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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World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Bismarck Archipelago Operation
Start Year
1943
End Year
1944

Description
Rabaul was the strategic key to the Bismarcks. The Japanese recognized the value of the port, and seized it with forces staged from Truk early in the Pacific War.  Air attacks began on 4 January 1942 and elements of the South Seas Detachment began their landings on 23 January, rapidly driving back the 1390 men of the defending Australian 22 Battalion ("Lark Force") and taking the town and airfields. With Rabaul secured, the Japanese occupied the remainder of the Bismarcks more or less at their leisure. Kavieng was taken the same day as Rabaul, Bougainville was occuped on 30-31 March, and the Admiralties were occupied on 8 April 1942.
Allied strategy in the Southwest Pacific was initially focused on recapturing Rabaul. MacArthur envisioned a two-pronged counteroffensive (CARTWHEEL) with one prong coming up the Solomons and the other across the Dampier and Vitiaz Straits from New Guinea to New Britain. These operations began with the operations to secure Guadalcanal in the Solomons (7 August 1942) and to clear the northeast coast of New Guinea around Buna (19 November 1942.) Both tasks proved far more difficult than anticipated, becoming battles of attrition that lasted for months. The Buna area was not secured until 22 January 1943 and Guadalcanal was not secured until 9 February 1943.

At at the Pacific Military Conference of March 1943 in Washington, D.C., MacArthur's representative, Richard Sutherland, presented a revised plan for taking Rabaul (ELKTON III). This envisioned the capture of the Huon Peninsula in New Guinea and Munda on New Georgia, followed by the seizure of points in western New Britain and Bougainville. The Allies could then take Kavieng, if necessary, before the final assault on Rabaul. Japanese forces in the area were estimated at around 85,000 men and 383 aircraft, with another 11,000 men, 250 aircraft, and the main strength of Combined Fleet available for immediate reinforcement. In the longer term, the Japanese could dispatch another 615 aircraft and 10 to 15 divisions to the area if shipping could be found. (Japanese records show that this estimate was quite good, and that shipping available was about 300,000 tons to which perhaps another 100,000 tons could be added.) MacArthur demanded another five divisions and a tripling of the air strength in the theater in order to carry out his plan.

The Washington planners rejected any reinforcements beyond two or three divisions and a small number of aircraft, and the plan was scaled back accordingly. The final directive, issued 28 March 1943, called for Allied forces to advance as far as the Huon peninsula, western New Britain, and Bougainville by the end of 1943. Overall command would be given to MacArthur, with whom Halsey in the South Pacific would be expected to cooperate. Fortunately, there was enough mutual respect between the two men to make the plan work.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1943
To Year
1944
 
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

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