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USS JAMES C. OWENS (DD-776)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NHKE

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - STONEFACE

CLASS - ALLEN M. SUMNER As Built.
Displacement 3218 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 376' 6"(oa) x 40' 10" x 14' 2" (Max)
Armament 6 x 5"/38AA (3x2), 12 x 40mm AA, 11 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.5 Knots, Range 3300 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 336.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bethlehem Steel, San Pedro. April 9 1944.
Launched October 1 1944 and commissioned February 17 1945.
Decommissioned April 3 and recommissioned September 20 1950.
Completed FRAM upgrade October 1962.
Decommissioned July 15 1973.
Stricken July 15 1973.
To Brazil July 15 1973, renamed Sergipe.
Fate Stricken October 17 1995 and broken up.

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Owens 92kJames C. Owens, Jr., born 5 December 1910 in Batavia, N.Y., was appointed Naval Aviation Cadet, USNR, 3 September 1935. Following flight training at Pensacola, Fla., he served on board Lexington (CV-2); and on 1 September 1941, he joined Torpedo Squadron 8 on board Hornet (CV-8). Appointed Lieutenant 6 January 1942, Owens was with this squadron when it pressed home a courageous and determined attack against Japanese carriers 4 June during the Battle of Midway. Without the protection of lighters or accompanying dive bombers, the gallant pilots exposed themselves to overwhelming firepower; and every plane of the squadron was shot down. By forcing the enemy ships to maneuver radically and eliminating Japanese air cover, the "stark courage and relentless drive" of the torpedo pilots, such as Lieutenant Owens, made possible the American victory that followed. For extraordinary heroism in the face of overwhelming danger, Lt. Owens received the Navy Cross and the Presidential Unit Citation posthumously. Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) Pilots photographed on board USS Hornet (CV-8), circa mid-May 1942, shortly before the Battle of Midway. They are (Front row, kneeling, left to right): Ensign Harold J. Ellison; Ensign Henry R. Kenyon; Ensign John P. Gray; Ensign George H. Gay, Jr.; (Only survivor) Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Jeff D. Woodson; Ensign William W. Creamer; Aviation Pilot First Class Robert B. Miles. (Back row, standing, left to right): Lieutenant James C. Owens, Jr.; Ensign E.L. Fayle; Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron, Squadron Commanding Officer; Lieutenant Raymond A. Moore; Ensign Ulvert M. Moore; Ensign William R. Evans; Ensign Grant W. Teats; Lieutenant (Junior Grade) George M. Campbell. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, MD. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Bill Gonyo
Owens 39kUndated, DD-776 along side the flag ship of ComSixthFlt for a token refueling. Memorable because our crew was in dress blues. ComSixthFlt appeared appeared on the flag bridge in a T-shirt and ballcap and informed our Captain over the inter-ship phone line that more informal uniforms were to used at sea while under in his command!Robert B. Shirley
Owens 76kAs above.Robert B. Shirley
Owens 63kUndated, swim call for crew, isolated in the middle of the Atlantic. The dummy orange capsule was used for practice of alternate recovery of the Gemini 5 mission which was our standby assignment.Robert B. Shirley
Owens 23kUndated picture of the DASH radio controlled ASW helicopter on the after small flight deck.Robert B. Shirley
Owens 172kA series of 5 undated photos of highlining between a destroyer escort USS Tills (DE-748) and USS James C. Owens (DD-776).Robert M. Cieri
Owens 158kAs above. First shot line is fired over to the DE.Robert M. Cieri
Owens 158kAs above. Owens' doctor is being high lined back to his ship.Robert M. Cieri
Owens 141kAs above. The doctor about to come aboard the Owens.Robert M. Cieri
Owens 140kAs above. USS James C. Owens DD-776 breaks away from the DE.Robert M. Cieri
Owens 119kAt anchor in San Pedro, 1945.Edmund Conley
Owens 70kUSS James. C. Owens (DD-776) underway off Boston, Massachusetts, July 10 1946. National Archives and Records Administration photo # 19-N-95757.Robert Hurst
Owens 44k1951, location unknown.Bill Hunt
Owens 71kJune 3 1952, location unknown.Bill Hunt
Owens 91kNovember 22 1953, location unknown.Bill Hunt
Owens 120kCirca mid 1950's, location unknown.Marc Piché
Owens 20kDD-776 leaving Charleston, SC for the Med on her 20th birthday, February 17 1965.Robert B. Shirley
Owens 120kDeparting Pearl Harbor for Charleston following a Vietnam deployment, taken 31 May 1968. US Navy Photo 1132922.Mike Smolinski
Owens 132kUSS James C. Owens (DD-776) in the Tonkin Gulf, circa 1970-71, with a Kaman UH-2C Seasprite hovering above its flight deck. Note the Essex-class carrier in the background. Official U.S. Navy photograph from the USS Perkins (DD-877) 1970-71 Cruise Book.Robert Hurst
Owens 102kAt Pearl Harbor Spring 1970 just before WESTPAC cruise.Clinton D. Kennedy (69-73)
Owens 125kDD776 was drydocked in Japan in the fall of 1970. This picture taken looking forward from the floor of the drydock shows the size of the rudders, screws and shafts for this class of ship. The yard workers were so fast that they were able to dry out the rudders (using steam), patch the holes, sandblast and recoat the hull and do other below the waterline work in just a few days. After the drydocking the ship was actually a bit faster for the same number of screw turns. Clinton D. Kennedy (69-73)
Owens 105kPicture was taken from the top of the drydock looking aft. The hull work is almost finished. Clearly visible is the sonar transducer carried by this class of ship. The hull was coated with a hot (melted) material which added to the life the ship. Clinton D. Kennedy (69-73)
Owens 42kJames C. Owens refueling at Midway Island in November 1970. The ship was on its way back to home port in Pearl Harbor after a Westpac cruise; its last full deployment. An interesting note is that the ship was named after a navy pilot killed in the battle of Midway in early WWII.Clinton D. Kennedy (69-73)
Owens 102k1972 at Hunters Point with the USS Ranger in the background.Bob Canchola
Owens 40kSan Francisco August 1972.Marc Piché
Owens 52kSan Francisco August 1972.Mike Smolinski
On Brazilian Service
Owens 32kAs the CT SERGIPE D 35 in the Guanabara Bay, Brazilian Navy Photo.Luiz BRAZIL Cotta, FT3(Ret. Brazilian Navy)
Owens 34kAs the CT SERGIPE D 35 in the Port of SANTOS, photo by Sílvio Smera. Luiz BRAZIL Cotta, FT3(Ret. Brazilian Navy)
Owens 41kAs the CT SERGIPE D 35 in the Port of SANTOS, photo by Sílvio Smera. Luiz BRAZIL Cotta, FT3(Ret. Brazilian Navy)
Owens 61kAs the CT SERGIPE D 35 in the Port of SANTOS, photo by José da Silva. Luiz BRAZIL Cotta, FT3(Ret. Brazilian Navy)
Owens 48kAs the CT SERGIPE D 35 in the Port of SANTOS, photo by José da Silva. Luiz BRAZIL Cotta, FT3(Ret. Brazilian Navy)
Owens 80kAs the CT SERGIPE D 35 in New York Harbor July 3 1976 during the Bicentennial celebrations. Photographed from the Staten Island Ferry.Marc Piché
Owens 76kThe Brazilian Sergipe (ex-USS James C. Owens, DD-776) closing to refuel from RFA Green Rover, South Atlantic, April 1977.Robert Hurst
Click here to see our Special Feature - Interior Views of Sumner Class Destroyers as Built

