- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Captain, U.S. Navy
- U.S.S. Columbia (CL-56), U.S. Navy
- Awarded on:
- January 14th, 1944
"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Light Cruiser U.S.S. COLUMBIA (CL-56), during a 36-hour period from midnight 30 October 1943 to noon 2 November 1943. During this period Task Force 39 of which the U.S.S. COLUMBIA was a unit, conducted the first daylight bombardment of the Shortland-Faisi-Ballale Area while subjected to heavy enemy shore battery fire and bombing attacks. The Task Force of which the U.S.S. COLUMBIA was a member, further, decisively defeated in night action, a heavier gunned enemy surface force composed of at least 4 cruisers, of which two were 8-inch cruisers, and 8 destroyers of which at least 1 cruiser and 4 destroyers were sunk and the remainder put to ignominious flight towards their bases with 2 cruisers and 2 destroyers heavily damaged and under hot pursuit by our forces. This defeat prevented the Japanese Task Force from bombarding our beachhead at Empress Augusta Bay, and destroying our transport and mine laying groups and thereby materially contributed to the successful establishment of our land and air forces in the Bougainville Island. The Task Force successfully fought off a heavy air attack by at least 67 Japanese dive and medium bombers with the destruction of at least 17 Japanese planes by the ship's anti-aircraft gunfire. During these actions the U.S.S. COLUMBIA received only negligible damage while inflicting severe damage and casualties to the enemy. By his fearlessness, calmness, and gallant determination on the exposed bridge of his ship Captain Beatty set an example of conduct under stress of battle that was an inspiration. His relentless fighting spirit and devotion to duty, maintained at great risk in the face of grave personal danger was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service."
Commander South Pacific: Serial 00162