Bruce Charles Downs was born on 24 June 1916 in San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas, USA, the second of the three children of Bruce George Downs (1890-1966) and Lena Vivian Downs née Bright (b.1896). His two siblings were: Lena May Downs (b.1915) and Jack Edwin Downs (1919-1978).
According to the 1920 United States Federal Census he was living in Chickasha, Grady County, Oklahoma, USA, but by the time of the 1925 Iowa State Census he was in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, USA and this new address was confirmed in the 1930 United States Federal Census. In 1935 he was in Ingleside, San Patricio County, Texas, USA and the 1940 United Sates Federal Census shows him in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA.
He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and served initially as a Pilot Officer in No.121 Eagle Squadron but was posted to No.126 Squadron in Malta in May 1942. According to the American Air Museum in Britain website he was transferred to the USAAF on 25 September 1942 while in Gibraltar. He was sent back to England but apparently was never assigned to their 4th Fighter Group. On 10 June 1945 he was appointed Commanding Officer of the 74th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, in China. He subsequently served in both Korea and Vietnam before retiring from the USAF as a Lieutenant Colonel.
he died, aged 70 years, on 7 August 1986 and was buried in Plot PA 183-A in the Woodlawn Cemetery, 1500 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.