Owens was killed in a firefight during an intelligence gathering raid that left three more SEALs wounded. "The United States would not long exist were it not for the selfless commitment of such warriors", said Defense Secretary James Mattis in a statement.
At least three other US service members were injured in the raid.
Owens enlisted in August 1998 and has been assigned to East Coast-based special warfare units since 2007, according to a biography provided by the Navy.
San Francisco Giants star Buster Posey posted a heartfelt statement on social media in remembrance of a SEAL Team 6 member who was killed during a raid on al Qaeda militants in Yemen, according to the Department of Defense.
William Ryan Owens, 36, of IL was targeting an Al-Qaeda-linked group when he was killed.
According to unofficial records, no Marine Corps or Air Force Ospreys have been lost to enemy fire in almost 10 years of operations, although at least two, including one Air Force CV-22B, crashed while supporting combat operations.
"We saw that female fighters ran to pre-established positions, as though they had trained to be ready, and trained to be combatants and engaged with us", said Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
"Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism". Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. A Saudi Arabian-led military coalition has been helping government forces battle the rebels.
Pentagon officials stated Tuesday that information obtained in Saturday's raid is already being used to foil potential terrorist plots.