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Government's gold life-saving medal, issued by the Treasury Department, has been bestowed on W. H. Bowen, deceased, of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.

The medal is given in recognition of Bowen's heroic daring in attempting to save the lives of two shipmates, Roy V. Byerly and George Slavin, of the survey ship SURVEYOR, anchored in Resurrection Bay, off Seward, Alaska, on the morning of October 4, 1927. Mrs. L. L. Lewis, sister of Bowen, living in Wilmington, North Carolina, is the recipient of the medal.

The director received a copy of the following letter, dated May 1, 1931, addressed by Taylor Allderdice, Manager, Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, to Mrs. Leonora L. Lewis, Rural Route 2, Box 155, Wilmington, North Carolina, relative to the action taken by the commission upon the case of her brother, William H. Bowen:

"Through the courtesy of Mr. E. Lester Jones, now deceased, the attention of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission has been called to an act performed by your brother, William H. Bowen, by which, on October 3, 1927, he attempted to save Roy V. Byerly and George S. Slavin from death by drowning in Resurrection Bay, at Seward, Alaska, but in the performance of which act he himself met death. His case, after a thorough investigation, was considered at a meeting of the commission held this afternoon, and I have much pleasure in informing you that in recognition of your brother's heroism on that occasion the commission awarded you a bronze medal."

"I shall be obliged if you will kindly advise me without delay, by a letter bearing your own signature, whether or not you wish to accept the commission's award. If your reply is affirmative, the medal will be ordered and will be forwarded to you as soon as it has been received from the manufacturers."

William H. Bowen was an oiler on the Ship SURVEYOR, which was anchored at the time off the town of Seward. R. R. Lukens, who was commanding officer at the time, reported that Mr. Bowen had gone overboard in an effort to save the two men.

C&GS Bulletin, 6/1928

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.
Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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