Leo James McGowan

Leo James McGowan (1898 - 1939)

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Lt. Cmdr. Leo James McGowan
Born in Benson, Minnesotamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in St. Paul's Church, Bellingham, Washingtonmap
Died in Boston, Massachusettsmap
McGowan-712 created 5 Oct 2013 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 675 times.

Categories: Benson, Minnesota | United States Naval Academy | United States Navy | USS Missouri (BB-11), United States Navy | Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia | Irish Roots.

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Contents

Biography

Lieutenant Commander Leo J. McGowan, serving at the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport, Rhode Island, died at age 40 in Boston, Massachusetts after a three month's illness.

Early Life

Born in Benson, Minnesota, he was the ninth of ten children born to Patrick and Sarah Breen McGowan.[1] His father died when Leo was less than two years old.[2] He lived in Benson and attended public schools there, working as a street news boy when he was 11.[3] When he was 15 years old, his family moved to nearby Appleton, after his older brothers purchased the newspaper there. He graduated from Appleton High School in 1916.[4]

He was appointed a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy from the Minnesota Seventh District in June 1917. In the summer of 1918, during World War I, he participated in a practice cruise on board the U.S.S. Missouri (BB-11) and received an Atlantic Fleet Clasp on his Victory Medal.[5] During the summer of 1919, Leo served on the USS Kentucky (BB-6) in the Atlantic fleet as a Midshipman 2nd class.[6]

Navy Service

Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, in June 1921, he was commissioned Ensign, and assigned to the battleship Mississippi (BB-41). In 1923, he was commended as one of the officers contributing most to the engineering excellence of the battleship for that year. He was sent to flying school at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, from February to May 1924, before assignment to the U.S.S. Langley. He was commissioned Lieutenant, junior grade, in June 1924. [7]

HIs next assignment was as torpedo officer on the U.S.S. Somers, where he received commendations for Battle Torpedo Practices for both 1926 and 1927. He was promoted to Lieutenant in June 1927.

He returned to the Naval Academy in June 1929, for a Postgraduate Course in General Line Duties, April 1930, and then reported for duty at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island. He served in the U.S.S.Bushnell and returned to the Naval Torpedo Station in October 1930. From January 1931 to June 1933 he was attached to the U.S.S. Holland and was assigned additional duty as Division Torpedo and Gunnery Officer, Submarine Division Twelve, Battle Fleet. He returned to the Naval Torpedo Station in June 1933, was Torpedo and Gunnery Officer on Staff of Commander Submarine Squadron Six from June 1935 to June 1938, when he returned to his last duty, at the Naval Torpedo Station, in Newport. He was appointed to Lieutenant Commander from June 1937.[8]

Marriage and Family

Leo married Irvine Lidstone of Bellingham, Washington in San Francisco on February 11, 1925. They are the parents of a daughter Mary Adair (Molly).[9] The family rented an apartment in Washington, D.C., while Leo was taking the postgraduate course at the Naval Academy.

Death and Burial

Leo died of a brain abcess and pneumonia in New England Deaconess Hospital, in Boston, about a month before his 41st birthday.[10] He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery[11]

Research Notes

Leo's birth certificate lists his name as "Lawrence James" which appears to be an error by the person who recorded it.[12] The family Bible, in the handwriting of Leo's mother lists his name as Leo. All other references, including naval records and his death certificate, list his name as Leo.

Sources

  1. "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9Q9-8P7 : accessed 14 April 2016), Leo Mcgowan in household of Lara Mc Gowan, Benson village, Swift, Minnesota, United States; citing sheet 10B, family 173, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,240,793.
  2. "Minnesota State Census, 1905," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SPQ6-WHB : accessed 14 April 2016), Leo J Mcgowan, Benson, Swift, Minnesota; citing p. 141, line 29, State Library and Records Service, St.Paul; FHL microfilm 928,818.
  3. "Minnesota State Census, 1905," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SPQ6-WHB : accessed 14 April 2016), Leo J Mcgowan, Benson, Swift, Minnesota; citing p. 141, line 29, State Library and Records Service, St.Paul; FHL microfilm 928,818.
  4. "Leo McGowan, Former Benson Resident, Dead." Swift County Monitor, March 31, 1939., p. 1
  5. "Lieutenant Commander Leo James McGowan, U.S. Navy, Deceased." Copy of US Navy service record, 57108 Nav-327-MW, NAVY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, Washington, D.C., 29 March 1939.
  6. State of Minnesota, Military Service Record, compiled by the Minnesota War Records Commission, n. d.
  7. "Lieutenant Commander Leo James McGowan, U.S. Navy, Deceased." Copy of US Navy service record, 57108 Nav-327-MW, NAVY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, Washington, D.C., 29 March 1939.
  8. 57108 Nav-327-MW, NAVY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, Washington, D.C., 29 March 1939.
  9. "Leo McGowan, Former Benson Resident, Dead." Swift County Monitor, March 31, 1939., p. 1
  10. Standard Certificate of Death, Boston, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts , no. 3254, 4 May 1939
  11. Standard Certificate of Death, Boston, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts , no. 3254, 4 May 1939
  12. Certified Copy of Birth Register in Swift County, State of Minnesota." 23 February, 1968.


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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Leo by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Leo:

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Images: 7
Leo, Irvine, and Molly McGowan
Leo, Irvine, and Molly McGowan

Naval Officer Leo McGOWAN
Naval Officer Leo McGOWAN

Naval Cadet Leo McGOWAN
Naval Cadet Leo McGOWAN

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery

Sarah Breen McGowan and family
Sarah Breen McGowan and family

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