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Orville C. Gowen Sr. served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1953. The fireman apprentice served aboard the USS Pine Island, one of the 13 ships that were part of Operation Highjump, officially titled “The United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program 1946-47.”
Operation Highjump was a Navy operation organized by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd Jr. in 1946. Task Force 68 included 4,700 men, 13 ships and multiple aircraft. The primary mission of Operation Highjump was to establish the Antarctic research base Little America IV.
He and his wife Nora Lee Brown Gowen had six children, Connie Jo, Eddie Joe, Kathie Ann, Orville C. “Junior,” Belinda Sue and Sandra Kaye.
His parents were William “Josh” and Elsie Gowen.