Air Force Special Operations First Lieutenant
Line of Duty Death: March 31, 2005

On March 31, 2005, Air Force Special Operations First Lieutenant Ray C. Owens Jr., affectionately referred to as “Charlie,” was killed in an aircraft accident while combat training in Albania. The incident also took the lives of nine other U.S. Airmen.

Owens enlisted in the United States Air Force as an Airman First Class in 1997, and was deployed to Kosovo in 1998, shortly after marrying his wife, Amanda. Owens thrived in the Air Force, moving up the ranks due to his exceptional test scores and eagerness to learn. Owens earned the Airman of the Year award for Robins Air Force Base in 1999 and became an E-5, non commissioned officer in 2000. Owens had the privilege of being accepted into the Bootstrap program, allowing him to attend college and graduate with honors from Embry Riddle University. In 2005, Owens and his wife and first son, Bobby, moved to Mildenhall, England to the 7th Special Operations Squadron. Their second son, Adam, was born shortly thereafter. Owens was then deployed for the last time to Albania, where he ultimately lost his life.

Owens is survived by his wife, Amanda, and sons, Robert “Bobby,” and Adam.