James Victor Rowney
1917 - 2016
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James Victor Rowney
Nov. 11, 1917 - Feb. 15, 2016
Pleasanton
Captain James Victor Rowney, USN (Ret.), 98, died on Feb. 15, 2016 in Pleasanton, California.
Born to James Bennett Rowney and Isabel Wainwright Rowney in Baltimore Maryland in 1917, "Vic" was a 1941 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD., where he lettered in both football and lacrosse.
During the first year of WWII he first served on the USS Enterprise in the Pacific, seeing action in almost every major engagement including Pearl Harbor, Midway, and the air-sea battles around Guadalcanal. He received his pilot's wings in 1943, and flew the F6F in the Atlantic Fleet. In 1945, he flew the F4U off the USS Yorktown, flying missions over Japan in the final months of the war. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and two Presidential Unit Citations during WWII. He married Dorothy Edelman Rowney in 1943.
Vic received a BS at the Naval Postgraduate School and an Aeronautical Engineering MS at California Institute of Technology.
He served in the Korean War, on the USS Philippine Sea, flying the F4U-4, and commanding an F9F Panther jet squadron. He was awarded the Bronze Star, 4 Air Medal stars, and the Commendation Ribbon.
Following Korea assignments, Vic test piloted the XF4D, the Navy's first supersonic fighter and commanded Carrier Air Group 7, aboard the USS Saratoga. He then served as head of the Aeronautical Engineering Department at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. Following service as Carrier Division 7 Operations Officer in 1961, Vic became the Director of Science and Engineering and Assistant Dean at the U. S. Naval Academy from 1962-1965. From 1965 until his retirement from the Navy in 1969, Vic served as Base Commander at Point Mugu Naval Missile Range in Southern California, and Moffett Field Naval Air Station in Mt. View, California. Vic then worked for SRI International in Palo Alto, retiring in 1978.
Following the death of his wife Dorothy in 1999, Vic married the late Betty Goff Cartwright of Memphis, TN in 2003. Vic is survived by two sons, David Rowney (Wilhelmina White) of Redding, CA and James H. Rowney (Sandra) of Pleasanton, CA, four grandchildren, Kelly Rumrill (Ethan), John H. Rowney, Christopher Rowney, and Travis Rowney, and two great-grandchildren, Ruby Rumrill and Hazel Rumrill. Vic's eldest son John V. Rowney, also a Naval Aviator, predeceased him in 1980.
Vic was a great American, a true hero of the 20th century. He was a much loved father and grandfather, and will be greatly missed. May this remarkable man's life be an inspiration to all of us.
A celebration of Vic's life is being planned. In lieu of flowers, a donation to your favorite charity is requested.


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Published in Contra Costa Times on Feb. 21, 2016.
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March 13, 2017
I found this, while searching for men from Capt. Rowney's USNA class, who were killed during WWII, two of who didn't even survive the first year after graduation. I'm very happy to learn that he survived, to have such a long and productive life!
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