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Owens, Robert L.



  • Existence: June 3, 1924 - April 8, 2017


Robert L. Owens, from Sanger, California, served aboard the submarine USS Growler (SSG-577), first as executive officer, then as commanding officer, from February 1960 to December 13, 1963. Owens began his submarine service during WWII aboard the USS Tinosa. After the war, he pursued his education, and then returned to the Navy, this time in the reserves. Owens became involved in the Regulus Program, switched from the reserves to regular Navy, and eventually joined Growler. After decommissioning Growler at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Owens continued his naval career, returning to COMSUBPAC Staff as the Polaris Targeting Officer, commanding the fast attack boat Sea Leopard, and joining CINCLANT as part of the team that would send the go-message to the Polaris boats. He was then the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations for SubFlot 6, received orders to the Pentagon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he was the Submarine Officer attached to the Chairman’s SALT negotiation team, and ended his 28 years in the submarine service as the 688 Project Officer. After his career in the submarine service, Robert Owens returned to Sanger, California, where he ran his family’s plumbing business.

Start of Military Service (WWII)
End of Military Service (WWII)
Start of Military Service
February 1960
Start of Service Aboard Growler
December 13, 1963
End of Service Aboard Growler
End of Military Service

Found in 8 Collections and/or Records:

Allen Odette Oral History

Identifier: OHP 111
Scope and Contents Allen Odette served aboard Growler from August 1961 to December 1963, as a fire control technician (missile guidance systems) second class. Odette began his interview by speaking about his decision to join the Navy. He noted that he first went into the reserves in Illinois before joining the regular Navy after moving to California. He also discussed his experiences in boot camp as well as his decision to apply for the submarine service after receiving a tour of a submarine from a friend of a...
Dates: September 14, 2016

Duane F. Heatwole Oral History

Identifier: OHP 057
Scope and Contents Duane F. Heatwole served aboard Growler as a commissaryman petty officer second class from 1960 to 1964. Heatwole began his interview by discussing Growler’s galley. He also described how he acquired different types of food, how this food was loaded into the boat, and how the food was stored. Heatwole then discussed some of the meals that he prepared for the crew, including filet mignon, lobster, and crab legs from Alaska. He then continued, describing a process called snorkeling, which...
Dates: October 1, 2014

James W. Day Oral History

Identifier: OHP 130
Scope and Contents James Day served aboard Growler as a hospital corpsman from 1961 to 1963. He began his interview by discussing why he joined the Navy and providing a brief overview of his service. Day noted boot camp, hospital corps school in San Diego at the Balboa Naval Hospital, operating room technician school at Bethesda Maryland Naval Hospital, being stationed at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, and his time as an OR tech aboard the hospital ship Haven during the Korean War. Day also stated that he left...
Dates: May 24, 2017

John "Andy" Anderson Oral History

Identifier: OHP 112
Scope and Contents John “Andy” Anderson served aboard Growler from August 1961 to May 1963, as a fire control technician (missile guidance systems) third class and was the torpedo fire controlman aboard Growler. Anderson began his interview by stating that his father served aboard German submarines during World War I, which influenced his decision to join the Navy and serve aboard submarines. He then briefly discussed his childhood before explaining why he joined the Navy. Anderson continued, describing his...
Dates: September 14, 2016

Robert L. Owens Oral History (First Interview)

Identifier: OHP 059
Scope and Contents Robert L. Owens served aboard Growler, first as executive officer, then as commanding officer, from February 1960 to December 13, 1963. Owens began his interview by stating where he was born and raised and discussing his service in WWII. Owens explained that after boot camp and electrical school, he rode Intrepid from Alameda to Pearl Harbor, where he served aboard the submarine tender USS Bushnell. He then went aboard the USS Tinosa and made seven war patrols. After providing additional...
Dates: October 1, 2014

Robert L. Owens Oral History (Second Interview)

Identifier: OHP 126
Scope and Contents Robert L. Owens served aboard Growler, first as executive officer, then as commanding officer, from February 1960 to December 13, 1963. He began his second interview by recalling his early Navy career when he was drafted during World War II. Owens stated that he attended boot camp in Farragut, ID, and electrician school, before volunteering for submarine service and completing five war patrols on Tinosa. After discussing his experiences in the submarine service during World War II, Owens...
Dates: March 14, 2017

Additional filters:

