Member Spotlight,James E. Dowling

Father, husband, grandfather, American hero, WWII Veteran, community leader, and a host of other esteemed adjectives can be used to describe James E Dowling. It only seemed fitting we highlight the great accomplishments of Mr. Dowling in the first St. George Golf and Country Club Member Spotlight.

For more than 50 years, James E. Dowling has graced the community at St. George’s Golf and Country Club. Whether he’s sharing his awe-inspiring stories or simply being a natural community leader, we’re proud to call James E Dowling our local celebrity member and hero.

Let’s take a few moments to journey down memory lane to learn more about Mr. Dowling’s heroic story.

World War II Hero

James Dowling was drafted in 1942 and became a Bombardier/Navigator for the 703rd Squadron, 445th Bomb Group in the 8th Army Air Corps. Jim’s Flight Leader and fellow war veteran was the famous actor Jimmy Stewart.

Two years later at the young age of 20; James became an officer and earned the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. However one fateful day on September 27, 1944 during his 11th mission on a bombing run over Kassel, Germany; he was shot down and taken as a prisoner of war.

Eventually, 2nd Lieutenant Dowling returned home as a decorated war veteran. Jim Dowling is featured in the “Faces of War” video series and has an entire chapter written about him in Tom Brokaw’s Book – ‘The Greatest Generation’. At an astounding 95 years of age, Dowling shows the same spirit and vibrancy for life as he did back in WWII.

Life Beyond the Battlefield

When Lt. Dowling returned home as a POW, war veteran, and American hero; simply settling down to enjoy life was not good enough. He married his high school sweetheart, fathered eight children, and continued to be the shining example of service and sacrifice for his grandchildren, great grandchildren, and everyone else.

One of the first things he did when he returned home was establish a baseball team for children in the neighborhood. After helping to establish the Little League in Smithtown, Long Island; Mr. Dowling continued to serve in the capacity of president for 18 years.

Continuing his legacy of service, Dowling was elected as Smithtown Highway Superintendent. By operating the office like the military, he successfully created 250 miles of permanent roads. In addition, he altered the way the municipality dealt with snow storms by making it more proactive, which set the precedent of a system that is implemented nationwide to this day.

At St. George Golf & Country Club, we’re proud of all of our members. But we’re especially proud the esteemed 2nd Lt. Dowling calls our community home.