This Jan. 7, 1943 Lowell Tribune article was found on page 1, column 1:
LOWELL BOY MARRIED TO CALIFORNIA GIRL, DEC. 26th
Word has been received that Harold Cowan and Miss Alice Malone of Los Angeles, Calif., were married Dec. 26th. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rusty Cowan, and has lived here with his parents for a number of years. He is a graduate of Lowell high school with the class of 1939.
Harold enlisted in the army air corps August 14, 1941, and has since been stationed at various camps. He has been attending the advanced flying school at Chandler, Arizona, the past few months and was awarded his wings Monday of this week. He was commissioned a second Lieutenant and will soon be at the front lines with Uncle Sam's forces.
His many friends here at home extend congratulations.
On page 2, column 2 of the same issue of the paper, this article appeared:
After attending advanced flying school at Chandler, Arizona, the past few months, Harold Cowan was awarded his wings on Monday, and he is now Lieut. Cowan, having been commissioned a second lieutenant in the air corps. Harold has been in the air corps for a year and a half and has been hard at work preparing for the commission. He is the fourth Lowell boy to receive the coveted "wings."
The following article was found in the February 4, 1943, Lowell Tribune on page 2, column 1:
Now at Tucson, Ariz., Field
Lieut. Harold Cowan, writing to his parents, the Rusty Cowans, tells them he is now at Davis-Monthan Field, Tucson, Arizona, where he is taking training in flying the four-engine bombers. He will probably soon be seeing active duty in the war zone.
The following April 15, 1943, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 6, column 3:
Transferred to Pocatello, Idaho
Lieut. Harold Cowan has been transferred to a base in Idaho where he will take further training in combat fighting. "Bub" received his wings as a pilot several months ago.
This March 23, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 1, column 1:
LT. H.G. COWAN LEADS ATTACK ON JAPANESES CONVOY
LIBERATOR BOMBER PILOT AND HIS CREW BOMB AND STRAFE CARGO VESSELS
At an advanced base somewhere in New Guinea, Feb. 21 (Delayed) -- For the purpose of mapping strategic islands in the Southwest Pacific, the crew of a B-24 Liberator, took off with the dawn patrol on a routing reconnaissance mission deep in the heart of enemy territory. The ship, piloted by First Lieut. Harold G. Cowan of Lowell, proceeded to the assigned area and the crew commenced to take pictures which would provide valuable information for future offensive operations.
Suddenly, Lt. Cowan noticed a cloud of smoke in the distance. Upon closer investigation, this was discovered to be a screen used to conceal a rapidly moving convoy of three cargo vessels escorted by two enemy gunboats. Fully realizing the dangers to be encountered in an attack on a thoroughly alert foe whose intensely destructive anti-aircraft fire would be directed at a single target, the pilot nevertheless, decreased altitude and sped towards the convoy.
Through a heavy barrage of hazardous ack-ack, the B-24 made five low level bombing runs over the enemy ships. It was on the fourth run that the bombs dropped by First Lt. Paul R. Kilmain, Auburndale, Mass., began to pay dividends; a direct hit on the stern deck of a 4500 ton cargo vessel. Another run provided the "bull's eye" when the bombardier neatly laid two one hundred pounders directly amidships. The vessel, with three direct hits in its hull began to list to the port side and the crew immediately abandoned the sinking ship.
Triumphantly, Lt. Cowan nosed the ship and turned to the happy faces of his crew.
"Shall we strafe them boys?" he inquired.
The answer was a direct one.
"Let's go. What are we waiting for?"
With Staff Sergt. Herman K. Harrison, Jr., Bronxville, N.Y., Staff Sgt. Joseph Babyack, Garfield, N.J., and Staff Sgt. James L. Ervin of Ft. Smith, Ark., spouting lead from their guns, the Liberator dived to within few feet of the water and repeatedly strafed the convoy until all but one vessel was enveloped in flames.
With no bombs remaining and over 2,500 rounds of ammunition spent in the battle, the bomber withdrew from its now helpless victims and completed the original mission of reconnaissance. Having hit the Japs a damaging blow, the glad tidings were radioed to other squadrons by Staff Sgt. Hugh W. Glover of Alto, Ga.
Later in the day, a flight of B-25s arrived at the scene of battle to finish off the one remaining cargo vessel.