Military Forces (United States) -- Navy 7
Growler -- control room and attack center 5
Growler -- sail 5
Education -- Training -- Military Training -- Naval Training -- Submarine Training 4
Education -- Training -- Military Training -- Naval Training -- Submarine Training -- Qualifying 4
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Food 4
Guided Missiles -- Cruise Missiles -- Regulus 1 4
Humor -- Practical Jokes 4
Recreation 4
Strategy -- Deterrence 4
United States (nation) -- Alaska (state) -- Aleutians West (national division) -- Adak (inhabited place) -- Naval Air Facility Adak (air base) 4
United States (nation) -- Connecticut (state) -- New London (county) -- Groton (inhabited place) -- Naval Submarine Base New London (submarine base) 4
Vacuum -- High Vacuum 4
Communications Technicians, CTs 3
Discipline -- Captain's Mast 3
Engines -- Heat Engines -- Internal Combustion Engines -- Compression Ignition Engines -- Diesel Engines 3
Families (Human) -- Family Members -- Wives 3
Growler -- crew's quarters 3
Growler -- wardroom 3
Maintenance Equipment -- Drydocks 3
Russia (nation) -- Kamchatskiy Kray (kray) -- Kamchatka (peninsula) 3
United States (nation) -- Hawaii (state) -- Honolulu (county) -- Oahu (island) -- Pearl Harbor Naval Reservation (defense installation) 3
Commanding Officer 2
Discipline 2
Engineering -- Marine Engineering -- Shipbuilding 2
Executive Officer 2
Families (Human) -- Family Members 2
Growler -- enlisted mess 2
Growler -- galley 2
Growler -- missile checkout and guidance center 2
Growler -- missile hangar(s), port missile hangar, starboard missile hangar 2
Growler -- officer stateroom 2
Hygiene 2
Lieutenant Commander, O-4 2
Navigation 2
Navigation -- Inertial Navigation 2
Navigation -- Radio Navigation -- Hyperbolic Navigation -- Loran 2
Ordnance -- Ammunition -- Antiship Ammunition -- Torpedoes 2
Performance Tests -- Psychological Tests 2
Petty Officer 1st Class, E-6 2
Petty Officer 2nd Class, E-5 2
Recreation -- Entertainment -- Movies 2
Russia (nation) -- Kamchatskiy Kray (kray) -- Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy (inhabited place) 2
Tubes -- Torpedo Tubes 2
United States (nation) -- California (state) -- Ventura (county) -- Point Mugu (cape) -- Naval Air Station Point Mugu (air base) 2
United States (nation) -- Midway Islands (possession) 2
World War II, December 1941–September 1945 2
Bering Sea (sea) 1
Business Administration -- Finance -- Income -- Salaries 1
Celebrations -- Holidays 1
Celebrations -- Holidays -- Christmas 1
Commissaryman Petty Officer 2nd Class, CS2 1
Communication And Radio Systems 1
Cuban Missile Crisis, October 16 - 28, 1962 1
Damage Control 1
Decommissioning, May 25, 1964 1
Defense Systems -- Countermeasures -- Electronic Countermeasures 1
Detection -- Submarine Detection 1
Disposal -- Garbage Disposal 1
Education -- Training -- Military Training -- War Games 1
Fire Control Technician (Missile Guidance Systems) Petty Officer 2nd Class, FTG2 1
Fire Control Technician (Missile Guidance Systems) Petty Officer 3rd Class, FTG3 1
Food -- Cake 1
Food Dispensing -- Food Service -- Meals 1
Germany (nation) -- Schleswig-Holstein (state) -- Flensburg-Mürwik (neighborhood) -- Naval Academy Murwik (naval academy) 1
Growler -- chief petty officer quarters 1
Growler -- commanding officer's stateroom 1
Growler -- forward torpedo room 1
Handling -- Loading(Handling) 1
Hazing 1
Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 1st Class, HM1 1
Hygiene -- Shower Facilities 1
Intelligence -- Military Intelligence 1
Intelligence -- Military Intelligence -- Communications Intelligence 1
Japan (nation) -- Kanto (region (administrative division)) -- Kanagawa-ken (prefecture) -- Yokosuka (inhabited place) 1
Liberty 1
Life Sciences -- Medicine -- Dentistry 1
Life Sciences -- Medicine -- Military Medicine 1
Logistics -- Supplies -- Medical Supplies 1
Master Chief Petty Officer, E-9 1
Medical Services -- First Aid 1
Navigation -- Celestial Navigation 1
Navigation -- Dead Reckoning 1
Navigation -- Navigational Aids -- Navigation Charts 1
Noise -- Noise(Sound) -- Submarine Noise 1
Norway (nation) -- Vest-Agder (county) -- Kristiansand (inhabited place) 1
Optical Equipment -- Periscopes -- Submarine Periscopes 1
Ordnance -- Fire Control Systems -- Fire Control System Components -- Fire Control Computers -- Torpedo Data Computers 1
Personnel -- Military Personnel -- Guided Missile Personnel 1
Personnel Management -- Promotion (Advancement) 1
Pest Control -- Insect Control 1
Petty Officer 3rd Class, E-4 1
Quartermaster 1st Class Petty Officer, QM1 1
Radioman Master Chief Petty Officer, RMCM 1
Recreation -- Games 1
Russia (nation) 1
Russia (nation) -- Primorskiy Kray (kray) -- Vladivostok (inhabited place) 1
Security -- Information Security -- Classified Materials 1
Social Sciences -- Psychology -- Social Psychology -- Human Relations -- Race Relations 1
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