NAS Ottumwa Alumni

If yourself, a family member or a friend was stationed at NAS Ottumwa, we would like to hear from you. Please refer to our "Contact Us" page for details on how to get hold of us.  We are looking for names, stories, photos and artifacts.  If you served at a Naval Air Station elsewhere in the Midwest?  We're interested in your story as well!

NAS Ottumwa Alumni, ask yourself these questions:
"What would you like to share with future generations about your experience at NAS Ottumwa?"
" What would you like us to tell a bus load of kids visiting this museum in the future about what happened here?"

Check back often as we are just starting to add the stories of NAS Ottumwa Alumni



Lt.jg. Robert E. Bowman

Squadron lost in the Bermuda Triangle - This is the rest of the story........

I was stationed in NAS Pensacola when we got the call to go looking for 5 missing ------- who had been on a training mission.

We went out the next morning after they were reported MIA.  There were two PBM5's sent up to search. My ship made it back and the other didn't.

A lot of pilots would get mixed signals in that area and would get lost easily. On one of our flights my Navigator reported "Mr. Bowman, sir, I must inform you that we are lost.  I can't get a fix on our location.  It was night and the stars were bright in the sky.  We Aviators had been trained to us a sextant to find the North Star to help us find our way. We also could tune in our radios to a radio station in Florida. When we would fly towards the signal coming from Florida it would be strong. When you'd fly away from the mainland station the signal would become weaker. I reported back to my Navigator, "Well sir you may be lost, but I'm not. I know exactly where we are."

Bob Steuber

Pro football who played for the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Dons and Buffalo Bills. He was inducted into the State of Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1968, and the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1971.

Richard Nixon

WWII Naval Officer at NAS Ottumwa, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senator, U.S. Vice-President, U.S. President 

Jesse Leroy Brown

The Navy’s first black pilot.  He made the ultimate sacrifice over the skies of Korea

Scott Carpenter

Naval Aviation Cadet at NAS Ottumwa, U.S. Navy Test Pilot, pioneer Project Mercury Astronaut (second U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth - May 24,1962), Aquanaut (SEALAB II)



Herb Seidell

As a junior in 1948, Seidell was among legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice's selections for All-East recognition. In Seidell's senior season, he was a key blocker for a passing attack that led the country in yards per game. He was the starting center and captain of both the 1948 and 1949 Ram football squads, playing under the leadership of coach Vince Lombardi. He was also a two-year member of the Fordham golf team.




Bob Alexander

NAS Ottumwa veteran, professional baseball player. 

On September 6, 1944, Alexander entered military service with the Navy at Buffalo, New York. During the winter of 1944, Aviation Cadet Alexander was playing center for the St Mary’s Pre-Flight School basketball team in the Northern California Basketball Association championship. During the summer of 1945 he was at Ottumwa Naval Air Station in Iowa where he pitched for the Ottumwa Navy Skyers alongside future major leaguer Jack Bruner. 






NAS Ottumwa Cadet Swim Team

Standing (left to right): Cadets VanNatter, McClure, Charlie Brown*, Johnnie Lindgren, Ravis, Bob Smyth.*

Kneeling (left to right): Cadets Schmitz, Lou Ives* Coble, Buck, Greisen.

The Battallion won the meet and a 48 hour liberty in the city.