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Original U.S. Vietnam War Brigadier General Thomas Willard Bowen APH-5 Helicopter Pilot Flying Helmet and Uniform Grouping With Photos and Documents - Formerly A.A.F. Tank Museum

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Item Description

Original Items: Only One Group Available. This is a great historically significant uniform set for Brigadier General Thomas Willard Bowen, Chief of Staff of the 6th Army. Born in Hastings, Neb., Bowen grew up in Arkansas and was appointed to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point by Sen. William Fullbright. He graduated with honors in the Class of 1948. He later graduated from Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

He received a master's degree in psychology from Vanderbilt University before taking a teaching assignment at West Point. Bowen's military career included 12 years in Europe and five years in Vietnam.

His major military assignments included chief of staff and brigade commander of the 4th Armored Division, chief of staff of V Corps in Germany, commanding general of the U.S. Advisory Group for I Corps in Vietnam, chief of intelligence for the U.S. Army in Europe, deputy commanding general at Fort Polk, La., with the 5th Infantry Division, and chief of staff of the 6th U.S. Army at the Presidio, San Francisco.

He retired from the Army as a brigadier general in 1978 and became the executive vice president of Grex, a real estate conglomerate in Lake Charles La., where he retired in 1981.

The Items In This Grouping:
- APH-5 Helicopter Pilot Flying Helmet: Great condition and is named on the back to Bowen.

- OG-107 “Type III” Jungle Jacket With Trousers: Named to Bowen with proper rank insignia and MACV patch.

The rest of the items include copies of original photos, original Bronze Star citation, recognition certificate and museum sign.

The uniform came to us from the American Armoured Foundation, Inc. Tank and Ordnance Memorial Museum. The AAF Tank Museum was a living memorial dedicated to the Tank and Cavalry soldiers of the world. Before 1981 some of the artifacts that make up the AAF Tank Museum was a private collection belonging to Mr. William Gasser. Mr. Gasser felt that his collection would be beneficial in educating present and future generations to the sacrifices made and the technologies gained during war. Therefore, in 1981 the AAF Tank Museum was established as a non-profit charitable organization, and Mr. Gasser's donated his private collection to the Tank Museum. Mr. Gasser is still active as Volunteer Director and Curator of the Tank Museum and his knowledge of military history has been a great asset to the museum. Unfortunately after 20 years of operation it had to close its doors, which is when this uniform was acquired.

Accompanying the grouping was a typed letter from the museum:

“Bowen was commissioned as a 2 nd Lieutenant of Cavalry, in 1948. In 1949 he was assigned to the 15 th Constabulary Squadron in Europe. By 1952 he assumed command of "A" Company, 1 st Tank Battalion in Texas. In 1953 he became Aide-de-Camp to the 1 st Armored Division Commander. In 1954 he was Aide-de-Camp in the 2 nd Armored Division By 1955 he was the Training Officer of the 2 nd Armored Division. By 1956 he was assigned to the 57 th Tank Battalion as S3 and as a company Commander. After various schooling programs, he became a Psychological Warfare Officer between 1964 and 1964 in Vietnam. 1964 to 1965 still saw him in Vietnam. In 1965 he was Assistant Executive Officer of the 3 rd Brigade of the 2 nd Armored Division in Texas. Between 1965 and 1966 he was the Commanding Officer of the 2 nd Squadron of the 1 st Cavalry Regiment of the 2 nd Armored Division. Bowen was a student at the War College between 1966 and 1967. Between 1967 and 1968 he was Chief, Psychological Studies Branch, Operations Division back in Vietnam. Then from 1968 to 1969 Bowen was Province Senior Advisor, Thua Thien Province, in Vietnam. Then from 1969 to 1970 he was Chief of Staff of the 4 th Armored Division in Europe. In 1970 Bowen became the Commanding Officer of the I st Brigade of the 4 th Armored Division in Europe Making Brigadier General in 1971 he was the Assistant Commander of the 1 st Ranger Battalion. From 1972 to 1973 he was "I" Corps. Advisor and Assistant Chief of Staff. Then between 1973 and 1975 he was the Assistant Division Commander of the 5 th Division. General Bowen's last assignment was as the Chief of Staff of the 6 th Army. General Bowen was considered an expert on Armor, and few served for as long in Vietnam. South Vietnam honored him by the award of 11 decorations including it's highest, the "National Order". This uniform grouping belonging to General Bowen includes a great many personal items, from hats to helmets and to plaques, etc. Sewn to his upper right sleeve is a "Military Assistance Command Vietnam" patch. He wears a "General Staff Badge" on his upper right pocket. General Bowen was awarded many medals and awards, including the "Distinguished Service Medal", the "Silver Star", the "Legion of Merit", the" Bronze Star", the" Air Medal with "5" Device", the" American Campaign Medal", the "W.W. II Victory Medal", the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal", the "National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster", the" Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal", the "Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Silver Stars and with 3 Bronze Stars", the National Order of Vietnam", the "Distinguished Service Award", the "Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, and many others”

A wonderful grouping ready for further research and display.

Chest: 37" to 42"
Height: 71" and up

Long Large
Waist: 35" to 39"

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