The Home of the Brave - Wisconsin's Hometown Heroes of World War II

Lieutenant Colonel Paul B. Dowd

Paul Dowd, a native of Milwaukee, enlisted in the Army Air Force in March, 1942. He graduated from advanced flight school at Luke Field, Phoenix, Arizona, in February 1943. Paul was later assigned to the 15th Air Force in Italy. Serving with the rank of Lieutenant, Paul Dowd flew 56 combat missions in the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and later the North American P-51 Mustang while assigned to the 325th Fighter Group, known as the famous “Checkertail Clan.”

Most of Lieutenant Dowd’s combat missions were flown over Italy and the Balkans escorting heavy bombers or participating in fighter sweeps. Dowd’s personal aircraft for most of these missions was christened “Spirit of Milwaukee County” with appropriate artwork applied to the nose. Assigned to this aircraft as Crew Chief was Staff Sergeant Stanley Stefanowski, a native of South Milwaukee.

Following the end of World War II, Paul Dowd joined the Wisconsin Air National Guard and continued flying military aircraft with the 126th Fighter Squadron based at General Mitchell Field, Milwaukee.

When members of the Air National Guard were activated for the Korean War, Captain Dowd was sent to Korea. While assigned to the 36th Fighter-Bomber Squadron in Korea, he flew 100 combat missions in Lockheed F-80 jet fighter aircraft. He returned to the Air National Guard in Milwaukee after the war and eventually became the Commander of the 126th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Dowd retired from the Wisconsin Air National Guard in 1974 as the Director of Operations for the 128th Air Refueling Group. He continued to be active in various aviation organizations and was one of the charter members of the Friends of the Mitchell Gallery of Flight. He also served as a member of the Mitchell Gallery’s Board of Directors. Paul Dowd passed away April 4, 1994. This exhibit is dedicated to his memory.

Sergeant Robert H. Tyborski

Robert H. Tyborski proudly wore this uniform during World War II while serving in the U. S. Army Air Force. He entered military service on February 25, 1942 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois and completed his basic training at Camp Crowder, Missouri. He received specialized training at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida as an Aircraft Ground Radio Operator.

Sergeant Tyborski served overseas as a DF (Direction Finder) Operator, assisting battle-damaged aircraft return to their home bases by use of special radio homing equipment. Following the invasion of North Africa, he performed his DF duties from a radio van located atop the highest mountain in an area near Oran, Algeria. He was later relocated to Italy, serving in the area near Rome.

Sergeant Tyborski’s overseas tour included the following campaigns: Algeria-French Morocco, Rome-Arno, North Apennines and Po Valley. In recognition of his service, he was presented the following awards and decorations:

  • Good Conduct Medal
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four battle stars and bronze arrowhead
  • Five Overseas Service Bars
  • One Service Stripe

Robert Tyborski was honorably discharged from the U. S. Army Air Force on September 12, 1945.