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Mel Fowler

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Mel Fowler

American, (1921–1987)

Born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1921, Mel Fowler had an early fascination with drawing and flying. By the age of eleven, he was building model World War One airplanes from balsa wood and successfully selling them at the local department store. From 1941 to 1942, he participated in the ROTC program at the University of Texas in Austin, after which he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force for pilot training. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, he quickly transferred to the US Army Air Corps, flying 144 combat missions in China over the course of a year. When World War Two ended, Fowler remained in the air force, flying missions while studying art in the evenings, and drawing, painting, and sculpting whenever possible. Prolific in a wide variety of mediums, he gained notice for his work both in the US and abroad. He retired from the air force as a lieutenant colonel and purchased a studio in Liberty Hill, Texas, where he began sculpting full time. He was killed in Italy on September 25, 1987, while working as an asset for the CIA, continuing to serve his country until the very end.

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