USS JAMES C. OWENS DD-776 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Richard Hutchings Blair    Feb 17 1945 - 1946
CDR James Wilbur (Jack) White    1946 - 1947
CDR Robert Harper Weeks    1947 - 1949 (Later RADM)
CDR Earl Kenneth Solenberger    1949 - Apr 3 1950
(Decommissioned Apr 3 1950 - Sep 20 1950)
CDR Robert Broussard Erly    Sep 20 1950 - 1952 (Later RADM)
CDR John Curtis Spencer    1952 - 1954
CDR William Davis Craig    1954 - 1956
CDR Edward Lawrence Willey    1956 - 1958
CDR Albert Louis Stickles II    1958 - 1960
CDR William Francis Barry    1960 - 1961
CDR Robert Lindsay Dise    1961 - Jul 1963
CDR Kenneth Clark (KC) Holm    Jul 1963 - 1965
CDR Henry Martin Berry    1965 - 1967
CDR Cornell Carpenter Angleman    1967 - 1969
CDR Stephen Christopher Montgomery    1969 - 1971
CDR Ronald William Kerslake    Jun 1971 - Oct 1972
CDR Francis William McGirr Jr.    Oct 1972 - May 11 1973
CDR Raymond William Hine    May 11 1973 - Jul 16 1973

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: W. Keith Nelson, Sec/Treas
Address: 1315 McArthur Ave., Colorado Springs CO 80909-2925
Phone: 719-635-7667
E-mail: sec@JCOwensDD776.org


Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
USS James C. Owens website
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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