Bowman Family Papers

Leslie (Les) and Marguerite (Martie) Bowman were married in October 1919 and had both learned to fly by 1925. Les, a mechanic, worked as an engineer and salesman for the Kinner Engine and Aircraft Company and was involved in both the production and testing of airplanes. Martie was a charter member of both the Ninety-Nines, a women pilots' association, and the National Air Race Association. She set women's speed records and swept three women's racing events on one day in 1938. Les and Martie both tried wing walking, as did their daughter, Larnie, at the age of eight. Larnie learned to fly by the time she was twelve. During World War II, the Bowmans ran one of five civilian schools for the training of Navy fighter pilots. Les and Martie retired from aviation after the conclusion of the war.