This gallant pressing of successive attacks on the enemy with fierce and unrelenting fury of the bomber, a member of a unit known far and wide as "Ken's Men," has added further to the amazing record now held by the unit.
"Ken's Men," so called to honor Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney, Commanding General of the 5th Air Force, now boasts the enviable reputation of having sent 98 enemy ocean going vessels to the bottom of the sea.
Lt. Harold G. Cowan is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Cowan of 207 S. Court St., Crown Point, formerly of Lowell.
Mrs. Cowan and a newcomer to the Cowan family, Michael Sean Cowan, born last Armistice Day, are living with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Malone, Alhambra, Calif., until his return.
Lt. Cowan, who has been overseas since last August, has never seen his four months old son, but hopes to return to the U.S. sometime this summer.
This May 4, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 1, column 1:
Lt. Harold Cowan Has Completed 52 Missions
After completing 52 missions, which constitutes 311 hours in the air over Japanese territory, and coming out of it without a scratch, injury or accident of any nature, 1st Lieut. Harold Cowan, a Lowell boy, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Rusty Cowan, who now reside at Crown Point, has earned a leave from duty, which he will spend at home. His parents received the good news the first of last week.
In writing of the event, Lt. Cowan said that when he landed after completing his 52nd mission, April 2nd, news of which should have made the first pages of American newspapers before this, he was told that he could remain grounded and rest until orders had gone through and transportation could be arranged for his return to the States.
Lt. Cowan made headlines last March when he was credited with the sinking of a Jap cargo ship in the South Pacific and leading other bombers to the scene to finish off the remainder of the convoy. He is stationed somewhere in New Guinea and writes that he and Roger Buche, son of the Clarence Buches, also of Lowell, visit together every day for exchange of news from home folks.
Mrs. Cowan and small son make their home in California with her parents.
The following June 8, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 1, column 5:
TWO LOCAL SERVICE BOYS TALK AT LEGION MEETING
1ST Lieut. James Chism, brother of "Red" Chism, Lowell, and son of Dorsey Chism of Dyer, a member of Lowell Post 101, American Legion, and Dick Randolph, H.A. 2/c, son of the Clayton Randolphs, were both honored guests and speakers at Monday night's regular meeting of Lowell Post 101.
Both these boys have just returned to this country after several months service in the southwest Pacific and told the assembled Legion members many of their experiences. Dick, a member of the hospital corps, told an interesting story of this branch of service, while Lt. Chism, a bombardier on a Liberator, described incidents which happened on some of the 55 missions he completed over Jap territory in the Pacific. One interesting bit of information revealed by Chism was that on several of these missions, his pilot was Lt. Harold Cowan, also of Lowell, who made headlines a few months ago for the part he played in wiping out a Jap convoy. Cowan's name was also mentioned in Monday's Chicago Tribune, as one of the pilots of Liberators which sunk a Jap destroyer and damaged several other vessels.
Neither of the boys gave out any forbidden information, but what they did reveal of the Pacific war was enough to hold the attention of those in attendance, not many of whom ever had the chance to be in or near fighting in the first world conflict.
The following June 22, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
1st Lt. Harold G. Cowan Gets Flying Cross for Jap Raid
For piloting a B-24 Liberator bomber through soupy weather during a totally successful attack on a Jap convoy off New Guinea shores, 1st Lt. Harold G. Cowan, son of the Rusty Cowans, Crown Point, former Lowell residents, has been awarded the Flying Cross.
Through courageous bombing and strafing, his bomber crew destroyed three freighters and two corvettes near Manus Island, in the Admiralty Islands, last February.
Lt. Cowan has been overseas since August, 1943, and is anticipating a leave to visit home this summer.
The following August 24, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 7, columns 2-3:
Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross
In a recent letter from their daughter-in-law, Mrs. Harold G. Cowan of Alhambria, Calif., the Rusty Cowans of Crown Point, former Lowell residents, received a copy of a letter which had been sent her by George C. Kenney, Lieutenant General, commanding headquarters of the Allied air forces in the southwest Pacific, praising their son.
The letter, in part, follows:
"Recently your husband, Lieut. Harold G. Cowan, was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. It was an award made in recognition of courageous service to his combat organization, his fellow American airmen, his country, his home and you.
"He was cited for extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight near Manus Island.
