Bob Edward Nowland was born at Peoria, Ill., in 1891. He enlisted as a flying cadet in the Aviation Section of the Signal Enlisted Reserve in June 1917, and entered the School of Military Aeronautics at Berkeley, Calif. In August 1917 he went overseas with the American Expeditionary Forces and continued his flying training at the Eighth Aviation Training Center at Foggia, Italy. On March 2, 1918 he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Aviation Section of the Signal Officers Reserve Corps.
From March to July 1918 he underwent bombing training at the Eighth Aviation Instruction Center at Foggia and later became an instructor there. He was then transferred to Paris, France, where he remained until he returned to the United States in January 1919.
His next assignment was with the First Provisional Wing at Hazelhurst Field, Long Island, N.Y. as a Handley-Page pilot. He received his honorable discharge March 7, 1919 and became a member of the Organized Reserves.
On July 1, 1920 he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Air Service of the Regular Army, and assigned to March Field, Calif. In January 1921 he entered the School of Aerial Photography at Langley field, Va., and upon graduation the following April was assigned to duty at Carlstrom Field, Fla.
In August 1921 he became photographic officer of the Air Service detachment at Camp Grant Ill. The following October he went to Godman Field, Ky., for duty with the 88th Squadron, and in March 1922 was assigned to Fort Riley, Kan., as photographic and commanding officer of the Ninth Photo Section and the Seventh Air Service Division. In January 1925 he was transferred to Bolling Field, D.C., as operations and commanding officer of the Air Corps detachment and photo section.
In July 1928 he went to the Philippine Islands, where he became post and group operations officer and assistant engineering officer of the Fourth Composite Group and Second Observation Squadron at Nichols Field. He returned to the United States in September 1930 and became an instructor at the Air Corps Primary Flying School at Brooks field, Texas. In October 1931 he transferred to Randolph Field, Texas, where he served as flight commander in the Flying Department and primary stage commander at the Air Corps Training Center. He enrolled in the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., in September 1936 and graduated in June 1937.
Two months later he entered the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and upon his graduation in June 1938 became senior instructor with the 40th Aviation Division of the California National Guard at Los Angeles, Calif. In August 1939 he was named base adjutant at March Field, Calif., and in September 1940 was assigned to the Personnel Division of the War Department General Staff in Washington. In February 1943 he became commanding general of the 28th Flying Training Wing at George Field, Ill.
In August of that year he was transferred to Washington, D.C., for assignment as chief of staff of the Air Transport Command. He later assumed command of the 501st AAF Base Unit at Gravelly Point, Va., in addition to his other duties, and in July 1944 was appointed commanding general of the Ferrying Division of Air Transport Command, with headquarters at Cincinnati, Ohio.
In February 1946 he went to the South Pacific as commanding general of the Pacific Division of Air Transport Command at Hickam Field, Hawaii.
Returning to the United States in June 1948, he was appointed commanding general of the 518th Air Transport Wing of Military Air Transport Service at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. The following month he became commander of the Continental Division of MATS with the same station.
Rated a command pilot, combat observer and tactical observer, General Nowland has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
(Up to date as of Jan. 16, 1950)