Roll of Honor

Midshipmen entering the gates of Columbia University, circa 1943.

George John Bowdery

  • School: Columbia College
  • Class Year: 1937
  • War: World War II
  • Date of Death: April 5, 1945

George John Bowdery graduated from Columbia College in 1937 with Honors in Philosophy. After holding a graduate scholarship at Columbia University, he became a fellow in philosophy at the University of Illinois (1940-1941). Enlisting in the army in August 1941, he was commissioned a lieutenant in August 1942, being for a time attached to the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Eventually he went to France as one of a team of civil affairs personnel and at the time of the Von Runstedt offensive was working in Luxemburg. Captured on Dec. 19, after three days spent in a surrounded village, he was finally transferred to the Hammelburg prison camp. An unsuccessful American attempt to liberate the camp led to the prisoners being marched a hundred miles across Germany. The prisoners were resting on the outskirts of Nuremberg, when two heavy bombs hit the column.

At his death, he left behind an unfinished manuscript of a book "The Role of Conventions in Scientific Inquiry." A prize in his memory is awarded each year at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University.

George John Bowdery

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