Skip to content

About Edward H. Bowes

About the author: Edward Henry Bowes ( February 20, 1896 −December 15, 1944), Lt. Col., USA.  CO, 1st Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment. Died in captivity as a POW. Decorated with the Silver Star. An item from The Catholic Courier, September 3, 1942 contains information on the author:

Former Corningite, Bataan Fighter, Reported ‘Missing’

Lt. Col. Edward H. Bowes, formerly of Corning, who was in the thick of the fighting on Bataan, is officially listed by the War Department as “missing” according to word received in Corning by relatives. This term, however, covers all military personnel known to be in the Philippine Islands and whose whereabouts are not definitely known.

A graduate of St. Mary’s School and Corning Free Academy, Lt. Col. Bowes was graduated from West Point during World War I. In October, 1941, while stationed at Fort Lewis, Ore. he attained his present rank and was assigned to duty in the Philippines. In February he was cited in press dispatches from Bataan for having personally led the 31st U.S. Infantry in gallant action.

Mrs. Bowes, the former Miss Roselmer McKee of Cumberland, Md., and two daughters are now living in Maryland. Mrs. Bowes, who is a graduate of the Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. is now engaged in war work as a nurse.

Lt. Col. Bowes is a nephew of Mrs. H.A. Argus and a cousin of Dr. Thomas H. Argus of this city.

“BOWES EDWARD H,LT C,O&012358,INF,31st Inf 1 Bn (CO),NY,502,42.07.31,45.01.24,,,” is listed in the Pacific POW Roster of Roger Mansell. He is also listed, “Bowes, Edward H.,LtCol, O&012358,,Oryoku Maru,44.12.15” in Davao Penal Colony #502 (DAPECOL) roster, indicating the author was transferred to Japan on the Oryoku Maru either on on December 13-15, 1944 and died in Japan on January 24, 1945 (see Duty, Honor, and Country: The Long Gray Line in the Pacific, by S.W. Calhoun, Jr., Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History, Inc., 2012.)

A more recent biography, however, states:

Edward Henry Bowes was born on February 20, 1896 in Corning, New York. As a student of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1919, he was part of the choir, Camp Illumination, and a marksman. With his class, he toured the battlefields of Western Europe from July 1919 to October 1919, keeping a diary of his time there. He was a part of ROTC in Maryland in 1928. Arriving back at West Point in June 1934, he was assigned to the Department of Tactics, commanding I-K Company, and was in charge of “Infantry Weapons” instructions for new classes, having wrote “Tactics and Techniques of Infantry and Associated arms, Extension Course.” He was Training Officer, USCC from June 1938 to June 1939, graduating from West Point in June 1939. He was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel, 31st Infantry Regiment, Army of the United States, on September 15, 1941. He was captured by the Japanese in Bataan during World War II and was a prisoner of war, later dying while aboard a POW vessel that was sunk on December 15, 1944. He married Roselner McKee (born 1901) and they had two daughters, Mary Caroline (nicknamed named Urch) and Patricia (nicknamed Patsy).

About the diary: This was originally a portion of the diary of William J. Priestley, as a section labeled “Notes on initial movements of 1st Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment – Submitted by Lieutenant Colonel Ed. H. Bowes.” As such, The Philippine Diary Project includes it as a separate diary under the name of this officer as the author. He has other diaries in the Edward H. Nabb Center for Delmarva History and Culture, Salisbury, University, Salisbury, Maryland, as part of the Lieutenant Colonel Edward Henry Bowes Collection.