Retired Army Lt. Col. James A. Bowden, 60, a senior engineer with Potomac Research, a consulting and development firm in Alexandria, died Saturday at Loudoun Memorial Hospital in Leesburg.

Col. Bowden was born in Covington, Tenn., and grew up there and in Tucson. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1941 with a degree in chemical engineering.

He went into the Army and was commissioned in 1942. He served in the European theater in World War II. He later served in France, Germany and Vietnam. Following his retirement in 1969, Col. Bowden returned to Arlington, where he had maintained a home since 1957. He joined Potomac Research in 1969 and remained with it until his death.

Col. Bowden was a Mason and a Shriner, he belonged to the Kena Temple and was a member of the Alexandria Lodge of Perfection of the Scottish Rite.

Survivors include his wife, Edith M., of Leesburg, where the family moved in 1976; a son, Army Capt. James A., of Watertown, Mass.; two daughters, Susan B. Boque of Cambridge, Mass., and Elizabeth Anne Buehrer of Bakersfield, Calif.; three brothers, Stanley and Harry Bowden, both of Memphis, and Dudley Bowden, of Covington, Tenn; and seven grandchildren.