John E. Rowan – Captain, United States Air Force

From a contemporary press report:

John E. Rowan, 75, died Saturday, October 11, 1997, after a three week illness.

Mr. Rowan was born June 20, 1922, in Staten Island, New York. He graduated from Port Richmond High School and attended the College of the City of New York prior to entry in to the US Army Air Corps in 1943. While serving as a B-17 Navigator in the 351st Bomb Group (Heavy), Eight Air Force, based in Polebrook, England, Lieutenant Rowan completed 30 combat bombardment missions over Germany and German occupied counties, including during the Allied invasion of Normandy. After his aircraft was shot down on his 31st mission in August 1944, he was captured by the Stalag Luft III camp until January 1945. He was released from active duty later that year and remained in Reserve of the US Air Force until 1945, attaining the rank of Captain.

His personal decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with two Oak Clusters.

After World War II, Mr. Rowan resumed his eduction, graduating cum laude from Syracuse University with a degree in Journalism in 1948.

During a career in advertising, he worked in New York for B.B.D.O., McCann Erickson, Street & Finney, Thompson Koch, and Muir & Co., and served as Creative Director for Grant Advertising in Chicago. He retired from copywriting in 1985 and relocated to North Carolina in 1993.

Mr. Rowan was a member of the American Legion, the 351st Bom- bardment Group Association and the American EX-POW Association, and served in the latter organization as Commander of the Big Apple Chapter in New York and, until his death, as Commander of the Tar Heel Chapter in North Carolina.

A memorial service will be held at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Apex and internment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Mr. Rowan is survived by his wife, the former Mildred E. Higgins; a daughter, Marybeth Rowan McDonald; two sons, Christopher John and William Higgins Rowan; five grandchildren. His surviving sister, Mar- garet Kosky, resides in Staten Island.

The family has asked that those wishing to make memorial contribu- tions consider directing them to the “Bridges..from school to work” Pro- gram of the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities, Marriott Drive, Dept. 901.10, Washington, DC 20058.


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