Paul Garvin Bodwell, Jr (1917-1999)

Son of Paul 1885

As a young man, Paul, Jr. attended North Carolina State University, where he was a member of the College ROTC program and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1938. While attending college he worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority. In 1938 he joined the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the infantry. In 1940 Paul applied and was accepted into pilot training in the newly formed Army Air Corps. During the last few weeks of pilot training, Paul failed an eye exam and elected to attend navigator school. As WW II broke out, Paul was a 1st Lt. He spent the war navigating planes all over the world, usually the first choice of Generals because he was the best there was. At the time the war ended, Major Paul Bodwell was the highest ranking navigator in the Army Air Corp. Following the war, Paul went to work for the Seaboard Coast Line Rail Road, working as a signal maintainer in Raleigh, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and Savannah. In 1961, he was promoted to manager and transferred to the home office in Richmond, Virginia. In 1967, The Seaboard Coast Line and the Coast Line RR's merged. In the mid '60's Paul invented a Hot Box Detector, an electronic device that is positioned at entrances to rail yards and is designed to determine if any rail car axles are overheating. Paul was transferred yet again to Jacksonville, Florida, where he retired in 1973. In 1980, Paul and Martha moved to Fries, Virginia in order to be close to their daughter and enjoy the mountains. In his spare time Paul enjoyed hunting and fishing, though like most, never getting very good at it. In 1996, they once again moved to Waynesboro, Virginia were they resided until Paul entered an extended care facility. Paul was an accomplished mechanic who enjoyed tinkering with cars in his younger days, often buying used ones to fix up and sell. Martha is a very creative artist who worked in oil, water color and ultimately china paint.





21 Mar 1917

19 Dec 1999

12 Aug 1944

Martha L. Silliman

Forsythe, Ga

Amherst, Va

Garden City, Ny

b. 16 May 1922

Children of Paul and Martha (Silliman) Bodwell



Birth Date

Birth Place

Death Date

Death Place


Donald James

31 Oct 1945

Mineola, Ny




Barbara Ann

16 Aug 1949

Hamlet, Nc



December 18, 1996

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Contact: December 26,1996
Copyright (C) 1996, 1997 Donald J. Bodwell. All rights reserved.