Richard Carl Bowman
Richard Carl Bowman

Class of 1949

A two-time fencing All-American in the epee classification, Richard Bowman copped eastern and national epee championships as a senior in 1949 while helping Army to the NCAA championship. That title was the first NCAA-sponsored crown earned by an Academy team and would serve as Army's lone national championship until the rifle team earned its title in 2005.

As a junior, Bowman earned the Academy's Francis Beebe Trophy for excellence in foils, while he copped the Sands Trophy as the program's most valuable fencer following his impressive senior campaign of 1949. He also served as the Black Knights' team captain in 1949.

Following graduation, Bowman received his pilot wings in 1950 before logging a long and distinguished career in the Air Force. He ultimately reached the rank of Major General before retiring in 1981. In addition, he was the first fencing coach in the history of the Air Force Academy's program. He guided the Falcons for two years, building a record of 11-8 (.579) and leading Air Force to a first-place finish in the Western Region in 1957 and a runnerup showing one year later.