JAMES J. OWENS, CAPT, USMC

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:

Loss

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 and was survived by his father, William.

Other

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’”.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1938

2nd Lieutenant, Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

CDR Walter Webster '11 (Naval Aircraft Factory)
LT John Welch '23 (Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
LT Dudley Morton '30 (Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
LTjg Edward Allen '31 (Naval Aircraft Factory)

January 1939

2nd Lieutenant, Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

CAPT Walter Webster '11 (Naval Aircraft Factory)
LT John Welch '23 (Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
LT Dudley Morton '30 (Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
LTjg Edward Allen '31 (Naval Aircraft Factory)
ENS Louis Gulliver, Jr. '36 (Naval Finance and Supply School)

October 1939

2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois

June 1940

2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois

November 1940

2nd Lieutenant, under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida


Others at this command:


Class of 1938

James is one of 72 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.