, MC and Bar, DFC (2 May 1891 – 25 March 1970) was an English World War I fighter ace credited with 32 victories. After attaining the rank of major in the Royal Flying Corps, he later became a group captain in the Royal Air Force.
Involvement in World War I
Born in Manchester, England, Bowman was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment early in the war and was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on 20 March 1916. After pilot training, he joined No. 29 Squadron on 7 July 1916, flying Airco DH.2 aircraft.
His first claim was over a Roland C.II two seater with which he unintentionally collided on 3 September 1916; he turned into its attack, firing away, and the German plane tore away his aileron kingpost. Bowman "babied" his crippled craft home despite its lack of lateral control.
His second win, on 27 September 1916, was a run-away German observation balloon he downed after finding it drifting over the lines; however he crashed while trying to land alongside the balloon wreckage on Mount Kemmel.
In May 1917 he was posted to No 56 squadron as a flight commander, flying Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 aircraft. By July he had claimed another five victories. He was awarded the Military Cross in September 1917 and the bar in October.
In February 1918 he was posted to command No. 41 Squadron. His final score was one aircraft shared captured, one balloon destroyed, 15 aircraft destroyed and 15 'out of control'.
He died in March 1970.
- Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. Christopher F. Shores, Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1990. ISBN 0-948817-19-4, ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9.
- Pusher Aces of World War 1. Jon Guttman, Harry Dempsey. Osprey Pub Co, 2009. ISBN 1-84603-417-5, ISBN 978-1-84603-417-6.
- Pusher Aces of World War 1. p. 43.
- Pusher Aces of World War 1. p. 43–44.
- Above the Trenches. p. 83.
- The Aerodrome - Geoffrey Hilton Bowman