LOWRY AFB The History

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Headquarters, Lowry Technical Training Center, Bldg. 349 Headquarters, Lowry Technical Training Center, Bldg. 349 Headquarters, Lowry Technical Training Center, Bldg. 349 Bombsight Trainers Bombsight Trainers Bombsight Trainers
 Page Last Updated: 08/25/2017  17:13
LOWRY AFB, COLORADO: A PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE This site is dedicated not only to the history and development of Lowry Air Force Base, but also to its continued existence as a viable, thriving community after the Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) activities of 1994 ended Lowry AFB’s 59 years of existence in the Denver Metro area.
The first “Lowry Field” was established in the Denver area in 1926 when an airstrip was built at East 38th Avenue and Dahlia Street, about two miles west of Stapleton Airfield. Army Air Corps instructors gave flying training to Colorado National Guardsmen. The first plane utilized for training was the famous Jenny, an aircraft that could not get off the ground if pilot and student wore parachutes, so they flew without them. Other wood-and-fabric open cockpit planes used were the PT-1  and the Douglas 02H with the renowned Liberty engine. When military training was terminated at the original field, the site was leased to a pair of Denver aviation pioneers. Harry B. Combs, today president of Combs Aircraft., Inc. and Louis Hayden, who operated a private flying school there until 1947. The present site of Lowry AFB was selected in 1935. State and local officials contacted the War Department urging consideration of Denver as the site of the new airfield. They backed their proposal with an offer to donate the Agnes Phipps Sanitarium and adjoining property for the training base.
BASE NAME HONORS DENVER OFFICER Lowry Air Force Base is named in honor of Colorado's only aerial observer of World War I, who lost his life on his 33rd flight mission as an artillery spotter. Lt. Francis Brown Lowry and his pilot, Lt. Asher Kelty, were killed instantly on 26 September 1918 when their plane suffered a direct shell hit over the German lines during the Meuse-Argonne offensive. Lt. Lowry was born on December 1, 1895, the son of Nell and Walter B. Lowry of Denver, Colo. Upon graduation in 1917 with a degree in engineering from Ann Arbor University, the young man entered Officers' Training School at Ft. Ridge, Va. He graduated as a Photographic Aerial Observer with the rank of second lieutenant. Late that year he was assigned to the 91st Aero Squadron in France. His first observation flight took place on June 13, 1918. General Pershing posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to Lt. Lowry with a promotion to first lieutenant. This airfield has been called "Lowry" from the day of its official opening in 1938.
USAF Academy, 1955: Bldg 905. [Wings Over The Rockys Museum] USAF Academy, 1955: Bldg 905. [Wings Over The Rockys Museum] USAF Academy, 1955: Bldg 905. [Wings Over The Rockys Museum] Lowry Slide Show
Site Last Updated:  11/09/2017  06:43
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Lowry AFB The History

Welcome

Air Force Academy Cadets Air Force Academy Cadets Air Force Academy Cadets Headquarters, Lowry Technical Training Center, Bldg. 349 Headquarters, Lowry Technical Training Center, Bldg. 349 Headquarters, Lowry Technical Training Center, Bldg. 349 Bombsight Trainers Bombsight Trainers Bombsight Trainers
Last Updated: 10/23/2016, 16:43
              LOWRY AFB HISTORY This page is dedicated to the history of Lowry Air Force Base, past and present. Most of the material, if not all of it, will come from volunteer researchers working in the Photo Archives and Research Library at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. This will be an ongoing project with new material being added for some time to come, so be sure to re- visit this page periodically to check for new updates!
The first “Lowry Field” was established in the Denver area in 1926 when an airstrip was built at East 38th Avenue and Dahlia Street, about two miles west of Stapleton Airfield. Army Air Corps instructors gave flying training to Colorado National Guardsmen. The first plane used was the famous Jenny, the aircraft would not get off the ground if pilot and student wore parachutes. So they flew without them. Other wood-and-fabric open cockpit planes used were the PT-1 and the Douglas 02H with the renowned Liberty engine. When military training was terminated at the original field, the site was leased to a pair of Denver aviation pioneers. Harry B. Combs, today president of Combs Aircraft., Inc. and Louis Hayden, who operated a private flying school there until 1947. The present site of Lowry AFB was selected in 1935. State and local officials contacted the War Department urging consideration of Denver as the site of the new airfield. They backed their proposal with an offer to donate the Agnes Phipps Sanitarium and adjoining property for the training base.
BASE NAME HONORS DENVER OFFICER Lowry Air Force Base is named in honor of Colorado's only aerial observer of World War I, who lost his life on his 33rd flight mission as an artillery spotter. Lt. Francis Brown Lowry and his pilot, Lt. Asher Kelty, were killed instantly on 26 September 1918 when their plane suffered a direct shell hit over the German lines during the Meuse-Argonne offensive. Lt. Lowry was born on December 1, 1895, the son of Nell and Walter B. Lowry of Denver, Colo. Upon graduation in 1917 with a degree in engineering from Ann Arbor University, the young man entered Officers' Training School at Ft. Ridge, Va. He graduated as a Photographic Aerial Observer with the rank of second lieutenant. Late that year he was assigned to the 91st Aero Squadron in France. His first observation flight took place on June 13, 1918. General Pershing posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to Lt. Lowry with a promotion to first lieutenant. This airfield has been called "Lowry" from the day of its official opening in 1938.
Lowry Slide Show