PFC Benjamin O Bowser Name : Benjamin O Bowser
Rank : Private First Class
Regiment : 41st Infantry Battalion
Division : 2nd Armored Division
Entered Service from : South Dakota
Year of Birth : 1905
Date of Death : 9 October 1944
Place of Death : Germany
In Henri-Chapelle : Plot F, Row 11, Grave 55
Awards : Purple Heart Oakleaf Cl.

Benjamin Bowser's Story ...

Benjamin O. Bowser was born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania in 1905. He worked in the steel mill in Pennsylvania and later came to Day County where he became a farmer. He moved in with Adolph and Charlotte Anderson and adopted them as his foster family in 1932. He also worked as a hired farm hand for Francis and Dora Knapp on a farm located 6 miles west and 4 miles north of Waubay, SD.

the Bank and Post Office in Charleroi, Pennsylvania

He trained in Camp Croft in Spartenburg, South Carolina, and also trained at camp Dix in New Jersey, and Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Benjamin was sent overseas on Dec. 23, 1942, to North Africa. He fought in the 2nd Armored Division in the 41st Armored Infantry. He fought in the Invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943. He fought battles in other places such as England, Belgium, Holland, and Normandy. He was wounded in battle and received the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster.

the Landing in Sicily, Italy ... July 1943

After liberating most of the Southern parts of the Netherlands, and just before the battle of Aachen started, on October 9, 1944 Benjamin was killed in action in Ubach, Germany at the age of 39. Only days before the 2nd Armored Division had broken the Siegfriedline ... His foster brother Alvin Anderson says, "He was a hard worker and loved to work on the farm." Dwight Knapp says, "He must have been a very nice man. My parents always talked very well of him."

American soldiers marching through the Siegfriedline

Aachen, was the first major German city which was attacked by Americans. Benjamin would not be involved in the vicious street-fighting in Aachen ... from now on he was one of the many thousands of casualties of this terrible war ...


Street-fighting in Aachen (left) & Aachen in runs

These days Benjamin Bowser rests in the beautiful American Military Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle ... He is remembered and honored by his foster brother Alvin Anderson, his friend Dwight Knapp, by the people of the State of South Dakota, by every visitor of the Henri-Chapelle cemetery and by everyone who visits the In-Honored-Glory website.

a picture of PFC Benjamin Bowser's final resting place
will appear here shortly !
Special thanks to Mr. Alvin Anderson, foster brother of Benjamin Bowser, Mr Dwight Knapp, friend of Benjamin Bowser and to Sheila Hansen, Haley Town and Ellen Danley and to the WWII Memorial project of the Fallen Sons and Daughters of South Dakota ...

A link to the South Dakota WWII Memorial can be found under the links-section "Research & Information"
published September 23, 2006

Original story published by - State of South Dakota