|www.milhist.net amg bowman470613.html|| SiteMap Change History|
Col. Bowman Going Home After Long Tour
'People Of VG Have Much To Thank Him For' - Gen. Harding
Colonel Alfred C. Bowman, Senior Civil Affairs Officer of the British-American Occupation Zone of Venezia-Giulia, is shortly to leave for the States, it was announced today by the Public Relations Office of the CMF [Central Mediterranean Forces]. As was stated in the announcement, Colonel Bowman is a Reserve Officer and in accordance with U.S. Army Regulations, his tour of active duty will shortly be concluded. He will be succeeded by Col. James J. Carnes, U.S.A., who it is expected, will be in charge of the administration of AMG until the Governor of the Free Territory of Trieste assumes office. The U.N. Security Council has not yet appointed a Governor.
Lieutenant General Sir John Harding, Commander in Chief of Central Mediterranean Forces, to whom Colonel Bowman has been directly responsible, was quoted in the statement as wishing to take the "opportunity to place on record" his "deep appreciation of the excellent way in which Colonel Bowman has carried out his task ... The people of Venezia-Giulia have much to thank him for." The statement went on to say that "the good wishes of all his friends and comrades in the Allied Forces will go with him on his return to civil life." On Wednesday, 11 June, the day following the announcement, local newspapers in Trieste carried the news and echoed the sentiments of good wishes expressed in the formal statement.
Colonel Bowman came to Venezia-Giulia early in July, 1945, to take up his present duties, in accordance with the policies of Great Britain and the United States, which were not to maintain order purely by military force, but by stimulation of the normal functions and activities of the civilian community. The latter was the "hard way", but as Colonel Bowman told us at the time the "Blue Devil" published a special supplement devoted to AMG in July, 1946, "The way which our nations believe will, in the long run, produce the most permanently desirable results.." He was referring, of course, to Great Britain and the United States. His job has been unique in several respects. He has been administrative chief of the only "stakeholder" military government in the world - and probably the only one in history - carrying on the functions of government without any idea as to who the future sovereign might be (until the peace treaty was finally written) and without the program afforded by the example of a parallel indigenous government which has solved so many problems in other places. Another unique thing about Colonel Bowman's job has been that he was top man in the only integrated military government - the only one in which officers and enlisted personnel and civilians of Allied nations work side by side doing the same job in friendly cooperation - in contradistinction to the "sector" plan in use elsewhere.
A reserve officer in the Judge Advocate General's Department at the time he came on active duty on 8 January, 1942, the then Major Bowman was initially assigned to the Western Defense Command and then went to the U.S. School of Military Government at Charlottesville, Va. Except for a brief leave to the States almost two years ago, Colonel Bowman has been overseas constantly since he departed from the U.S. on 21 September, 1943, to take up his assigned mission with Allied Military Government in Italy, coming here via North Africa. Shortly after his arrival he was appointed Chief of the Liaison Division of the Allied Commission, which acted as organizer and supervisor of all military government operations in Italy and as the mouthpiece of the United Nations to the Italian Government. His next job was Regional Commissioner of the Emilia Region, which comprises most of the Po Valley and holds ten percent of Italy's population. For "exceptionally meritorious conduct" in the performances of his services with the Liaison Division and in Emilia, Colonel Bowman was awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit for his work, which, incidentally, was performed in the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.
One of the few Americans to win the much-treasured decoration of the Order of the British Empire, Colonel Bowman was awarded this honor by the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, and in the citation for the award, it was said, "He has done much to create that spirit of unity and common purpose which is so essential for the work of the Commission."
The news of Colonel Bowman's imminent departure brought to the Editors of "The Blue Devil" a fuller realization that so many of the "old-timers" who were, in a sense, Venezia-Giulia Occupation originals, have already left this scene for the States, and that mighty few remain who were here before the 88th Infantry Division took on its occupational mission in October, 1945. For that matter, very few of those who came here with the 88th are still left. In Colonel Bowman's case, we of "The Blue Devil" like to remember what he told us was his idea of the mission of the Allied Military Governments, and to recall how, month after hard month, he had carried out that mission in a superior manner. His words were, "to feed, clothe and house the people, to maintain public order and to prevent disease and unrest, until the final disposition of the territory." We add our voice to those many others who wish him all good fortune for the future.
Local Papers Editorialize On Bowman's Going
Disagree With Policies; Praise Devotion To Duty
The news of Colonel Bowman's imminent departure for the States was front page news for the local press. In addition, all of the local papers carried editorials on the subject.
All Trieste newspapers have strong political convictions, and these were not lacking in the editorial comments on the departure of the AMG chief. Since the Peace Conference solution of the Trieste problem pleased neither Italy nor Yugoslavia, it followed that their adherents regularly took affront at Colonel Bowman personally as he carried out his duty of implementing the policies laid down for him. Their editorials about his departure were quite temperate, however, and generally paid tribute to "Bowman, the man and the soldier". All wished him happiness.
To the Communist press, led by "Il Lavoratore", Colonel Bowman has been, of course, anathema, since he is not pro-Communist. In its editorial, "Farewell to Bowman", it attacks the system he represents, but also says, "Rightly, Gen. Harding says of him that nothing prevented him from doing his duty ... he did his duty as a soldier." They also state that they wish "that in California in his civil life all may go for the best."
"Giornale di Trieste", a middle-of-the-road pro-Italian newspaper which, like others in the same category, failed to understand his American-like treatment of the rights of racial and political minorities here, treated the Colonel as two personalities: "Bowman as man and Bowman as Chief of the AMG". For the latter they had bitter words for the administrator of Allied Civil Affairs policy. For the former, they had very fine words, including as fine a tribute as any American could ever hope to have when they stated he "served his flag against all and beyond everything."
All the papers failed to realize, in their editorials, the tremendous job AMG has done, under Colonel Bowman's leadership, of helping to bring Trieste far forward on the road to economic recovery; the constructive things that have been accomplished under his administration; the efficient police force built from the ground up in a year and a half, which "Newsweek" recently stated is "said to be the best in Central Europe."
'Il Lavoratore' Editorial
'Giornale di Trieste' Editorial
Current page: www.milhist.net/amg/bowman470613.html
Design Copyright © 2002,2004, Patrick G Skelly.
For further information, contact Patrick Skelly.
Low in Fat No Frames No Cholesterol No Sounds
High in Fiber No Movies No MSG No Animation
Kudzu Free and Absolutely No Cookies.