RONALD NELSON "HAMMY" BOWERS was born in 1933 in Philadelphia to William Armstead Bowers and his wife, the former Helen Clark, who were both originally from Delaware. He had an older sister, Vivian. His early years were spent in Philadelphia.

Coming to Camden in the 1940s, Ronald Bowers was a 1952 graduate of Camden High School. His family was then living at 741 Chestnut Street. His his high school sweetheart was a member of his graduating class,  Bernice Z.  Reed. They were married in 1955. Ronald Bowers went into the Navy after graduating high school. By 1955 his family had moved to 605 Walnut Street

After coming out of the Navy, Ronald and Bernice Bowers made their home at 617 Clinton Street. He was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on June 29, 1962. After completing training Ronald Bowers was assigned to Ladder Company 2. He served over 35 years with different companies throughout the city. 

Ronald and Bernice Bowers had four daughters, Fern, Ronda, Vivian, and JoAnn. Sadly, Mrs. Bowers passed away in December of 1986.

In 1994 Ronald Bowers served at Engine Company 3 under Captain Richard Carver, with firefighters Robert Allen Sr. and Charles Arline. He retired on February 1, 1996.

Ronald N. "Hammie" Bowers passed away on March 21, 2018 at the age of 84.

Camden Courier-Post
December 3, 1951

William Kenton - Ronald Bowers
John Johnson - Fred Pratt
Louis Walls

Camden High School Purple & Gold Yearbook - 1952

Camden Courier-Post
March 19, 1955

Walnut Street
Central Avenue
Tenth Street Baptist Church
Rev. J. Allen Nimmo
Clarence Womack

Camden Courier-Post
August 10, 1956


Camden Courier-Post * July 25, 1962

9 Firemen Graduate In City Test

Graduation exercises for nine of the city's newest firemen were held Tuesday in headquarters at 3rd and Arch Streets under direction of Public Safety Director Bedell and Fire Chief Edward R. MacDowell.

The graduates and their assignments are Joseph Anderson, Canterbury Apartments, No. 1 Ladder; Prescott Johnson, 1238 Kenwood Avenue, No. 8 Engine; Philip Maycott, 1023 North 32nd Street, No. 9 Engine; George Getty, Canterbury Apartments, No. 2 Engine; Ronald Bowers, 617 Clinton Street, No. 2 Ladder; William Young, 3167 Westfield Avenue, No. 2 Engine Company; Wayne Kraft, 1052 N. 35th Street, No. 3 Ladder; Raymond Eldridge, 7 North Dudley Street, No. 7 Engine; and Donald Goehringer, 30 North 24th Street, No. 7 Engine Company.

They will receive a starting salary of $4,800. Chief MacDowell said this brings the department to 170 hosemen and to 224 total personnel in the department. 

All nine were graduated after receiving three weeks of training at the fire school under the direction of Captain Leo J. Tompkins.

Their training also included two days at the Navy Fire School at the Philadelphia Naval Base.

Camden Courier-Post
April 22, 1964

Pine Street


Camden Courier-Post
February 2, 1967

Ladder Company 2
Ronald Bowers
Clinton Street
Charles Voll
Park Boulevard
West Jersey Hospital
South 9th Street
Kaighn Avenue

Ladder Company 2
Engine Company 8


Front Row: Ronald Bowers - Philip Bocelli
Second Row: Charles Greene - Robert Welch
Third Row: John Nicholson
Fourth Row: Ronald Angemi - Woody Brzozwoski


Engine Company 8 - 1970s
Ronald Bowers - Ronald Angemi

Camden Courier-Post
December 15, 1986


Circa 1990
___________ - ___________ - Ronald Bowers

Camden Fire Department Reunion Dinner - August 2009

Seated at bar: Ron Bowers, Paul Matyjasik, Ernie Gribaudo
Standing: Bill O'Dennis, Jim McMaster, Tony Logrando,  Paul Capizola, 

Camden Fire Department Reunion Dinner - September 2010
Joe Marini, Ron Bowers, Ron Angemi, James Robinson, Bob Williams
Click on Image to Enlarge