Capt Russell Roy Bowling

Capt Russell Roy Bowling

Goose Creek, Harris County, Texas, USA
Death 27 Jul 1956 (aged 33)
Lakenheath, Forest Heath District, Suffolk, England
Burial Gause, Milam County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 23116147 · View Source
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Captain Russell Bowling

A graduate from Hearne High School in Hearne, Texas, Bowling went on to become a Dallas firefighter for a time before attending flying school at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas later that year. During World War II, Bowling had served aboard a B-26 bomber in the European theater of operations flying a total of 46 missions. By the end of the war he had been decorated with an Air Medal with seven clusters, a Purple Heart, a Good-Conduct Ribbon and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

By 1956 now Captain Bowling was commanding Crew R-38 within the 307th Bomb Wing stationed at Lincoln Air Force Base. His crew’s co-pilot was 2nd Lieutenant Carroll Kalberg, a 26 year old officer who had spent two years in the service in Germany in the late 1940s. His navigator was 25 year old 1st Lieutenant Michael Selmo, from St. Petersburg, Florida. During the fateful mission on July 27th, 1956, Tech Sergeant John Ulrich was aboard checking out some electronics issues on the aircraft.
The 307th Bomb Wing in the summer of 1956 transferred to Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, England for a temporary deployment. After a training run they were performing “touch-and-go” landings, a circuit of practice landings on the Lakenheath runway. Unfortunately the runway was built over a “hump” of ground so it was not an absolutely smooth, level run. The B-47 bomber had a tendency to “porpoise” or bounce somewhat uncontrollably quite easily. These two factors highly contributed to the crash. As the B-47 slowly descended onto the concrete it hit the hump, bouncing skyward before settling down and bouncing again. The aircraft was now out of control and the right wing of the bomber dropped and struck the runway. In compensation the aircraft now rolled to its left and the wing struck the ground much more violently. The bomber pitched off the runway and began to disintegrate. The bomber then smashed into a nuclear weapons bunker not far off the runway and burst into flames. All four on board were killed.

Bio Received Courtesy of Contributor:
Kay Beucler (47544217)

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371st Squadron 307th Bomb Wing SAC US Air Force

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  • Created by: Sarah Locklin Taylor
  • Added: 26 Nov 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23116147
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt Russell Roy Bowling (3 Oct 1922–27 Jul 1956), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23116147, citing Gause Cemetery, Gause, Milam County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Sarah Locklin Taylor (contributor 46921363) .