James W. McDowell served in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant.
He enlisted July 1935 in the Alabama National Guard. He joined the army in November 1940 and served through July 1945. He was overseas in the Pacific campaign for more than a year.
He won several awards including Expert Marksman with Carbine, Good Conduct Medal, Army National Guard Component Medal, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Alabama National Guard Faithful Service Medal.
Daniel R. Stith (May 5, 1911 to Jan. 8, 1984) was a World War II veteran.
He began active duty on Jan. 6, 1943 with Co. 49th Engineering Combat Regiment at Camp Carson, Colorado.
During his basic training there, the temperature dropped to 21 degrees below zero. Stith contracted frostbite and pneumonia and was sent to the camp hospital. He was soon shipped out where he would finish his basic training on the battlefield.
He was pinned down in a foxhole for nearly two weeks, and ate bugs and spiders to stay alive.
Orville C. Gowen Sr. served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1953. The fireman apprentice served aboard the USS Pine Island, one of the 13 ships that were part of Operation Highjump, officially titled “The United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program 1946-47.”
Operation Highjump was a Navy operation organized by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd Jr. in 1946. Task Force 68 included 4,700 men, 13 ships and multiple aircraft. The primary mission of Operation Highjump was to establish the Antarctic research base Little America IV.