He enlisted in the USAAF in Lubbock, Texas, on 10 April 1942. He completed flight instruction and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 28 October 1944 a P-51C-10, # 43-24986, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 74th Fighter Squadron, Luliang, China, departed the airfield on a flight to Luichow, China. The P-51 in a flight of eight P-51s, and was last seen by 2ndLt John R. Branz, 0-472372, 30 miles southeast of Kweilin at about 1415 hrs, above the overcast, on a 90° course. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker was placed in the Cherokee Cemetery, Cherokee, San Saba Co., Texas.
A brother, Louis H. Bowman, born 13 December 1916, served in the USAAF, a Lieutenant Colonel, 405th Fighter Group, from 12 October 1940 until he was killed in action on 22 September 1944. A memorial marker was placed in the Cherokee Cemetery, Cherokee, San Saba Co., Texas. He is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery & Memorial, Saint-Avoid, Department of the Moselle, Lorraine, France (Block C, Row 17, Grave 65).
A brother, William G. Bowman, born 19 April 1924, served in the USAAF, a Corporal. He died 21 April 2013 and is buried in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri (Sec. CCW10, Row C, Grave 23).