About the Author
Charles W. Bowen
As a youngster, author Charles W. Bowen of Augusta, Georgia, USA, spent much of his time tuned to developing news from the front lines of World War II. He listened to radio when newscasts covered the war. He read Augusta’s daily newspapers, regularly questioning his parents and people involved in the city’s Civil Defense. Bowen recalls vividly the air-raid drills, gun emplacements around airfields and public facilities, and bombing practice over the city at night with searchlights scanning the sky. It was Augusta’s two pilot training airfields that fueled the author’s love for aviation and led him to obtain a pilot’s license. Mental and written notes of the era serve him to this day.
Bowen is a frequent writer and speaker on events of World War II and Augusta’s 1940s-1970s struggles to escape decades of political and law-enforcement corruption. He attended public schools in Richmond County and graduated from Academy of Richmond County as an ROTC lieutenant. University of Georgia studies contributed to a bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in journalism from Augusta College.
After college, Bowen joined the family retail and wholesale business, serving in various management areas over the years. He expanded into real estate and commercial investments in partnership with George Bowen, his brother and best friend.
A family man since he married high school sweetheart Barbara Pruitt in 1958, the author has lived in Augusta his entire life. His extended family includes a daughter, son, three granddaughters, a great-grandson and two great-granddaughters — all in the Augusta area. Having served as deacon, elder and Sunday School teacher, Bowen was instrumental in the 2004 founding of Christ Church Presbyterian in Evans, Georgia, an Augusta suburb. He believes salvation is by faith in Christ.
Paladin: The Story of Augusta’s Fighter Ace — The Wars of Matt Tower, Book 1 is the author’s first novel and required significant historical research over many years. Bowen is nearing completion of a second novel in the Matt Tower series, Thorns in the Garden City, about political, law enforcement and economic corruption in post-World War II Augusta. It concludes the story begun in Paladin. His third novel, also in the works, takes a closer look at the efforts of men and women who did what the times required in wartime Germany and England.
Bowen (left) and his son, Greg Bowen, pose at a skeet range in the fall of 2019 at Pinetucky Gun Club in
Author Charles W. Bowen poses with his wife Barbara in January 2002 in their snow-covered front yard in Augusta, Georgia.
Charles W. Bowen with granddaughters Brittney, Brooke and Ashley at the Boshears Skyfest in 1994 at Daniel Field airport in Augusta. The Stearman (Boeing) biplane aircraft from the 1930s-1940s era is owned by Bowen’s cousin, U.S. District Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr.
Bowen (from left) at a dove shoot in the late 1990s near Waynesboro, Georgia, with the late Dr. Rod Veazey; Greg Bowen, the author’s son; and George Bowen, the author’s brother and best friend.
Bowen (left), costumed as a World War II fighter pilot, discusses 1940s European air campaigns with George C. Waddell of Aiken, South Carolina, who as a U.S. Army Air Forces sergeant flew combat missions as a B-24 tail gunner with the 15th Air Force in Italy. Bowen and Waddell met for the first time in June 2021 at Waddell’s home in Aiken.
Charles (left) and Barbara Bowen with their son, Greg Bowen (center), at Greg’s graduation in May 2012 from Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Bowen poses at a dove shoot in the late 1990s in Burke County, Georgia.
Author Charles W. Bowen shows off an 8.5-pound largemouth bass caught from an aluminum jon boat in August 1997 at a private pond in Louisville, Georgia.
Charles and Barbara Bowen in formal attire in 1999 at the Augusta Symphony Ball.
Author Charles W. Bowen climbs aboard the wing of a restored AT-6 Texan advanced trainer warbird at a civilian airfield near Aiken, South Carolina, in the summer of 2021. The plane, flown by all branches of the U.S. military in World War II, is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 220 mph.
Aircraft owner Robert W. “Bobby” Jonte Jr. (left) and author Charles W. Bowen discuss restoration of Jonte’s AT-6 Texan advanced trainer aircraft at a civilian airfield near Aiken, South Carolina, in the summer of 2021. The AT-6 Texan was the first U.S. warbird with a retractable landing gear.