The newly renovated Medal of Honor Museum opens to the public on May 25!

Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

  • Filter Recipient Database here
    • Service Branch
    • Conflict / Era
    • Additional Filters

World War II - U.S. Marine Corps

Robert Allen Owens

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company A, 1st Battalion, 3d Marines,
    3d Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 1, 1943
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Cape Torokina, Bougainville Island, Solomon Islands
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with a marine division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during extremely hazardous landing operations at Cape Torokina, Bougainville Island, Solomon Islands, on 1 November 1943. Forced to pass within disastrous range of a strongly protected, well-camouflaged Japanese 75-mm regimental gun strategically located on the beach, our landing units were suffering heavy losses in casualties and boats while attempting to approach the beach, and the success of the operations was seriously threatened. Observing the ineffectiveness of marine rifle and grenade attacks against the incessant, devastating fire of the enemy weapon and aware of the urgent need for prompt action, Sgt. Owens unhesitatingly determined to charge the gun bunker from the front and, calling on four of his comrades to assist him, carefully placed them to cover the fire of the two adjacent hostile bunkers. Choosing a moment that provided a fair opportunity for passing these bunkers, he immediately charged into the mouth of the steadily firing cannon and entered the emplacement through the fire port, driving the guncrew out of the rear door and insuring their destruction before he himself was wounded. Indomitable and aggressive in the face of almost certain death, Sgt. Owens silenced a powerful gun which was of inestimable value to the Japanese defense and, by his brilliant initiative and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice, contributed immeasurably to the success of the vital landing operations. His valiant conduct throughout reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service.
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert A. Owens
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert A. Owens
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: South Carolina
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: August 12, 1945
    Drayton, South Carolina, presented by Maj. Gen. Clayton B. Vogee to his Father
  • Born: September 13, 1920, Greenville, Greenville County, SC, United States
  • Died: November 1, 1943, Solomon Islands
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Manila Cemetery (N-12-200), Manila, Philippine Islands

Questions? For More Information Contact Us!