From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Rowney '67

Date of birth: July 28, 1945

Date of death: May 28, 1980

Age: 34

Lucky Bag

From the 1967 Lucky Bag:


From Santa Cruz Sentinel on June 10, 1980:

Search Called Off For Missing Plane The search was called off this weekend for a plane carrying Lt. Commander John Rowney, 34, of Watsonville and a Connecticut man missing since taking off from Monterey Peninsula Airport for a short flight on May 28. Officials at Scott Air Force Base, coordinating the search with the Civil Air Patrol, called off the operation because of lack of progress, according to Ed Crankshaw of the Civil Air Patrol. Rowney, the pilot of the missing plane, and Petty Officer John Benjamin, 27, of North Haven, Conn., left the airport at 4 p.m. on May 28 on an instructor-rating flight and were due back at 6 p.m. that day. The search took in the coast from Monterey to Big Sur and the foothills along both sides of the Salinas Valley. The missing plane is a T-34 military training aircraft owned by the Navy Flying Club at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.

From the April 1981 issue of Shipmate:

LCdr. John Victor Rowney USN died in a civil aircraft accident south of Monterey, California, on 28 May 1980. Memorial services were held at the Holy Eucharist Church, Watsonville, California, on 15 November 1980.

Appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of California, he was the son of Capt. (USN Ret. '41) and Mrs. James V. Rowney. After graduation with the Class of 1967, he was ordered to flight school and received his wings in 1968. His initial squadron assignment was with VA-153 flying A-7s where he served as line division officer. He was later assigned to the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Caltfomia, where he was awarded the Master of Science degree in Physical Oceanography. In May 1973 he reported to VA-56 homeported in Yokosuka. Japan, serving as aviation safety officer, administrative officer and quality assurance division officer. His squadron tours included three Westem Pacific deployments aboard ORISKANY (CVA-34) and MIDWAY (CV-41) and seventy-seven combat missions over North Vietnam.

In June 1976, he reported to the Navy Field Operations Intelligence Office, Fort Meade, Maryland, serving as oceanographic operations analyst. In August 1978 he was designated a special duty (geophysics) officer and was assigned as Commanding Officer, Oceanographic Unit Two. He reported to Fleet Numerical Oceanography Center, Monterey, in September 1979.

His awards included the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat " V " , the Air Medal with six strike/flight awards, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in operation "Frequent Wind." He was a member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association.

LCdr. Rowney is survived by his widow Patricia, 958 White Road, Watsonville CA 95076, and his parents of Mountain View, California.

He was also survived by a daughter, Kelly Bernice Rowney. John has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.


He had command of Oceanographic Unit Two, permanently embarked aboard USNS Dutton (T-AGS 22) until September 4, 1979.

Class of 1967

John is one of 34 members of the Class of 1967 on Virtual Memorial Hall.