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BENJAMIN—The annual Veterans Day program on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Knox County Veterans Memorial. The Munday High School Band will begin playing at 10:45 a.m. while the crowd assembles for the event.
1st Lt. Otis “Forest” Lowry has been selected to be the Gold Star Honoree for 2021. Lt. Lowry was born Jan. 4, 1919, in Anderson County, to Otis K. and Clara Lowry. He had one brother, Victor Lowry.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Jan. 29, 1942 at Camp Wolters. On March 20, 1943, he graduated with Advanced twin-engine flight training Class 43-C and received pilot wings at Pampa Army Flying School. After flight instructor duty at Pampa, he completed the B-24 Liberator four-engine pilot school at Liberal AAF, KS.
June 1944, he married Harriet Price of Pampa.
Dec. 1944, he was assigned to the 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 313th Bomb Wing 505th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) 484th Bomb Squadron stationed at North Field on Tinian in the Mariana Islands.
Feb.10, 1945, he flew in the left seat as the Airplane Command Pilot abroad a Boeing B-29 Superfortress nicknamed “The Sassy Lassy”, one of 120 aircraft launched to bombard the Nakajima Aircraft Assembly Plant at Ota, in the west side of Tokyo, Japan. Just prior to the target area the group was attacked by a band of Nakajima Ki-44 single engine “Tojo” fighter planes. On return route home his damaged aircraft was forced to ditch near Pagan Island, north of Saipan, and he did not survive the rough ocean crash landing.
Otis has a memorial stone in the Knox City Cemetery along with other family members, and a memorial in the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial in Hawaii.
Family members Vickie Josselet and Ember Medford will carry the Memorial Wreath to the Archway.