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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 1 Collection or Record:

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