Major Ross E. Rowell was a highly decorated United States Marine Corps aviator who achieved the rank of lieutenant general by the end of his 40 years of service. He served as director of Marine Corps Aviation from May 30, 1935, until March 10, 1939, and was one of the three senior officers of Marine Corps aviation during World War II. Rowell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for his extraordinary heroism and exceptionally meritorious service in action against hostile Nicaraguan bandits in 1927. The DFC is in the Marine Corps Museum and the photograph is by David Schwind.
The model was made by Sergeant Alex Maslowski who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1920 and spent his entire career as a machinist in Marine fighter plane squadrons. Maslowski must have been quite a character. He went from private to sergeant, down to private, back up to sergeant, and back down to private. All of the demotions were alcohol related. He was listed as an aviator and machinist when he served in VF10M in Camp McMurry at Hsin Ho, China, from 1927 to 1928. He was demoted and shipped home when he smuggled alcohol into the hospital and was drunk. The rest of the time he was a machinist. He must have been very good at his job because he kept being promoted. He was listed as AWOL and drunk numerous times in his records. Rowell and Maslowski served together at the Naval Air Station, San Diego, California. This is a beautiful aluminum scale model of a Sopwith Camel Clerget rotary engine that was presented to Major Ross E. Rowell by A. Maslowski. The model is 11 1/2 inches high and 9 inches deep.