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Mel Fowler

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Mel Fowler

American, (1921–1987)

Fowler was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1921 and showed a fascination in two things from a very young age: drawing and flying. By the age of 11, Fowler was building model WWI airplanes from balsa wood and had a successful business selling them at the local department store where they flew off the shelves. From 1941-1942, he participated in the ROTC program and the University of Texas in Austin, after which he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force for pilot training. When the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor occurred, he quickly transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corp as a Second Lieutenant, flying 144 combat missions in China over the course of a year. When World War II ended, Fowler remained in the Air Force, flying missions while studying art in the evenings and drawing, painting and sculpting whenever possible. He was a prolific artist, working in a wide variety of media and he gained notoriety for his work both in the U.S. and abroad. He retired from the Air Force as 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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