Lt. Francis Brown Lowry
First Lieutenant Francis Brown Lowry, USA, for whom Lowry Air Force Base was named, was Colorado’s only aerial observer killed during World War 1. He was born in Denver, Colorado, on 1 December 1895, son of Nell and Walter B. Lowry. Lieutenant Lowry graduated from Manual High School in Denver, Colorado, in the year 1913. He entered Ann Arbor University the fall of that year and pursued an engineering course. He received his degree in 1917. Lieutenant Lowry attended Officers ‘Training School at Fort Ridge, Monroe, Virginia, and graduated as a Photographic Aerial Observer in the grade of second lieutenant. He was then assigned to duty at Fort Ridge, Monroe, Virginia. On 15 September 1917, Lieutenant Lowry was granted his request for foreign duty and sailed from New York for an overseas assignment. He spent a few days in England and then sailed for France where he was assigned to a French Squadron. He served with this squadron for two months. He was reassigned to the 9lst Aero Squadron CAC, as an Artillery and Photographic Observer. He took his first aerial observation flight of heavy artillery on 13 June 1918. Following this flight, he completed twenty-two successful missions over the German battle line. At 10:30 in the morning on 26 September 1918, Lieutenant Lowry and Lt. Asher Kelty took off on an important observation mission leading a formation of five planes over German battlelines during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The weather was bad and visibility was poor. The citation from general orders reads as follows: “They realized the importance of the mission and chose to continue their course through a harassing anti-aircraft barrage. A shell made a direct hit on the plane which brought it down in fragments. “The shell had exploded directly underneath Lowry’s aircraft breaking it into pieces. It fell to the ground near Crepion, France. Both men were killed instantly. General Pershing posthumously awarded Lieutenants Lowry and Kelty the Distinguished Service Cross, and promoted them to the rank of first lieutenant. While LowrydiedinFranceandwasoriginally buried in the Argonne Cemetery at Romagne, France, he wasmovedto Fairmount cemetery, Denver, CO in 1921.