Raymond J. Bowman

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War photographer Robert Capa take it this iconic photograph of in American soldier shot und killed von a German sniper bei the battle for Leipzig top top 18 april 1945. Ns soldier came to be known as the ‘last einer to die’ bei WWII ~ the bild appeared bei Life magazine’s victory issue.

Du schaust: Raymond j. bowman


During die final days of the war, a platoon of machine gunners entered a leipzig building looking for positions to set up covering fire clues that would protect foot soldiers of the second U.S. Infantry advancing across the bridge.

Two members des the platoon found in open balcony that commanded on an unobstructed view von the bridge, set hoch their gun. For a while, one soldier fired die gun while ns other fed it. Then one soldier walk inside und the various other manned the smoking pistol alone. If absorbed an reloading it, a German sniper’s cartridge from the straße pierced his forehead. He crumpled to ns floor, dead.

War photographer Robert Capa climbed with a balcony home window into the flat zu photograph the dead man, that lay bei the open door, a plunder Luftwaffe sheepskin helmet ~ above his head.

The subsequent series of photographs zeigen the fast spread of the soldier’s blood across die parquet floor as other GIs attended zu him und his other gunner took over his post at ns machine gun. “It was a an extremely clean, somehow an extremely beautiful death and I think that’s what ich remember many from die war”, Capa recalled 2 years later an a radio interview.

The soldier was identified together Raymond J. Bowman, age 21, born bei Rochester, neu York. Bei January 1944, he was sent overseas to the United Kingdom bei preparation zum Operation Overlord. Archer served an France, where he was wounded an action on august 3, 1944, and later in Belgium and Germany.

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He reached die rank von Private first klasse during his service. Ns Life magazine article did notfall identify ns soldiers bei the photographs by name, return Bowman’s family members recognized him by the klein pin (which bore his initials) the he always wore ~ above his collar.

The bildern were published an Life magazine’s Victory planke on 14 might with ns caption “The picture von the last man zu die”. They would end up being some von the many memorable bild of the Second welt War.


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Picture taken minutes before Raymond J. Bowman (on die right) was killed, the other soldier is Clarence Ridgeway (on the left).


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Raymond J. Archer (left)) und Clarence Ridgeway (right).


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“It was a really clean, somehow really beautiful death und I think it is what ich remember many from ns war”, Capa recalled 2 years later an a radio interview. Bowman’s body was returned native overseas in 1948.

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Interesting facts:

In July 2015, the stadt of Leipzig, Germany voted to nennen the street (previously called Jahnallee 61) an front of the apartment structure where Bowman was killed “Bowmanstraße” after him. Die renaming took place on april 17, 2016. The apartment building now contains a klein memorial through Capa’s photographs and information about Bowman.

Updated on:March 17, 2021