South Carolina General Assembly
125th Session, 2023-2024

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H. 5074


House Resolution
Sponsors: Reps. Thigpen, Alexander, Anderson, Bamberg, Bauer, Clyburn, Dillard, Garvin, Gilliard, Guffey, Hart, Henderson-Myers, Henegan, Hosey, Howard, Jefferson, J.L. Johnson, W. Jones, King, McDaniel, J. Moore, Pendarvis, Rivers, Rutherford, Sessions, Weeks, Williams, Atkinson, Bailey, Ballentine, Bannister, Beach, Bernstein, Blackwell, Bradley, Brewer, Brittain, Burns, Bustos, Calhoon, Carter, Caskey, Chapman, Chumley, Cobb-Hunter, Collins, Connell, B.J. Cox, B.L. Cox, Crawford, Cromer, Davis, Elliott, Erickson, Felder, Forrest, Gagnon, Gatch, Gibson, Gilliam, Guest, Haddon, Hager, Hardee, Harris, Hartnett, Hayes, Herbkersman, Hewitt, Hiott, Hixon, Hyde, J.E. Johnson, S. Jones, Jordan, Kilmartin, Kirby, Landing, Lawson, Leber, Ligon, Long, Lowe, Magnuson, May, McCabe, McCravy, McGinnis, Mitchell, T. Moore, A.M. Morgan, T.A. Morgan, Moss, Murphy, Neese, B. Newton, W. Newton, Nutt, O'Neal, Oremus, Ott, Pace, Pedalino, Pope, Robbins, Rose, Sandifer, Schuessler, G.M. Smith, M.M. Smith, Stavrinakis, Taylor, Thayer, Trantham, Vaughan, West, Wetmore, Wheeler, White, Whitmire, Willis, Wooten and Yow
Document Path: LC-0355PH-RM24.docx

Introduced in the House on February 13, 2024
Adopted by the House on February 13, 2024

Summary: Leroy Bowman, Black History Month honoree


Date Body Action Description with journal page number
2/13/2024 House Introduced and adopted (House Journal-page 7)

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Whereas, Leroy Bowman, an original Tuskegee Airman, was born on November 2, 1921, in Sumter. He attended the public schools of Sumter and graduated from high school in 1940. Lieutenant Bowman entered the United States Army in September 1941; and


Whereas, in December 1941, he was assigned to the 76th Coast Artillery Unit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With this unit, he traveled to Los Angeles, California, and remained there until the unit embarked for the South Pacific. After being aboard ship for four days, he was ordered off the ship and returned to shore, where he remained on temporary assignment in Wilmington, California, until reporting for aviation cadet training at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama. There, he received flight training in the PT-17, BT-13, and AT-6. On March 25, 1943, he graduated with Class 43-C as a second lieutenant and as a single-engine fighter pilot in the Army Air Corps, later earning the rank of first lieutenant. He was one of the nearly one thousand black military aviators who trained at an isolated and segregated training complex near the town of Tuskegee, Alabama, and at Tuskegee Institute; and


Whereas, as a fighter pilot in the 332nd Fighter Group (Red Tail Angels), Lieutenant Bowman flew thirty-six combat missions against the German Luftwaffe, escorting American bombers to and from their targets; and


Whereas, after the war, Lieutenant Bowman earned degrees from Morris College in Sumter and Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and worked as a teacher, principal, and administrator for curriculum and attendance in the Union Free School District #9, Wyandanch, Long Island, New York. He retired from the New York School system in 1986 and returned to Sumter; and


Whereas, on February 23, 2006, Tuskegee University recognized Leroy Bowman's outstanding achievements by awarding him an honorary doctorate in public service; and


Whereas, on March 29, 2007, then-President George Bush presented the Congressional Gold Medal Award to the original Tuskegee airmen. Lieutenant Bowman was among the three hundred original Tuskegee airmen present to receive the award in the Capitol Rotunda, Washington, D.C.; and


Whereas, on May 9, 2009, Morris College recognized Leroy Bowman's contributions to society by awarding him an honorary doctorate in humane letters; and


Whereas, Leroy Bowman was married to the former Mildred Watson of Loris, and the couple were blessed with two sons. He passed away on February 26, 2014; and


Whereas, it is a fitting and proper tribute during Black History Month for the South Carolina House of Representatives to honor Leroy Bowman, a true leader who didn't talk about what he had done for his State and country; rather, "he just did it," as testified by his son. Now, therefore,


Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:


That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, recognize and honor Leroy Bowman, native son of South Carolina, for his many accomplishments and contributions to this great State.


This web page was last updated on February 13, 2024 at 12:46 PM