Colonel Armando "Tommy" Ruiz, (top far left) is a Graduate of Bowie high school in El Paso Texas. Armando was a Colonel in the United States Army Air Force at a time when Mexican Americans were not commonly at that rank. Armando was a trumpet player in the United States Military Band where he played with Glenn Miller on his tour thru Europe for the Ally forces. Armando flew B-17 aircraft for the 12TH Air force in North Africa & the 15TH Air Force in Italy as the bombers Navigator. This decorated commander received the Purple Heart for being shot down off the coast of Africa & surviving as a prisoner of war in Nazi Occupied Germany. Armando was involved in the smuggling of fire arms into his prison, in an effort to insure the liberation of fellow captive soldiers. He is honored for his service among many other brave patriots at the United States World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.
Colonel Armando Ruiz - 1940 - 1949
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