Bowen, Harold, Jr., VADM

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Primary NEC
114X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Special Operations
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1969-1972, CNO - OPNAV/Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI)
Service Years
1933 - 1972
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

66 kb

Home State
Maryland
Maryland
Year of Birth
1913
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Bowen, Harold, Jr., VADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Annapolis, MD
Last Address
Arlington National Cemetery

Date of Passing
Aug 17, 2000
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30


 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Harold Gardiner Bowen, Jr.
Vice Admiral, United States Navy

Harold G. Bowen Jr., 87, a retired Navy Vice Admiral who had served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Research and Development and commanded the anti-submarine warfare force of the Pacific Fleet, died of cancer August 17, 2000 at home in Alexandria, Virginia.

Vice Admiral Bowen served in 1969 as president of the Naval Court of Inquiry that investigated the 1968 surrender of the U.S. spy ship Pueblo to North Korea without firing a shot in its own defense.

He had served as Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence before retiring in 1972 after more than 40 years of Navy service.

He was born in Annapolis, the son of a retired Navy Vice Admiral, and he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1933.

During World War II, he was a destroyer commander in the Pacific and participated in combat operations against the Japanese in the Solomon Islands, Bougainville, Rabaul and Kavieng. During the Korean War, he commanded a destroyer division in combat operations.

He received a master's degree in metallurgical engineering at Carnegie Institute of Technology, and he had served at the Naval Gun Factory, the Bureau of Ordnance and as an ordnance specialist in an American aid mission to Turkey.

In the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, he had been director of the Atomic Energy Division and commander of the operational test and evaluation force.

As president of the Pueblo Court of Inquiry, Vice Adm. Bowen led the official Navy investigation of the surrender of the lightly armed intelligence-gathering ship Pueblo to Communist naval and air units off the North Korean coast on Jan. 23, 1968.

The Pueblo's captain, Lloyd M. Bucher, testified that resistance would have been futile and that he had an obligation to save the lives of his crew. Bucher and his men spent 11 months as prisoners of the North Koreans, and his decision to surrender set off a heated debate in and outside the Navy.

The Court of Inquiry recommended Bucher be court-martialed, but the Navy did not follow that recommendation, and Bucher retired in 1973.

In retirement, he was a co-founder of Virginia's Dominion Federal Savings and Loan Association and was president of Sparcom, an intelligence analysis company. He was a consultant to Hudson Wire Co. and DuPont Co. in electrical wire and cable technology.

He was an avid sportsman, and in 1998 and 1999, he held the U.S. championship title for squash singles over the age of 85.

His wife of 61 years, Constance Baker Bowen, died in 1999.

A daughter, Edith Easley, died earlier this month.

Survivors include three daughters, Constance Bowen-Camp of Mountain View, Calif., Kathryn Wilder of Soquel, Calif., and Charlotte Phelps of Denver; and six grandchildren.

Note: His father, Harold Gardiner Bowen, Sr., Vice Admiral, United States Navy, is also buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 
   
Other Comments:
Vice Adm. Bowen's decorations included a Distinguished Service medal with gold star, two Legion of Merit medals with Combat V, three Bronze Star medals with gold star and Combat V, and three Navy Commendation medals.

   
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Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of the Coral Sea
Start Year
1942
End Year
1942

Description
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought during 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other.

In an attempt to strengthen their defensive positioning for their empire in the South Pacific, Japanese forces decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New Guinea and Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands. The plan to accomplish this, called Operation MO, involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet, including two fleet carriers and a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion fleets, under the overall command of Japanese Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue. The US learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence and sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-American cruiser force, under the overall command of American Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, to oppose the Japanese offensive.

On 3–4 May, Japanese forces successfully invaded and occupied Tulagi, although several of their supporting warships were surprised and sunk or damaged by aircraft from the US fleet carrier Yorktown. Now aware of the presence of US carriers in the area, the Japanese fleet carriers entered the Coral Sea with the intention of finding and destroying the Allied naval forces.

Beginning on 7 May, the carrier forces from the two sides exchanged airstrikes over two consecutive days. The first day, the US sank the Japanese light carrier Shoho, while the Japanese sank a US destroyer and heavily damaged a fleet oiler (which was later scuttled). The next day, the Japanese fleet carrier Shokaku was heavily damaged, the US fleet carrier Lexington was critically damaged (and was scuttled as a result), and the Yorktown was damaged. With both sides having suffered heavy losses in aircraft and carriers damaged or sunk, the two fleets disengaged and retired from the battle area. Because of the loss of carrier air cover, Inoue recalled the Port Moresby invasion fleet, intending to try again later.

Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, the battle would prove to be a strategic victory for the Allies for several reasons. The battle marked the first time since the start of the war that a major Japanese advance had been checked by the Allies. More importantly, the Japanese fleet carriers Sokaku and Zuikaku – one damaged and the other with a depleted aircraft complement – were unable to participate in the Battle of Midway, which took place the following month, ensuring a rough parity in aircraft between the two adversaries and contributing significantly to the US victory in that battle. The severe losses in carriers at Midway prevented the Japanese from reattempting to invade Port Moresby from the ocean. Two months later, the Allies took advantage of Japan's resulting strategic vulnerability in the South Pacific and launched the Guadalcanal Campaign that, along with the New Guinea Campaign, eventually broke Japanese defenses in the South Pacific and was a significant contributing factor to Japan's ultimate defeat in World War II.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1942
To Year
1942
 
Last Updated:
Jan 12, 2011
   
Personal Memories

Memories
During World War II, he was a destroyer commander in the Pacific and participated in combat operations against the Japanese in the Solomon Islands, Bougainville, Rabaul and Kavieng. During the Korean War, he commanded a destroyer division in combat operations.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  136 Also There at This Battle:
  • Banzuelo, Antonio, MCPO, (1930-1960)
  • Gayler, Noel, ADM, (1935-1976)
  • Gregory, William, PO1, (1935-1943)
  • Mead, Sanford, CAPT, (1927-1958)
  • Nabors, Paul, S1c, (1940-1942)
  • Panks, Gerald, PO3, (1942-1946)
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