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Austin, Bernard Lige

Date of birth:
December 15th, 1902 (Wagener/South Carolina, United States)
Date of death:
September 21st, 1979 (Bethesda/Maryland, United States)
Buried on:
United States Naval Academy Cemetery
Plot: 3. Grave: 328.
Service number:
0-58722
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Commander
Unit:
Destroyer Division 46, U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
January 14th, 1944
Citation:
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Commander, Destroyer Division Forty-Six (DesDiv 46), during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area from 31 October to 2 November 1943. Under heavy fire from hostile shore batteries, Commodore Austin led his squadron in the initial bombardment of Buna-Bonis and the first daylight shelling of the Shortland Area. In a subsequent engagement with a Japanese force of superior fire power, Task Force Thirty-Nine (RF-39), of which Destroyer Division Forty-Six was a unit, succeeded in sinking five enemy warships and damaging four. Commodore Austin's calm courage and heroic determination on the exposed bridge of his flagship contributed to the protection of our operations at Empress Augusta Bay and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Commander, Southern Pacific Forces: Serial 00162 (January 14, 1944).
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Commander
Unit:
Destroyer Division 46, U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
January 14th, 1944
Navy Cross
Citation:
"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commander, Destroyer Division Forty-Six (DesDiv 46), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on the night of 1 - 2 November 1943. With his Task Force engaging a Japanese surface force of superior fire power, Captain Austin hurled the full fighting strength of his ships against the enemy and, by his inspiring leadership and skilled combat tactics, aided his Task Force in sinking five hostile warships, in damaging four others and in completely routing the enemy, thereby contributing materially to the successful establishment of our beachhead on Bougainville Island. His determination, relentless fighting spirit and gallant devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Commander Southern Pacific Forces: Serial 00162 (January 14, 1944).
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Captain
Unit:
Destroyer Division 46, Destroyer Squadron 23, U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
January 17th, 1944
Navy Cross
Citation:
"for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commander, Destroyer Division Forty-Six, attached to Destroyer Squadron Twenty-Three, during a night engagement with six enemy Japanese warships off Bougainville, British Solomon Islands, on 24 - 25 November 1942. Seeking out and fearlessly engaging a powerful enemy, Commodore Austin fought his Division with resolute courage and daring aggressiveness, frequently risking his own personal safety to press home vigorous, unrelenting attacks upon Japanese surface forces. By his extreme valor and inspiring leadership, he evoked the indomitable fighting spirit which enabled the gallant officers and men under his command to contribute materially to the crushing defeat imposed upon the enemy in the sinking of four ships and the serious damaging of two others. An expert seaman and tactician, Commodore Austin retired his forces from the engagement without loss or damage and his high devotion to duty and splendid conduct throughout the action were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Second Navy Cross received as a Golden Star to be worn on the ribbon of the first Navy Cross.
Commander Southern Pacific: Serial 00193 (January 17, 1944).
At the time of the presentation he held the rank of Commodore.
Period:
Korean War (1950-1953)
Rank:
Captain
Unit:
Service Squadron 3, U.S. Navy
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Commander Service Squadron THREE operating in logistical support of the SEVENTH Fleet and Joint Task Force SEVEN during operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Korean Area from 10 July 1950 to 8 February 1951. Foresighted and expert in planning, Captain Austin enabled the mobile logistics force under his command to meet the heavy demands of the Fleet during a period of rapid expansion and continual deployment of our operating forces according to a frequently changing military situation. By his successful performance in maintaining adequate stock levels of all classes of materials, in expeditiously delivering vitally needed supplies and in making constantly available excellent repair and maintenance service in the combat area, he was instrumental in enabling our combatant forces to remain at sea over prolonged periods while conducting uninterrupted attacks against the enemy, including the successful large-scale amphibious landings of Joint Task Force SEVEN at Inch'on in September and at Wonsan in October 1950. An aggressive, professionally skilled and forceful leader, Captain Austin rendered distinguished and important service and contributed to the maintenance of a high degree of material readiness by our forces throughout a critical period, thereby upholding the best traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC
Period:
Vietnam War (1955-1975)
Rank:
Vice Admiral
Unit:
U.S. Naval War College, U.S. Navy
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States, as President, U.S. Naval War College, from July 1960 to July 1964. Vice Admiral Austin drew upon his great wealth of wisdom and experience in a dedicated effort to enrich the postgraduate education of students at the Naval War college in the field of maritime strategy and its relationship to overall national and allied objectives and strategy. His judicious direction of academic policy was instrumental in increasing and maintaining the highest levels of professional scholarship. His personal participation in the instructional program exemplified the highest standards of leadership, character, and intellectual integrity. Vice Admiral Austin's inauguration of annual meetings of the heads of U.S. Service War Colleges provided invaluable media for comparison and coordination of their academic programs and procedures. He was instrumental in the development of a program of annual conferences of Presidents and Directors of the War Colleges of the Americas, which are proving highly beneficial to professional and diplomatic relationships among the participants. Vice Admiral Austin rendered outstanding and distinguished service to the nation in advancing the development of military leadership, in improving the operational effectiveness of the Navy, and in promoting interservice and allied good will and understanding. His inspiring leadership and dedicated devotion to duty reflected the greatest credit upon himself and were in the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC
Period:
Vietnam War (1955-1975)
Rank:
Vice Admiral
Unit:
Inter-American Defense Board
Awarded on:
June 28th, 1967
Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as the Chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board from August 1964 to June 1967. As Chairman of this international military organization consisting of twenty American Republics, Vice Admiral Austin has gained the confidence and respect of his associates and has been highly successful in furthering United States national policy and security interests. Guiding the board to a new sense of unity and purpose, he has attained outstanding cooperation among the military forces of the hemisphere, in support of Inter-American Defense Board policies formulated with a view toward solving the complex problems of the defense and security of the Western Hemisphere. Through his outstanding leadership, Vice Admiral Austin has fostered the need for a better understanding of the requirement for unit among the countries of the Western Hemisphere, thus contributing to the maintenance of world peace and security. His distinguished performance of duty reflects great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service."

Board Serial 4822
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Commodore
Unit:
Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, U.S. Navy
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Assistant Chief of Staff for Administration on the Staff of Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, from 9 June 1944 to 1 September 1945. Commodore Austin displayed outstanding professional ability, keen analytical perception and initiative in the performance of duty in connection with the administration of the Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas during the Marianas, Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns and the occupation of Japan. His efficient organization, foresight, leadership and devotion to duty were direct contributing factors to the success of these operations and the defeat of the Japanese Empire and were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

With "V" device
Legion of Merit - US Military
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

"V" device
Bronze Star  Medal (BSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

1 bronze star & Fleet clasp
American Defence Service Medal
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

2 campaign stars
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

5 campaign stars
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Period:
Vietnam War (1955-1975)
Rank:
Vice Admiral

Sources

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