Captain Calvert Sheriff Bowie
US Marine Corps Reserves, O-010314
STA Class of 1936
February 13, 1918 - May 30, 1943
Lost at Sea
Cal was never missing. Since he entered St. Albans in Form I in 1930, Calvert Sheriff Bowie held a strong place in the community by making his mark on the athletic fields. A football player and First Team Basketball and Baseball player, Cal’s classmates not only enjoyed watching him from the stands but also being in his company. “Cossy,” as they called him, was “likeable and even-tempered,” social and talkative with “genial nature and ready smile.” More than a St. Albans man, Cal was a St. Albans gentleman, a concept that would never fail him, or, rather, that he would never fail.
After graduating St. Albans in 1936, he joined other gentlemen in the ΣΑΕ fraternity at Dartmouth, from which he graduated, in turn, in 1940. Returning to his hometown of Washington, D.C., Cal enrolled in Georgetown Law School. All that he had learned in the classroom at St. Albans and at Dartmouth had beckoned him to a successful year of law school, but what he had learned, and more importantly practiced, outside the classroom called him to leave his desk in the spring of 1941 to join Naval Aviation Training.
Cal brought everything he had to his service, personally selected by the Aviation Arm of the USMC. But his notion of a gentleman, which he had always lived by, would soon become more than a code that governed free society; it would become the honorable yet costly way he defended free society.
On May 14, 1943, Cal was a member of the Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron over the Solomon Islands where he laid two direct hits on a Japanese cargo ship, despite horrible visibility. The ship became stranded on a nearby beach, all but destroyed. Days later, however, Cal would suffer the ultimate tragedy himself. On May 30, Cal went missing on a reconnaissance mission near Guadalcanal.
No, Cal is still not missing. While his person itself was never found, Cal now holds a place among those who have paid the ultimate price. He has been awarded a Purple Heart Medal and an Air Medal, the latter of which came with citation from Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox. Perhaps an equally powerful token to Cal’s nobility, however, is the St. Albans scholarship his father established in his honor. A World-War-Two hero, Cal will always be a St. Albans gentleman and an example for those to come.