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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 3 Collections and/or Records:

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 the...
Dates: May 24, 2017

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