Jesse Bowen, EE’49, joined the Army during peacetime and was a radio operator for B-10 bombers. Immediately after Pearl Harbor was attacked, his unit was equipped with brand new B-25 bombers and sent to Nevada for aerial gunnery training. Bowen was shipped out to England and named Group Communications Chief with the 354th Fighter Group. 

“I remember the German planes looked like big white moths flying overhead at night,” says Bowen. “The English had a lot of searchlights and 90mm anti-aircraft guns close by our shelters.”

Bowen was moved to Normandy following D-Day. He was transported via army landing craft and says he could still see “the remainder of the havoc and hell our ground troops went through to make the invasion.”

Bowen and the air support followed General Patton’s 3rd Army into France and provided close support for tanks. After the German defeat, Bowen’s group was moved to Nurnberg and he says that “since the European war was over, we didn’t have to work very hard.” He even visited Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in Austria. 

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