Date of Birth: October 10, 1920
Place of Birth: Manhattan, KS
Father and Mother’s Names: Herman A. Bowman and Martha Hatch
Spouse and Children's Names: Patricia Siebold (wife); children Bev, Kenneth, Loraine, Loretta, and Valerie.
Date Entered Service: November 22, 1943
Service Branch: Marine Corps
Service ID: TBD
Division/Company/Unit info: 5th Marine Division
Awards and Commendations: Legion of Merit, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Certificate of Special Merit as an ambulance driver.
Riley Connection: Charles Bowman was born in Manhattan where he would remain a lifelong resident.
Date of Death (Age): November 9, 1994 (age 74) in Manhattan, Kansas
Grave Location: Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Zeandale, Kansas
Bio: Charles Bowman grew up in Manhattan, graduated from Manhattan High School, and was a lifelong resident of Manhattan. At the age of 23, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Charles served with the 5th Marine Division and was a member of the 5th Medical Battalion. He served as an ambulance driver. The 5th Marine Division participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima in early 1945, which resulted in Allied Forces capturing the Japanese island for potential use as a staging facility to invade mainland Japan. The 5th Marine Division received a Presidential Unit Citation for gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The 5th Marine Division also received a congratulatory message from Admiral Chester Nimitz, which stated, “To the Marines of the Fifth Amphibious Corps and to all supporting forces, I send my admiration and congratulations on an achievement that brings this war much closer to its inevitable end . . . Your victory, which was assured almost from the first landing, will brighten the pages of American history. Today your fellow countrymen humbly and proudly sing your praises.”
After Charles’ service in the Marines was over, he worked in the shipyards in California as an apprentice electrician. In the late 1940s, he returned to Manhattan, where he met Patricia Siebold, and Charles and Patricia were married in January 1950. They raised five children in Manhattan – Bev, Kenneth, Loraine, Loretta, and Valerie. Charles was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for over 30 years, and he was also a member of the Black Jack American Legion. He enjoyed many years of retirement until his death in 1994.