Carey Bowles
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Carey Bowles/CNAC
Carey Bowles/CNAC

 

 

A Bio

I learned to fly in the Civil Pilot Training Program at Texas A&M College (now University) in 1940. By the time the U.S. entered World War II, I had my Commercial Pilot's License. I dropped out of college and was accepted for instrument and multi-engine training at the CAA Standardization Center at Houston.

When we graduated, CAA (now FAA) loaded us into a DC-3 and delivered us to the 5th Ferry Group at Dallas.

We applied for commissions in the Army Air Corps. It was fun ferrying a variety of aircraft all over the US and to Canada. I was dismissed after a year because I failed to pass one physical exam. 

I got a job instructing the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) at Sweetwater, Texas for about 18 months.  When the school was closing down as the war began winding down, I applied to TWA, Eastern and CNAC, and was accepted by all. I elected to go with CNAC.

CNAC sent me to American Flyers at Fort Worth for instrument and radio navigation (loop) training.  There I made several long-lasting friendships with Bill Maher, Bob Rengo, Len Parrish, Joe Hall, Tommy Wing, Young G. Wong and Lester Chin.  I went with this group to India on a Military Air Transport DC-4 changing to a C-46 at Cairo. 

After a few hours training we were sent up-country to Dinjan, and we flew as co-pilots on C-47s and the newer and larger C-46s. After a couple of months, we were all promoted and started flying as Captains. 

The flying was fun and we learned fast. When the war with Japan ended, some pilots began to go home, but I remained and flew passengers and cargo as CNAC became the largest airline in Asia.

I flew to just about all parts of China and to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Manila, and Hanoi.

We had a bad accident record during the war and it didn't improve afterward. Living in Shanghai was a big improvement over India and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maher and Rengo were my room-mates there. When the Chinese starting shooting at each other, I decided to come hom in January 1947.

I returned to Texas A&M and finished my Aeronautical Engineering degree in 1948. I ran a small airport and flying service at College Station and worked for the Personal Aircraft Research Center there as an engineer and test pilot.

In 1951, I joined The Flying Tiger Line where I flew for 30 years on C-46, DC-4, DC-6, Lockheed L-1049, Canadair CL-44, DC-8 and B747 aircraft.

On retirement from airline flying, I began building a Rutan Long EZ aircraft finishing it in 1991. I still fly it and a Grumman Cheetah.

In 1954, I married Cynthia and in 1956 we had a daughter, Cynthia also. We call her Cindy. We have lived in the same house in Sparta, NY ever since Cindy was born.

All Best Wishes and Thanks!

Carey Bowles

 

 


2004 CNAC Reunion and the CNAC Documentary Film

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