SEYMOUR D. OWENS, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Seymour Owens '31

Date of birth: February 21, 1910

Date of death: July 24, 1944

Age: 34

Lucky Bag

From the 1931 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Seymour was lost on July 24, 1944 when USS Norman Scott (DD 690) was damaged by shore battery fire during the invasion of Tinian. He was the ship's commanding officer and received a Navy Cross for the action. Twenty-two of his officers and men were also lost.

He had command of Norman Scott since her commissioning on November 5, 1943.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His wife was listed as next of kin.

Saipan

In Norman Scott's Plan of the Day for June 14, 1944 — the day before the invasion of Saipan — he wrote the following in the notes section:

Admiral Norm Scott has been out of the scrap since November 12, 1942. He fights again today -- let's make him proud. I count on each of you to do your duty. I know you will not fail. S.D. Owens

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Commander Seymour Dunlop Owens, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. NORMAN SCOTT (DD-690), during operations at Tinian in the Northern Marianas Islands on 24 July 1944. Detailed to cover the left flank of a feint landing south of Tinian town to draw enemy fire away from the actual landings to the north, Commander Owens maneuvered his ship perilously close inshore in the face of heavy fire from Japanese costal defense guns and skillfully directed effective fire support for the boat waves until he was killed at his post. The conduct of Commander Owens throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 334 (January 1945)
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander

Bronze Star

From Find A Grave:

For heroic achievement as Commanding Officer of a Close-in Fire Support Ship in action against enemy Japanese forces at Saipan Island on June 14-15, 1944. Operating under difficult navigational conditions and in the face of repeated heavy enemy gunfire, Commander Owens skillfully maneuvered his ship through dangerous waters and effectively directed accurate, concentrated fire against hostile shore batteries, contributing essentially to the success of our forces in the accomplishment of a vital mission. An expert seaman and brilliant leader, Commander Owens was a constant inspiration to the men under his command and his gallant fighting spirit throughout the fierce action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Namesake

USS Seymour D. Owens (DD 767) was named for Seymour, though the ship was never completed or commissioned.

Memorial Hall Error

Seymour is listed as a LCDR in Memorial Hall; his Navy Cross citation and all other sources have Commander. The Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1944 lists his promotion to Commander to date from November 1, 1942.

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 1931

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Henry Dozier '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

October 1931

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22 and LTjg Henry Dozier '27.

January 1932

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22 and LTjg Henry Dozier '27.

April 1932

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22 and LTjg Henry Dozier '27.

October 1932

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22, LTjg Francis Black '26, LTjg Henry Dozier '27, ENS Robert Germany, Jr. '30, ENS Francis Douglass '32, and ENS James Kemper '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Daniel Callaghan '11 (US Fleet).

January 1933

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22, LTjg Francis Black '26, LTjg Henry Dozier '27, ENS Robert Germany, Jr. '30, ENS Francis Douglass '32, and ENS James Kemper '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Daniel Callaghan '11 (US Fleet).

April 1933

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22, LTjg Francis Black '26, LTjg Henry Dozier '27, ENS Robert Germany, Jr. '30, ENS Francis Douglass '32, and ENS James Kemper '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Daniel Callaghan '11 (US Fleet).

July 1933

Ensign, 16th Naval District

Others at this command: LT William Gray '21, ENS Benjamin Ghetzler '31, ENS Howard Abbott '31, and ENS John Hollingsworth '31.

October 1933

Ensign, USS Asheville

April 1934

Ensign, USS Asheville

July 1934

Ensign, USS Asheville

October 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Asheville

January 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Asheville

April 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Asheville

October 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Asheville

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), 12th Naval District

Others at this command: LT Harry Bolles '23, LTjg William Graham, Jr. '25, and LTjg Benjamin Ghetzler '31.

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cincinnati

Others at this command: CDR Norman Scott '11, ENS Glenn Dunagan '33, and ENS Archibald Stone, Jr. '34.

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cincinnati

Others at this command: CDR Norman Scott '11, LTjg James Willis '27, ENS Glenn Dunagan '33, and ENS Archibald Stone, Jr. '34.

January 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cincinnati

Others at this command: LT James Willis '27, ENS Glenn Dunagan '33, and ENS Archibald Stone, Jr. '34.

April 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cincinnati

Others at this command: LT James Willis '27, ENS Glenn Dunagan '33, and ENS Archibald Stone, Jr. '34.

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cincinnati

Others at this command: ENS Glenn Dunagan '33 and LTjg Archibald Stone, Jr. '34.

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cincinnati

Others at this command: LTjg Archibald Stone, Jr. '34.

June 1940

Lieutenant, USS Gilmer

November 1940

Lieutenant, USS Gilmer

Others at this command: LCDR Burton Doggett '24.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Robert Fleming '17 (Destroyer Division 82).

April 1941

Lieutenant, USS Ludlow


Class of 1931

Seymour is one of 51 members of the Class of 1931 on Virtual Memorial Hall.