Date of Birth: 11/18/1948
Neighborhood: Cobbs Creek
High School: Lincoln College Preparatory School
Street: Catharine Street
Branch of Service: Army
Date of Casualty: 10/24/1969
Province of Casualty: Binh Duong
Philadelphia Memorial Panel: Panel 29
Panel Row: 2
Click on the memorial panel below for a printable photo of the serviceman on this page.
Sowell had been in Vietnam only three weeks when he wrote home in August 1969 that he had been awarded a Bronze Star for his action under fire, as well as being nominated for another Army combat decoration about which he knew nothing. The 20-year-old sergeant, a medical corpsman with Company A of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry, 2Stb Infantry Division, never had an opportunity to learn about the other medal. Sowell died on Oct. 24, 1969, after carrying three wounded comrades to safety from near an enemy bunker and administering first aid to two of them. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Sowell, a 1968 graduate of Lincoln Preparatory School, had worked at Smith, Kline & French as a pharmaceutical laboratory helper before entering the service in February 1969. He had been trained as a medic because of his background in pharmaceuticals. Survivors included his mother, stepfather, brother and two sisters.