The Home of the Brave - Wisconsin's Hometown Heroes of World War II
Lieutenant Colonel Paul B. Dowd
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
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.