Samuel Robert Bowen
Robert was born 01JUN1919 in Alabama to a first generation American father of Welsh descent and a Welsh mother. He was a 1937 graduate of Phillips High School in Birmingham, AL. In 1940, Sam was working at the Fairfield Tin Mills which were owned by the Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company. He would enroll at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) and complete three years before enlisting the the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet 23OCT1941. He earned his wings in mid 1942 and married Margaret Elizabeth Cook soon after on 03AUG1942.
He completed tactical reconnaissance school at Key Field, MS 30SEP1944 and was assigned to the CBI theater. Unit history has Capt Bowen joining the 118th while it was in Liuchow (15SEPT - 07NOV1944). His first mission appears to be the evacuation of Liuchow 07NOV1944. Next mission was an escort mission 12NOV1944 and his final mission was #728 on 20NOV1944. Capt. Bowen's element was flying top cover while the other element straffed targets in the Kiukiang area. When it was time for his element to hit the airfield, Bowen's P-51 was seen turning away from the airfield in a southerly direction, losing altitude, with a stream of coolant coming out of his ship. His element leader believes he was hit by an Oscar. MACR 10089
Capt. Bowen's body was returned to the US in October, 1947 and he was interned at Arlington National Cemetery 12NOV1947. He left behind a wife and a son born February 1945.