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Ret. U.S. Col. Owen Ross Grogan passed away on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Col. Grogran was born in Dyersburg, Tenn., on February 15, 1920.
He entered the military service as an enlisted man in January 1943, attended Engineer Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a second lieutenant in May 1943. While in Southeast Asia, he did demolition and bomb disposal duty at Middleburg Island. He served in the Airborne Engineer Unit in the Southwest Pacific area as a platoon leader, company executive officer and company commander.
Next, he served three years in the 82nd Airborne Division. During the Korean Conflict, he was a rifle company commander from 1950 to 1951. He did duty with the U.S. Marines at the Chosin Reservoir.
From 1953 to 1956, he was assistant professor of military science at the University of California, Davis, Calif. He served in Panama as executive officer of the Jungle Warfare Training Center and as an operations officer of the 20th Infantry Battle Group. In 1960, he saw duty with the Airborne Department Infantry School.
During Vietnam, from 1965 to 1966, he served two tours as the theatre logistics officer from the Army Materiel Command and project manager, First Air Calvary. From 1969 to 1971, he saw duty in Europe as first commander of the Equipment Support Group, and later a second command assigned commanding the Combat Equipment Group.
From 1971 to 1973, he was dean of School of Assets Management, U.S. Army Logistics Center, Fort Lee. From 1973 to 1977, he was commander of the first Defense Supply Agency Overseas, Defense General Supply Center, Richmond.
He was awarded a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. From 1978 to 1994, he was the special investigator in over 100 discrimination cases.
Other acknowledgments include aeronautical rating as a single engineer pilot; Hall of Fame, Corps of Engineers; congressional recognition from Representative Cantor in 2003; 18 service medals and decorations; 10 Battle Stars; and 66 months in combat. He also holds the rating as a master parachuter, Combat Infantry Badge with Star and Thai Parachute Badge.
Decorations include: Silver Star, two bronze stars, three legion of merits and Defense Meritorious Service Medal. He was invited to speak at the Korean Army Ceremony for Veterans who supported Korea in 1950. DFF and Army Commendations: Purple Heart, Korean Distinguished Medal with Silver Star. Was recommended for general and found physically disqualified, instead he was awarded combat disability.
He is survived by his wife, Sarah Holmes Grogan; son, the Rev. Bill Grogan, and his wife, the Rev. Fran Grogan, their daughter, Elizabeth Grogan; and daughter Mary Lee Grogan, and her husband, Raphael Connor, Esquire.
Visitations will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, February 29, at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg; and from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at FLM, 8491 Chamberlayne Road, Richmond. A funeral service will be held Tuesday, March 1, at Nelsen Funeral Home.
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