From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James Owens '38

Date of birth: November 8, 1916

Date of death: September 18, 1942

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:


James was lost when the SNJ trainer aircraft he was aboard crashed near Santa Barbara, California, on September 18, 1942. Another Marine Corps Captain also perished; they were searching for a missing plane and two other officers.

He is buried in Minnesota.


From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018:

He had an earlier crash in which he was not injured. NAS San Diego war diary entry for 6 July 1942:
“1516 * J2F-5 #00733 attached to Marine Air Wing TWO, crashed making a rough water landing, two (2) miles north of Prisoner’s Harbor, Santa Cruz Island. PBY-1, #0138, plane enroute Alameda to San Diego diverted to scene to search for plane and personnel. Captain James J Owens, USMC, pilot, and his passenger Lt. Col. Utterbach, USA, rescued by Naval section base boat ‘PACIFICO’”.

Class of 1938

James is one of 71 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.