Lowell Brueland was born on March 11, 1918, in Callender, Iowa. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on January 22, 1942, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings at Luke Field, Arizona, on September 29, 1942. Lt Brueland flew P-39 Airacobras with the 20th Fighter Group at Paine Field, Washington, and at March Field, California, until March 1943, and then with the 355th Fighter Squadron of the 354th Fighter Group at Santa Rosa Army Air Field, California, and Portland Army Air Base, Oregon, from March to October 1943. He next deployed to England with the 355th Fighter Squadron and began flying the P-51 Mustang in November 1943, and became Commander of the 355th in May 1945. Maj Brueland was credited with the destruction of 12.5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, plus 3 probables and 6 damaged, before returning to the United States in November 1945. After the war, he served as Commandant of Students at San Antonio, Texas, before attending Air Tactics School at Tyndall AFB, Florida, from September 1947 to January 1948. He served as Commanding Officer and then Air Inspector with the 3543rd Air Force Base Unit at Lackland AFB, Texas, from January to October 1948, and then as Air Inspector with the 3700th Basic Training Wing at Lackland from October 1948 to June 1950. His next assignment was as a Recruiting Officer in Baltimore, Maryland, from June 1950 to September 1952, followed by F-86 Sabre Combat Crew Training from September 1952 to April 1953. Maj Brueland served as an F-86 pilot and as Director of Operations with the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group at Osan AB, South Korea, from April to November 1953, and he destroyed another 2 enemy aircraft in aerial combat during this time, for a 2-war total of 14.5 destroyed in the air. He served as Assistant Chief of Fighter Operations with Headquarters 5th Air Force in Seoul, South Korea, from November 1953 to May 1954, and then as Operations Officer of the 612th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Alexander AFB, Louisiana, from May to July 1954. His next assignment was as Commander of the 613th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Alexander AFB from July to October 1954, followed by service as Operations Officer for the 401st and then the 366th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Alexandria from October 1954 to March 1955. LtCol Brueland served as Commander of the 391st Fighter-Bomber Squadron at England AFB (recently renamed from Alexandria AFB) from March to August 1955, and he then attended Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from August 1955 to July 1956. His next assignment was as Commander of the 554th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Bunker Hill AFB, Indiana, from July 1956 to March 1957, followed by service as Commander of the 455th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Bunker Hill from March to July 1957. He served as Chief of the Operations and Training Inspection Division with Headquarters 9th Air Force at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, from August 1957 to July 1959, and then with the Foreign Mission Squadron at Hsinchu AB, Taiwan, from July 1959 to August 1961. His next assignment was as Commander of the 430th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, from August to December 1961, followed by service as Inspector General for the 832nd Air Base Group and then the 832nd Combat Support Group at Cannon AFB from December 1961 to May 1963. LtCol Brueland served as an Aircraft Maintenance Staff Officer with the 832nd Air Division at Cannon from May 1963 to April 1966, and then as an Operations Staff Officer for War Plans at Saigon, South Vietnam, from April 1966 to September 1967. He next served as Director of Operations and Training with the 832nd Combat Support Group at Cannon AFB from September 1967 to January 1968, and then as Vice Commander of the 832nd Combat Support Group at Cannon from January 1968 until his retirement from the Air Force on December 31, 1968. Lowell Brueland died on July 2, 2012.
His Distinguished Service Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy. On 28 July 1944, during a fighter sweep in the St. Lo area, Captain Brueland fearlessly led his eight ship formation in an expertly executed attack on over sixty fighter and fighter bomber airplanes which were headed for the Allied front lines. In the ensuing combat, Captain Brueland destroyed three enemy fighters and damaged a fourth. Through his expert leadership, superior aerial proficiency, tactical technique, and extraordinary heroism against tremendous odds, the enemy fighters were completely dispersed and driven off. In addition the fighter bombers were forced to jettison their bombs, thus eliminating the threat to the Allied front. HIs actions on this occasion reflect the highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.