Jefferson City Veteran Recalls War Experience
"I was wounded when they blew the plane up and shot us down," Rowden recalled. "They handcuffed two of us together, put us in boxcars and we were in boxcars for, I don't know how many, hours."
Hours turned to 13 months in a German prison camp.
"And you just hoped against fate, you know, that he'd be okay," said Rowden's wife, Launa.
She didn't know if the man she loved was alive or dead.
"You learn to have faith in each other and religious faith," she said.
"Good gosh, I was glad to see her," Rowden recounted when he was released and returned home.
He says he's glad to see Memorial Day each year because it's a day for him to share stories he kept hidden and to remember friends no longer with him. And this Memorial Day is more special because Rowden and Launa just celebrated 60 years of marriage.
The Rowdens also lead the Central Missouri chapter of Ex-Prisoners of War, which has about 75 members and meets about once a month.