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My Back Pages: Armories named after Hawai‘i Guard leaders

December 16, 2015

Contributing editor Stephen Lum provided this article and the photographs for this Retiree News post.

Wahiawa Armory named after first 487th Field Artillery commander

click on photographs to enlarge

The Hawai‘i Army National Guard’s Wahiawa Armory, originally built in 1958, was named Col. Francis A.I. ‘Miki’ Bowers Jr. Armory, in ceremonies held May 4, 2014. Original construction cost $151.6k and housed the Headquarters, 297th Service and Supply Battalion, Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 297th Supply & Services Battalion, 292nd Supply & Services Company, and Troop E (Air), 19th Cavalry.

The Honolulu-born Bowers, whose military service spanned more than 30 years, graduated from Punahou School in 1945. He spent half a year at Stanford University, and then enlisted in the Army. After serving on active duty for a year and a half, he joined the ROTC program at the University of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. He would later earn a master’s in math from the University of Kansas and a doctorate in mathematics education from Ohio State.

Bowers transferred his commission to the Hawai‘i Army National Guard. His Guard career included commands of the 298th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, 227th Engineer Battalion, 487th Field Artillery Battalion, 298th Field Depot, and 29th Infantry Brigade. Bowers was mobilized in 1968, along with his 29th Brigade brethren and went on to serve in Vietnam. His awards included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Valor and nine Air Medals. He retired from the Guard in 1979.

Bowers’ military service and his Ph.D. studies came during breaks from his employment as a mathematics instructor and department chairman at his alma mater, Punahou, to which he devoted some 40 years as an educator.

Bowers is related to the Hawai‘i Guard members Col. Lawrence McCully Judd (299th Regiment Combat Team) commander and seventh Hawaii governor) and Col. Walter Foulke Judd (former Army and Air Guard member, historian and recreator of the ceremonial Royal Guard).


From → History

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