"Your husband was pilot of an aircraft dispatched on a lone-plane reconnaissance for enemy shipping. An enemy convoy of five vessels was sighted and despite anti-aircraft fire, bombing runs were made on the largest vessel. Direct hits were scored, leaving the vessel blazing and listing at a sharp angle. Although all of the bomb load was expended, the crew descended to an altitude of 50 feet and made strafing sweeps over the convoy."
This April 5, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 2:
Lt. Harold Cowan, former Lowell boy, has been transferred from the army air field at Montgomery, Ala. to the field at Albuequerque, New Mexico, where he is serving as an instructor on B-29's. The eldest son of the Rusty Cowans, former Lowell residents, now living at Crown Point, "Bub" established an outstanding flying record against the Japs in the south Pacific.
This June 21, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Writing his parents, the Rusty Cowans, former residents here, now of Crown Point, Lt. Harold Cowan says he has just returned to his base at Albuquerque, N.M. from a bond selling trip to Spokane, Wash. Although he has 106 points to his credit, Harold wrote that he did not wish to leave the service until the Japs have been given the thorough beating they deserve. He has seen much service in the Pacific theatre and has made many missions over Jap-held territory.
This Lowell Tribune article was found in the June 13, 1946, issue (page 7, column 3):
In conversation with Mrs. Rusty Cowan, of Crown Point, former resident here, she informed us that they had received announcement of the birth of a daughter to Lt. and Mrs. Harold Cowan, of Orlando, Fla. June 2nd. Lt. Cowan has been stationed at Orlando for some time.
The following January 26, 1950, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 1, column 1:
FORMER LOWELL BOY PROMOTED IN AIR FORCE
Harold G. Cowan, former resident and brother of James Cowan at Lowell, has been promoted to the rank of captain at Spokane air force base, Bong, Washington.
Spokane AFB, the largest bomber base on the West coast, is the home of the war famous 92nd and 98th Bombardment groups, an integral part of the Strategic Air Command.
Captain Cowan is assigned to the 325th Bomb Squadron as an airplane commander. At SPAFB since March, 1948, he entered the service in October, 1943, at Fort Benjamin Harrison.
Captain and Mrs. Cowan with their three children, Michael S., age 6, Patricia L., age 3, and Timothy J., age 1, live at 2815 W. Rowan, Spokane, Washington.
The following July 3, 1952, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 5, column 6:
Promoted to Rank of Major
Captain Harold Cowan, son of Mrs. Cowan, of Crown Point, formerly of Lowell, was recently promoted to the rank of major. Harold is an air commander of a B-36 bomber at the Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, Washington.
The following newspaper article, hand-identified as being from the June 25, 1954, Star, was found in a scrapbook owned by Town Historian Richard Schmal:
Fairchild Air Force base officials took five civilians of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce aviation committee on a flight in a B-36 bomber to show what paths the planes follow in the Spokane, Washington area.
The crew, commanded by Lt. Col. Harold G. Cowan, demonstrated the proficiency that makes them tops in their business of lugging bombs to overseas points on short notice.
Colonel Cowan is the son of Mrs. J.R. Cowan, of 312 West Joliet Street. In the Air Force since 1943, he is stationed at the Fairchild base in Spokane. Living at North 5509 Audubon, in Spokane are his wife Alice and four children, Patricia, Michael, Tim and Dan.
The following newspaper article, hand-identified as being from the October 29, 1954, Star, was found in a scrapbook owned by Town Historian Richard Schmal:
LT. COL. HAROLD COWAN IN GUAM FOR 90 DAYS
Lt. Col. Harold G. Cowan, son of Mrs. J.R. Cowan of West Joliet street, was in command of one of the B-36's in the 92nd Wing as they took off from Fairchild Air Force base at Spokane, Washington, October 14 for 90-day duty on the Island of Guam in the Pacific.
The 6,000-mile flight, made in 32 hours non-stop, was accompanied by cargo planes carrying men and equipment.
Based on Guam for nearly three months, the B-36's from Fairchild will range over much of the western Pacific in their practice missions.
Included in the tons of equipment and supplies taken to Guam were several boxes of Washington apples, to be sold in a long-distance campaign to aid the annual Kiwanis Apple day. Proceeds from the sale in Guam will be flown back to Fairchild.