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Jerry Owens


Lt. Jerry Owens
14th Regimental Tank Company
Central Front Iron Triangle Area
 January 1952.

Mr. Jerry Owens graduated from the 17-week Armored Basic School at Fort Knox with the MOS as Tank Gunner. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the 16th Armored Division. At that time, the 16th was beefing up for deployment to the ETO. The Division participated in maneuvers in the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas. After returning from field exercises one evening, several men went to one of the on-base theaters. At the theater were some paratroopers who were making a pitch about volunteering for the Airborne. So, Mr. Owens volunteered for airborne training and was sent to Ft. Benning Georgia where he attended the Army's Airborne School.  He graduated on December 8, 1944.

After several more weeks of intensive infantry training he was sent to the PTO was assigned to the 11th Airborne Division. As the transport ship left from the Port of Oakland on the first leg of the 23-day trip to the Philippine Islands, the ship passed under the Golden Gate Bridge. Mr. Owens remembers that the saying on the transport that moment was "The Golden Gate in forty-eight". The implied meaning, at the time, was we don't think we will return home until 1948 (if at all).

Upon return from the PTO, he enrolled in College and received a degree from Centre College of Kentucky. Shortly after the start of the Korean War he was called into Military service. Mr. Owens received a Direct Commission and went through the Armored Officer's Basic course at Fort Knox and went on to Korea.

When Lt. Owens arrived at the Repple Depple (Replacement Depot) in Pusan he was sent to 25th Infantry Replacement Company. Upon reaching the 25th Infantry Replacement Company, as fate would have it, he ran into Major Walding who had been his Battalion Executive Officer at Fort Knox. Major Walding saw to it that Lt. Owens was assigned to his Battalion (the 89th MTB) and sent to the 14th Regimental Tank Company. Upon arrival at the 14th Regimental Tank Company he eventually was attached 14th Infantry Regiment for the duration of his tour.

 He is currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Betty.

(submitted by his son, Mike Owens)