Bowman Field Airport Terminal in Louisville, Kentucky

What historic events are noted to have occurred at Louisville Bowman Field? Bowman Field is the birthplace of Louisville’s aviation.  It was established in 1919 and opened in 1920 as Louisville’s first airfield. Bowman is one of the longest continuously operating general aviation airports in the United States.

Bowman Field Airport Terminal Louisville, KY (photo credit: WikiWings)
Bowman Field Airport Terminal Louisville, KY (photo credit: WikiWings)

On August 8th, 1927,  Charles Lindbergh landed the “Spirit of Saint Louis” at Bowman Field to a crowd of 10,000 spectators and was welcomed with much fanfare. A parade followed from the airport to downtown. The visit was part of Charles Lindbergh’s U.S. tour following his historic solo flight on May 20-21, 1927 from Roosevelt Field across the Atlantic Ocean to Le Bourget Field in Paris, France.

Commercial airline service began at Bowman in 1928 and continued until November 1947 when they were moved to Standiford Field. Bowman Field is said to have been the busiest airport in the country during World War II and one of the most important training bases.  The facility became known as “Air Base City” when a bomber squadron moved in.

Bowman Field Historic Marker (photo credit: WikiWings)
Bowman Field Historic Marker (photo credit: WikiWings)

Captain Mulloy flew 442 missions in C-46’s and C-47’s over “The Hump” from india to China during World War II. He founded The Kentucky Flying Service which became the largest flight school and charter service in the Southeast. Captain Richard C. “Dick” Mulloy, Jr (b. 1921 – d. May 8, 2010).

In 1963, the James Bond film Goldfinger used Bowman Field as a base for Pussy Galore. Honor Blackman, who played Pussy Galore, was Goldfinger’s personal pilot and leader of an all-female team of Piper pilots known as the Flying Cirrus. Quite an attraction!

In 1988, the National Register of Historic Places listed The Bowman Field Historic District to include the Bowman Terminal, Curtiss Flying Service Hangar and Army Air Corps Hangar. In that same year, Bistro Le Relais opened with an offering of exquisite French food in the aviation landmark terminal building.  Bistro Le Relais interior is beautiful art deco which holds true to the 1929 architecture of the terminal building.  It’s a unique dinning experience that you’ll want to arrive at time and again.

In 1992, an air show was added to Thunder over Louisville.  Thunder over Louisville is held each year in mid-April and is the largest fireworks display in North America.  Bowman

Bowman Field Terminal Building (photo credit: WikiWings)
Bowman Field Terminal Building (photo credit: WikiWings)

Field is a staging area for some aircraft participating in the air show.

If you’re flying into the area, plan a landing at Bowman Field. It’s an easy arrival and departure. There is much to see and do in Louisville, KY.

Bowman Field (KLOU) is situated on 426 acres and has two runways (6-24 & 15-33). It is an important reliever airport for Louisville International Airport Standiford Field (KSDF).  In 2012, Bowman aircraft operations totaled 79,793.

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