Tuskegee airman from Sumter dies - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Tuskegee airman from Sumter dies

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1st Lt. Leroy Bowman (Source: scafricanamerican.com) 1st Lt. Leroy Bowman (Source: scafricanamerican.com)

First Lt. (Ret.) Leroy Bowman, an original Tuskegee Airman, and a Sumter native has passed away.

As a fighter pilot in the 332nd Fighter Group (Red Tail Angels), 1st Lt. Bowman flew thirty-six combat missions against the German Luftwaffe, escorting American bombers to and from their targets. After the war, 1st Lt.

Bowman worked as a teacher, a principal and as administrator for curriculum and attendance in the Union Free School District #9, Wyandanch Long Island, New York. He retired from the New York School System in 1986 and returned to Sumter.

On February 23, 2006 Tuskegee University, recognized 1st Lt. Bowman outstanding achievements by awarding him an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Public Service.

On March 29, 2007, then President George Bush presented the Congressional Gold Medal Award to the Original Tuskegee Airmen. 1st Lt. Bowman was among the 300 Original Tuskegee Airmen present to receive the Award in the Capitol Rotunda, Washington, DC.

The funeral service for Bowman will be at the Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church in Sumter at 3:00 p.m. on March 1. Visitation will be at the Job's Mortuary in Sumter on Feb. 28 from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

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