Christopher Cowen

Sergeant, U.S. Army


C Company
Second Battalion
39th Infantry Regiment
9th Infantry Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: June 15, 1968
Buried at:
Awards: Purple Heart

SERGEANT CHRISTOPHER COWEN  was born on July 6, 1947 to Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Cowen. His home of record was Camden, New Jersey. He was the youngest of three sons, coming after Joseph and William. The family lived in Woodlynne, New Jersey. Christopher Cowen graduated from Collingswood High School in 1966 and was drafted into the United States Army in November of that year.

An expert machine-gunner, Sergeant Cowen began his tour of duty in Vietnam on January 26, 1968. Serving with the 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, Sergeant Cowen was killed in action by small arms fire when he was caught in  crossfire while out on patrol 11 kilometers northeast of Tan An, Long An province, South Vietnam on June 15, 1968. 

On December 26, 2004, close friend and fellow soldier Dan Thuet wrote "We were from different side of the country but we had a lot in common. He was only about 20 feet from me when he was hit, I pulled him back to safety but it was to late, he had already passed. I'll never forget him".

Sergeant Cowen was brought home to New Jersey. It us unknown at this time as to where he was interred. 

is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
on Panel 52W, Row 37.

Philadelphia Inquirer - July 20, 1968

The small Camden suburb of Woodlynne, population 4,500, has suffered its first Vietnam casualty with the death of Army Sgt. Christopher Cowen, the Defense Department reported Friday. 

Sgt. Cowen, 21, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Cowen Sr., of 177 Elm Avenue, Woodlynne. He was killed in a cross-fire while on patrol duty July 15.The sergeant was a 1966 graduate of Collingswood High School and was drafted in November, 1966. He went to Vietnam in January.

In his last letter, dated on his 21st birthday, July 6, Sgt. Cowen wrote, "Things don't look too good because we are moving deeper into enemy territory." His father said he was an expert machine-gunner who frequently went on night "search and destroy" missions. 

Besides his parents, Sgt. Cowen is survived by two brothers, Joseph Jr., 26, and William, 25.



Mike Neibert
Cousin Through Marriage
Salem, NH 

With Honor And Appreciation

As my mind and heart are living in the past this Sunday evening I pause to pay honor and reverence to Chris Cowen. I had never met Chris but did know his Mom and Dad seeing them at mass often in Marlton NJ. My wife is Doris Carr of Philadelphia, Chris' cousin. Doris has spoken of her cousin Chris who sacrificed his life in Vietnam. Doris has touched Chris' name on the wall, and so have my children, I was there but I still have not been able to approach the wall in three different visits, I have given up, it is hard to describe other than to simply share that I too served in country as a US Naval Advisor 1969-1971 and memories, feelings and emotions are complex and difficult when in such close proximity to the wall. To Chris and the entire Cowen family, thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Mike Neibert
September 05, 2004