Bowman Field

The 57th Troop Carrier Squadron and it's sister squadrons the 55th, 56th & 58th were activated at Bowman Field, KY on November 18, 1942. The following link is a book on what life was life at Bowman Field during WWII.

The Book: Bowman Field

Bowman Field History

Bowman Field is Kentucky's first commercial airport and is the oldest continually operating commercial airfield in North America. The airport has played a vital role in the growth of the country's aviation industry. It was founded by Abram H. Bowman, who was drawn to aviation by the interest generated during World War I.

Bowman found an outlet for his enthusiasm after meeting and forming a brief partnership with Louisvillian Robert H. Gast, a pilot and World War I veteran of the Royal Flying Corps. Bowman leased a parcel of land east of Louisville from the U.S. Government in 1919 to operate the airfield, which opened in 1921.

The first business ventures began with the aerial photography business in 1921, and the 465th Pursuit Squadron (Reserve) began operations at Bowman Field in 1922.

Charles Lindbergh landed the Spirit of St. Louis at the airport in 1927, viewed by 10,000 spectators.

During the Great Depression, people would often come to the Art Deco terminal building to watch airplanes depart and land as a form of inexpensive entertainment.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Eastern Air Lines, Trans World Airlines (TWA) and the original Continental Airlines operated passenger and mail service in and out of Bowman Field. Commercial airline service continued until 1947 when operations were transferred to Sandiford Field.

During World War II, Bowman Field was one of the nation's most important training bases as well as the nation's busiest airport. The facility became known as "Air Base City" when a bomber squadron moved in and more than 1,600 recruits underwent basic training in a three-month period. The United States Army Air Forces' school for flight surgeons, medical technicians, and flight nurses also called Bowman Field home.

Bowman Field was used in the James Bond film Goldfinger as the base for Pussy Galore's Flying Circus; principal photography of hangars, aircraft, etc., were done there in fall of 1963.