Lowry Field

Lowry Field ~ Denver, Colorado

Having left Scott Field, St Louis.  On Thursday 25th July they went to Lowry Field (East side of Denver) Colorado a 5 hr transit flight over Missouri and fly-past over Kansas arriving in close formation over Denver for the open day scheduled on Saturday 27th July.  It was here that they encountered the only criticism of the tour. The Civic Authorities had asked them to fly over the the City of Denver in formation which they did at 2500 ft altitude.  The roar of the Merlin engines caused some 400 residents to ring the authorities and complain about”all this low flying!“.  Group Captain Collard replied that the only complaints received in the past had been from the people of Berlin!

Ranks were generally segregated in accommodation Blocks – at Lowry,  Senior Officers in BOQ 254 adjoining HQ Building, Junior Officers in BOQ Barracks at the back of the Officers Club, Airmen in Squadron ‘C’ Barracks.. Dress code was Shirts and Slacks and ties after 17.00 and at all times when off camp.  Tunics for Formal and Social occasions.  A Party was held for all airmen at the NCO’s Club on the 25th July at 19.30 pm.


They were met by the Commanding General Brigadier General Thomas Lowe and the acting British Consul Cyril Ward. That evening there was Reception at the Rennaisance Room, Mary Reed Library, Denver University hosted by the Chancellor and Mrs Caleb F Gates.  Two Days later on the 27th July the gates of Lowry Field Base were opened to allow the public to inspect the aircraft close up and meet the British aircrews.

Officers Dinner with W/C Craig 1st Left

Lowry Airfield Denver, Colorado.   TL-C, TL-H, TL-F are identifiable

On 27th July 3 Officers were invited to dine with Mr Paul Tasigi at Room 235 Kenmarle Hotel

Lowry Air Force Base was named on 11 March 1938 after 2nd Lt Francis Lowry, the only Colorado pilot killed in WWI combat; and the paved runway opened on 4 April (1st used by a B-18 Bolo.) From 1904-1932, Lowry was the Agnes C. Phipps Memorial Sanatorium, a 150-bed facility boasting the curative properties of Colorado’s climate.  The oldest structure still standing in Lowry, built in 1904, was a part of the original Sanatorium campus and is now a private residence at 7400 E. 6th Ave.  The sanatorium’s main building became the Army post’s headquarters, and the largest single barracks (3,200 men) was completed in mid-1940.  The “Northeast-Southwest runway was completed in 1941” (2850 Yds).  Beginning July 16, 1940, the 1st class of the AAF bombardier schools was at Lowry and used the nearby bombing and gunnery range through 14 March 1941 graduating 3 classes of instructors who opened the Barksdale Field bombardier school.  Technical Division, Air Training Command, moved to Lowry A.F.B. on 20 September 1946.  In July 1947, formal courses in Intelligence Training were established at Lowry for combat reporting, photographic intelligence, prisoner of war interrogation, and briefing and interrogation of combat crews.  (In 1927 Charles Lindbergh arrived in his Spirit of St. Louis at Lowry Field on a publicity tour after his historic cross-Atlantic flight).

Lowry Field was originally located near East 38th Avenue and Dahlia Street.  It was named after Denver native, US Army Lt. Francis B. Lowry, who was killed in action during World War I.  In 1937, President Roosevelt authorised funds to relocate Lowry Field to its final site near East 6th Avenue and Quebec Street. The base started its training mission in earnest the following year. World War II caused Lowry to greatly expand it facilities in order to train bomber aircrews along with a large number of other technical specialists.

Sunday 28th July 9.30 am:  Flasks and Rations for take Off collected at 09.00
Because of the altitude of Lowry Field (5190ft) it took all of the Main Runway (2850 yds) to get the Lancs  airborne and only just at that.  Flying at 11,000 ft in hot and bumpy air, magnificent views of the Rockies were obtained and the Grand Canyon style of country with large masses of windswept red sandstone.  Onwards to Long Beach, California.