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Atkins, Barry Kennedy

Date of birth:
August 2nd, 1911 (Annapolis/Maryland, United States)
Date of death:
November 15th, 2005 (Richmond/Virginia, United States)
Nationality:
American

Biography

Promotions:
1932: Ensign;
1935: Lieutenant (junior grade);
1942: Lieutenant Commander;
July 1944: Commander;
?: Captain;
?: Rear Admiral.

Career:
1928 - 1932: United States Naval Academy;
1932 - 1933: U.S.S. "Tennessee";
1933 - 1936: U.S.S. "New Mexico";
1936 - 1938: 1st Lieutenant U.S.S. "Mahan";
1938 - 1939: U.S.S. "Cuyama";
1939 - 1941: U.S. Naval Academy;
July 31st, 1941: Gunnery Officer U.S.S. "Parrott" (DD 218);
August 1942: Motor Torpedoboat Training Station, Melville, Rhode Island;
October 10th, 1942: Commander Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 8 (MTB-8);
1943: Commanding Officer Advanced Bases;
December 1943: Commanding Officer PT Boat Shakedown Detail, Miami, Florida;
1943: Executive Officer U.S.S. Melvin (DD-680);
1943: Commanding Officer U.S.S. "Melvin" (DD 680);
?: Commanding Officer U.S.S. "Holder";
August 1947: United Nations Military Staff Committee;
March 1950: Fleet Sonar School, Key West;
?: Surface Operations Officer / Staff Navigator;
March 1951: Chief of Staff Carrier Division 14;
December 1952 - juli 1955: Staff Officer Commander in Chief, U. S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, London;
July 1955 - August 1956: Commanding Officer U.S.S. Winston ( AKA 94 ), Yokosuka, Japan;
August 1956: Commanding Officer Transport Division 32;
April 1957: Commanding Officer Amphibious Squadron 3 / Amphibious Group, Western Pacific;
Jauary 1958: Commanding Officer Naval Station Annapolis, Maryland / Chief of Staff to the Superintendent of the Naval Academy;
November 1st, 1959: Retirement.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Commander
Unit:
U.S.S. Melvin (DD-680)
Awarded on:
December 26th, 1944
Action:
Citation:
"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Executive Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. MELVIN (DD-680), in action against enemy Japanese forces at Surigao Strait during the Battle for Leyte Gulf in the Philippine Islands on the night of 24 - 25 October 1944. With United States Destroyer units deployed in a flanking maneuver as tactically disposed PT boats opened fire on a formidable column of Japanese battleships, cruisers and destroyers advancing under cover of darkness towards our waiting forces, Commander Adkins placed MELVIN in an advantageous striking position within close range of the enemy forces. Although silhouetted by the illumination of star shells, and under fire, he launched his torpedoes with precise timing in the first, sudden, coordinated attack, surprised the enemy and rendered him vulnerable to the smashing blows of our heavy Naval units. Subsequently retiring without damage from the furious engagement which resulted in the sinking of two Japanese battleships and three destroyers before effective return fire could be brought to bear upon our Task Force, Commander Atkins by his forceful leadership, professional ability and determination in the face of tremendous odds, contributed materially to the decisive defeat of the enemy force. His courage and devotion to duty throughout reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service."
Details:
Commander 3d Amphibious Force: Serial 00394 (December 26, 1944).
At the moment of the action he held the rank of Lieutenant.
Navy Cross
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Commander
Unit:
Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron EIGHT (MTB-8)
Awarded on:
November 25th, 1943
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
Action:
Citation:
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action as Commander of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron EIGHT (MTB-8), and as Commanding Officer of Advanced Bases from February to October 1943. In addition to participating in numerous hazardous patrols as Officer in Tactical Command, Commander Atkins labored tirelessly in the preparation of detailed plans for the assigned nightly missions, executing his duties so effectively that the resupply of enemy positions was materially reduced. On two occasions, when vessels under his immediate command engaged a force of enemy Japanese barges with vigorous gunfire, he skillfully maneuvered for maximum striking power and succeeded in sinking eleven hostile ships. Commander Atkins' brilliant leadership and courageous devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Details:
Commander, 7th Fleet: Serial 02378 (November 25, 1943).
At the time of the action he held the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

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