SEYMOUR D. OWENS, LCDR, USN
Seymour Owens '31
Date of birth: February 21, 1910
Date of death: July 24, 1944
From the 1931 Lucky Bag:
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.
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
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)
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.
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.