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Michael Dowling

Civilian

Michael was the first baby born to an American pilot and British mother in the Second World War.

As a baby, he was described by one newspaper as the ‘Eaglet’. His American father, Forrest Dowling, volunteered to fight with Britain before America entered the war. His mother, Dinah, was English and a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. They met while stationed at the same airfield. ‘He came to have her change his identity card,’ read a newspaper article about their marriage, ‘but he ended up by changing hers for life. So goes the Cinderella romance of an Eagle Squadron ace from Texas and a pretty brunette cipher officer of the British WAAF’. Michael grew up with both American and British influences, and today is ‘proud to be both!’

Michael’s father was Forrest Patty Dowling, Jr,who served with the RAF before America entered the war. Later, he transferred to the USAAF. Known to his family as ‘Pat’, he also flew fighters in the Korean War, but died when Michael was still a boy. ‘He was 38. I was therefore 11½ ,’ he remembered. ‘He died of a heart attack in Oklahoma City. He got to fight in two wars, did very well in both of them. He came out of them. And then to pass so early after: that was a bit of a travesty really.’

Service

People

  • Forrest Dowling

    Military | Pilot Officer | Pilot
    Joined RAFVR, service pilot training in US, shipped overseas to ETO, operational training at OTU, assigned to 71S, transferred to ? Instructor, Taxiing accident in UC-43 43-10833 at Lake Charles AAF, Lake Charles, LA Cat 3 damage. 3rd AF.

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 January 2019 13:18:13 Emily Created entry with surname, firstname, nationality, biography and person associations
Sources

American air museum text from displays. Information sourced from correspondence files and articles held in an IWM research collection related to the acquisition of various items and ephemera belonging to Michael and Forrest Dowling

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