Captain Bowker's maritime career began in the 1930s, sailing a three-masted schooner off Nova Scotia. His second ship was a five-masted schooner, of which he gives an excellent description in the interview. In 1941 he went to officer's school and became a 3rd mate. He was still on schooners during the early part of World War II and discusses being stopped by the U.S. Navy to have the ship's cargo inspected. Later in the war he served on a tanker where he was exposed to toxic gas fumes. He was hospitalized for three months, whereupon his merchant marine career ended when it was discovered he had permanent lung damage.
After his merchant marine career ended, he became very involved with Sea Scouts (which included Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts), taking them on sailing adventures in two-masted schooners.
Gift of Francis E. Bowker
Encoded by Apex Data Services
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