Bruce Cowee was born in Berkeley, California in 1945 and attended Berkeley public schools and the University of California. His road to Vietnam began as an Air Force ROTC cadet, and he still talks about filing a claim for combat pay for his last two years at Cal, 1964 to 1966! After a year in Vietnam and three years at Travis AFB, California, flying the C141, he separated from active duty on July 1, 1972 and was hired as a pilot by Western Airlines on December 12, 1972. After Western’s merger with Delta Air Lines on April 1, 1987, he flew for an additional 17 years and retired on June 1, 2004 from Delta as a Boeing 757/767 Captain, based in Los Angeles.
Cowee’s flying career began with Vietnam and ended with 9/11. He departed Boston on a “redeye” to Las Vegas, six hours before the hijackings. Flying New York layovers the whole month of October 2001, the crew could see the eerie dull glow of the fire that still burned at Ground Zero from nearly 100 miles away as they flew at night from Atlanta to LaGuardia. It was described by some as similar to a blast furnace at a steel mill, and was truly the devil’s work. He will never forget. Bruce currently resides in Northern California.