Bowen Air Lines  Detroit-Lockheed DL-1 Vega    NC8496    (c/n  157)

                                   Temple Bowen was a tough old bus operator who had founded Texas Air Transport in 1927.  He
                                   was awarded the old Civil Air Mail (CAM) contracts 21 and 22 which provided mail service from
                                   Dallas to Galveston and passenger/mail service between Dallas and Brownsville in 1928 using seven
                                   Pitcairn Mailwings.   Service was expanded in 1929 to include San Antonio and El Paso. . In 1930
                                   Bowen sold Texas Air Transport to Southern Air Transport (which later became American Airways)
                                   for $175,000, which was a pot of change in those days.   He then purchased five Lockheed Vegas
                                   (three 5Bs and two DL-1s) and began service on 1 October 1930 from Ft. Worth to Houston via
                                   Dallas, as Bowen Air Lines.   The schedules were timed to link up with a rail connection to Browns-
                                   ville.  By 1931 the route had expanded north to Tulsa, Oklahoma.    Bowen was a bit of a speed
                                   freak and later acquired a Lockheed Sirius, a Lockheed Orion and two Vultee V-1s.     When, in
                                   1931, (before the re-letting of the air mail contracts) the Post Office Department franked its letters
                                   with "Fly With The Air Mail"  (which Bowen claimed was "free advertising" for American Airways -
                                   he had a point), he countered with a message painted on his aircraft which said "Fly Past The Air
                                   Mail! which his Vegas and Orion were clearly able to do!       The shot above does not show this
                                   Vega in Bowen markings, per se, although it was one of the aircraft delivered new to him in 1930.
                                   This image is from the collection of Donald R. Posey and came from his father's album.       When
                                   Temple Bowen failed to gain a new Air Mail contract under the new 1934 allocations he closed his
                                   airline in March 1936.  The Vegas were sold to Braniff and the Vultees went to the newly formed
                                   American Airlines (the Air Mail outcome of the old American Airlines).   For more on the 1934 Air
                                   Mail fiasco see my entry on the American Airlines Curtiss Condor.