Scope and Content Note
This collection of papers relate chiefly to Admiral Bowen's graduate education in the fields of ordnance and metallurgy and his career and services as a flag officer. They consist of official and personal correspondence, subject files, a series of manuals and reports, and a file of notebooks and classwork maintained during his appointments to the Naval Academy and the Carnegie Institute of Technology.
The official correspondence consists of incoming and outgoing letters and memoranda concerning both official and personal matters and related reports. Significant items in this file include memoranda on the recovery of the Mercury astronauts in 1963, correspondence relative to anti-submarine warfare in the Pacific, telegraphic messages passed between ships, correspondence received while Bowen was commanding officer of USS Northampton (1959-1960), and brief references to the Pueblo court of inquiry in 1969.
The personal correspondence file consists chiefly of Bowen's letters to fellow officers, congratulatory letters upon Bowen's promotion to flag rank, and several letters from Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and Admiral Arleigh A. Burke.
The subject file includes items on Bowen's pre-naval career, newspaper clippings, souvenir travel packets and itineraries, information on Northampton, change of command programs, biographies and photographs of fellow flag officer appointees of 1960s, speeches, and manuscripts. A group of miscellaneous records that include notices, rosters, lectures, booklets, organization bills, and "All Hands" correspondence is a sub-series to this file.
The manuals and reports series contains materials relative to ordnance and metallurgy and Bowen's assignments to the Naval Gun Factory. Typical are reports on plastics, a brief history of lubricants, reports on standard methods of chemical analysis, gun manuals, and engineering manuals.
The final series is a file of classnotes and notebooks maintained while Bowen was a student. It might be noted that the Admiral was one of the first naval officers to hold a Master of Science degree in metallurgy.
Photographs and artifacts from the Bowen Papers are located in the Photographic Section and the Curator Branch of the Naval History and Heritage Command.
This collection should be cited as Papers of Vice Admiral Harold G. Bowen, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.