|Birth: ||Feb. 19, 1918|
|Death: ||Apr. 9, 1944|
South Norfolk District
John Cleary Dowdy born was born in Baltimore Maryland 1918.
He was the 3rd of six children. He attended St. Elizabeth's school in Baltimore then Mount Saint Joe HS. He was an outstanding student athlete, lettered in Varsity Football, Baseball and Basketball and was class President of 1936. A devout catholic he was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
John came to be known as Tate to everyone that knew him. Tate's family were blue collar middle class struggling to survive the depression. After graduation Tate secured a job as a steel roller at the Crown Cork and Seal company in Baltimore. The fact that he was able to secure a job with a successful company like CC&S, a job that would usually have been given to a much older experienced man is a tribute to the work ethic and maturity of my Uncle. In September 1940 Tate was drafted in the US Army. The army at this time was expanding due to the war then raging in Europe.
Initially Tate trained as a gunner and was assigned to a Tank battalion, however in December 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and war was declared. Tate then stationed in Pennsylvania was able to secure a discharge from the Army with the understanding that he would then immediately reenlist as a volunteer. This he hoped would allow him to be able to choose his branch of service and he subsequently reentered the army and into the Air corp.
After extensive basic training with his new branch he was sent to the prestigious New England Aircraft School in Boston Massachusetts. This school was later merged into MIT. Tate graduated in 1942 and was promoted to Tech Sergeant and made a flight engineer. More training followed in Utah where he was assigned to the 389th Bomb group equipped with the 4 engine B24 "Liberator" heavy bomber. The 389th became his new home and its personnel his new family. Finally in June 1943 his family was told that Tate would be sent overseas. Now with Henry Vaughan's crew he left for Hethel England flying the northern route Iceland -Ireland - England. Henry Vaughan would eventually become captain Vaughan one of the more respected pilots in the 566th squadron. His co pilot Glenn Reese would eventually become 1st/Lt. and Navigator Ralph Piatrangelo would also become Captain and a group executive officer. The enlisted crew were a colorful lot and together they flew over 25 combat missions from bases in Benghazi and in England. Tate was killed in air collision on his 28th mission April 9th 1944.
USAAF WORLD WAR II
Engineer - Gunner T/Sgt. John C. Dowdy KIA
Squadron: 566th BS 389th Bomb Group
Awards Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters
Presidential Unit Citation, Purple Heart
Pilot: 1st/Lt. Glenn Reese KIA
Target Tutow Germany.
USAAF MACR#: ?
Date Lost: 9-Apr-44
Serial Number: 42-99982
Aircraft Model B-24J-55-CO
Aircraft Letter: H+
Aircraft Name: MIGHT OF THE EIGHTH
Location: Norfolk England
Cause: Mid Air Collision due to weather - fog 9KIA/2RTD
T/Sgt. Dowdy was Killed in Action April 9 1944. His ship "The Might of the Eight" was Piloted by Lt. Glen Reese. The accident occurred at 7000 feet on the mission to Tutow Germany. The mid air collision occurred with a plane from another group during division assembly (392BG ). Sgt. Dowdy was killed along with 9 other crew members. There were 2 survivors from Reese's plane and 2 survivors from the 392nd plane.
The target, the airfield and air park at Tutow, was a continuation of the assault on the German Air Force, concentrating again on production of FW-190s. Per the intelligence annex to Field Order No. 255, "The whole complex comprising [this day's] targets was estimated to be producing over 200 aircraft per month. Last effort against this complex was October 1943 ... now back in production. FW-190 production on the whole, still relatively intact... Our target is an integral part of this complex. Main assembly hangars being on south field with north field being used as an operational G.A.F. base."
Burial: Originally buried at Cambridge re interred to New Cathedral Cemetery Baltimore Maryland in 1948.
Visit the virtual cemetery of the Vaughan/Reese Crew ClickHere
Charles Freeman Dowdy (1891 - 1970)
Margaret Honore Cleary Dowdy (1893 - 1959)
James Henry Dowdy (1913 - 1994)*
Margaret Mary Dowdy White (1915 - 1984)*
John Cleary Dowdy (1918 - 1944)
Mary Helen Dowdy Andresini (1923 - 2010)*
Charles William Dowdy (1931 - 2004)*
Thomas Joseph Dowdy (1932 - 2012)*
TSGT, 566 AAF BOMB SQ WORLD WAR II
Note: See Photo caption for more information.
New Cathedral Cemetery
Plot: Section V V Lot 541
Created by: John Dowdy
Record added: Aug 15, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95392713