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Karl C. Bowersox papers

Guide to the Karl C. Bowersox papers

Collection number: HMC-1248.
Creator: Bowersox, Karl C.
Title: Karl C. Bowersox papers.
Dates: 1924-1944.
Volume of collection: 0.2 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in the collection are in English.
Collection summary: Papers and photographs of a purser and radio operator aboard the USMS Boxer and USMS North Star.

Biographical note:
Karl C. Bowersox was born in Wenatchee, Washington in 1908. He developed an early interest in radio and received his radio amateur licence in 1925. He began broadcasting under the call letters 7OR and later W7OR. After receiving more radio schooling in Seattle, he got a job in 1928 as a radio operator and purser on a government supply ship, the USMS Boxer, in Alaska. He returned to work on the Boxer in 1930, and worked on the newly built USMS North Star in 1932 and 1934. In the years he was not at sea, Bowersox attended the University of Washington. His younger brother, Glenn, took over his duties on the ships while he was in school, and attended the University of Washington himself when Karl was at sea. Both brothers traveled on the North Star through the Panama Canal to Boston, where the ship was made ready for Admiral Byrd’s Antarctic expedition. Karl graduated from the Oregon Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and spent his career working for the Federal Communications Commission. Karl Bowersox died in 2001.

Collection description:
The collection consists of papers and photographs documenting Karl Bowersox’s service on the government supply vessels USMS Boxer and USMS North Star. The papers include trip reports, telegrams, and cargo lists from Bowersox’s time on the Boxer. There are telegrams, crew lists and an itinerary for the North Star. Additionally the collection includes Bowersox’s amateur radio QSL cards. The photographs depict scenery, buildings people and ships in locations around Alaska, including Kotzebue, St. Michael, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Bristol Bay, Akutan, Gambell, Point Hope, Savoonga, Hooper Bay, Teller, Shishmaref, Elim, Point Barrow, Bethel, and Seward.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by type of material.

Digitized copies:  53 images from this collection have been digitized and placed on Alaska’s Digital Archives. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Archives and Special Collections owns copyright to materials created by Karl Bowersox. Materials not created by Bowersox may be subject to copyright not held by the Archives.

Preferred citation: Karl C. Bowersox papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Related materials: Glenn H. Bowersox papers, HMC-0731.

Acquisition note: The collection was donated to the Archives and a deed of gift signed in 2016 by Ardis E. Bowersox Mangels.

Processing information:This collection was described by Gwen Sieja in 2017. At that time, newspaper clippings were removed from the collection, photocopied, and placed in the processing file. Please contact Archives and Special Collections for more information.

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