Fellow aviation enthusiast...
I have known and been friends with Ed and Connie Bowlin for over 20 years. So, when they invited me to help them catalogue over thirty years of their aviation collectibles, I jumped at the chance. What they showed me was astounding… thousands of autographed books, signed aviation prints, models, and other unique items that can be found nowhere else, all stored in a hangar in Griffin, Georgia. What is even more amazing? These items are available to aviation enthusiasts like you and me -- to add to our own personal collections!
You will be even more impressed when you learn how the items were obtained over the years. The collection exists now primarily because of the efforts of one man, Lt. Col. Dave McFarland (USAF, Retired). As former Chief of the History Department at the Air Command and Staff College (Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL), Lt. Col. McFarland has traveled all over the world in his quest to personally meet air and space legends, men and women who have significantly contributed to the advancement of aviation. Then, in 1982, Dave founded the annual "Gathering of Eagles," bringing together the most distinguished aviators from the world over. Since that time, 287 of the most accomplished people from the fields of aviation, space, and engineering have been honored from 25 different nations. Each year, a Gathering of Eagles aviation print was commissioned and contains the original signatures of these aviation heroes. This website is the only source in the world for the 19 prints in the Eagle's unique print series and there are less than 20 private collectors known to have the entire series. It is through Dave's personal friendships that he amassed one of the largest collections of autographed aviation artifacts in the world. It's as if you're holding a living piece of history -- their signature somehow adds a personal connection, making this collection not only incredible, but invaluable.
Which leads me to the introduction of the two Aviation Hall of Fame "superstars" who are responsible for creating AviationAutographs.com ... Ed and Connie Bowlin.
It is the personal relationships forged over many years that make Ed & Connie so special. As an example, when planning to attend my Air Force pilot graduation, they arranged for one of my heroes to speak at the ceremony, triple ace Col. C.E. "Bud" Anderson. When Col. Anderson came down with the flu just a week before the event, they said, "No problem". They simply picked up the phone, and General "Tex" Hill of the Flying Tigers fame agreed to come on short notice. These are the types of friendships that Ed & Connie have with the most accomplished heroes in aviation. Many of the items available here were signed by these aviation legends in their home.
I hope that you find the Aviation Autographs website to be an invaluable resource to finding aviation artifacts. We have tried to include the supporting information for the items and include excellent photo scans. However, we spend much of our time flying and may have omitted information that you would like regarding a certain item. Please bring any problems to our attention and we will send you any additional supporting information that you request.
Good luck on finding the treasures that lie within!
Maj. Ray Fowler
Liberty Foundation Chief Pilot
We are in the process of moving our complete database of items, as well as implementing an entirely new website design. As such, you may find a few website page/photo issues during the transition. If you encounter any problems or have suggestions, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.