John Webster Bowman, 66, a communications management consultant who was a retired Marine Corps colonel and Washington Star executive, died of cancer April 18 at Bethesda Naval Hospital. He lived in Bethesda.
Col. Bowman spent 24 years in the Corps before retiring in 1966 as chief of its communications-electronics operations. He also served in three wars, seeing combat in the Pacific theater during World War II and in Korea. He also served in Vietnam during the 1960s.
During World War II, he participated in the assaults on Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima, and in fighting in the Marshall Islands. He was twice awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat "V."
In Korea, he was twice awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with the combat "V." His work involving Vietnam dealt with equipment procurement. Much of his career dealt with communications and electronics. He received a third Navy Commendation Medal before retiring.
After leaving the Corps, Col. Bowman became engineering manager of the Washington Star, directing the technical aspects of the company's broadcast facilities. He helped plan and supervise the construction of the Joint Washington Television Tower, a joint Star-Washington Post venture.
He was a member of the trustee board and executive committee chairman of Suburban Hospital. He was a member of the River Road United Presbyterian Church in Washington, the Chevy Chase Club and the Montgomery County Historical Society. His professional memberships included the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers, the Association of Broadcast Engineering Standards and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Col. Bowman was born in Cairo, Ill., and raised in Sikeston, Mo. He studied at the Virginia Military Institute and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1942. He studied engineering electronics at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
Survivors include his wife, the former Eleanor Noyes Hempstone of Bethesda; two sons, Marine Corps Lt. Col. John W. Jr., of Camp Pendleton, Calif., and William Noyes Cox Bowman of Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.; a daughter, Ellen Bowman Perman of Silver Spring; a brother, Lee Austin Bowman of Sikeston, and three grandchildren.