Michael Kowal


Michael Kowal joined the 8th Air Force after obtaining his private pilot's license in Teterboro, NJ. He was assigned to fly B-17 aircraft with the 94th Bomb Group, 333rd Squadron, Bury St Edmunds, England. This group was under the command of Medal of Honor recipient General Frederick Castle.

"Hal" completed 25 missions early in the war while proving daylight bombing was possible. These missions were completed prior to any fighter air cover over Germany. After completing his 25 missions he was assigned to command the Poltava Air Base in the Ukraine. Their mission was to refuel B-17 aircraft that were flying deeper into German air space and send them back.

Hal was a pilot with the 333rd BS 94th BG August 1943 - May 1944, and was one of those selected to go to the Soviet Union to take part in the shuttle raid operations. He was an early member of the Group Memorial Association and served on the Board of Directors. He died on 15th September 1991 after a long illness.


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Units served with

A bomber crew of the 94th Bomb Group stand with their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-30200) nicknamed "Slo Time Sally" and a bomb inscribed 'Special delivery to Hitler'. Inscription on bomb reads: 'Special delivery to Hitler, From Peggy of St. Louis.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment


Sergeant George Mondale, Lieutenant Ernest Demaray, Sergeant John McCallum and Lieutenant Roger Soth of the 452nd Bomb Group with Russian personnel. Image via William C Gaither. Letter from Gaither enclosed with print: ‘These photographers were taken at Poltava, Russia on June 22 1944. On June 21st my group, the 452d and others flew from England to Poltava en route hitting oil refinery at Rhurland, Germany. That night after landing German dive bombers bombed the field destroying ninety or more B-17 airc
  • Site type: Airfield
  • Known as: Eastern Command Headquarters (ESCOM)


Date26 Jul 2020 13:49:40
ChangesChanges to biography

Biography completed by historian Helen Millgate. Information sourced from newsletters of the 94th Bomb Group related to the service of Michael "Hal" Kowal.

Date10 Nov 2015 02:08:29
ChangesCreated entry with surname, firstname, nickname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, unit associations and place associations

Jon Kowal, son of Michael Kowal.