Bernard L. Austin
|Born||15 December 1902|
Wagener, South Carolina
|Died||21 September 1979 76) (aged|
|Years of service||1924–1967, 1968|
Bernard Lige Austin (15 December 1902 – 21 September 1979)was a vice admiral of the United States Navy. His career included service in World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War and command of submarines and surface ship forces, during which he became a distinguished combat commander of destroyers. He also commanded the United States Second Fleet, held numerous diplomatic, educational, and administrative staff positions, and a served a lengthy tour of duty as President of the Naval War College.
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second largest and second most powerful air force in the world.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.
Bernard Lige Austin was born on 15 December 1902 in Wagener, South Carolina, the son of Elijah Andrew Austin and Loula Ola Austin nee Gantt. He attended The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, from 1918 to 1920before his appointment to the United States Naval Academy on 17 July 1920. As a midshipman, he participated in creating the U.S. Naval Academy yearbook, Lucky Bag . He was commissioned an ensign upon graduation on 4 June 1924.
Wagener is a town in Aiken County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 797 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area.
South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States and the easternmost of the Deep South. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the southwest by Georgia across the Savannah River.
The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, commonly referred to simply as The Citadel, is a state-supported, comprehensive college located in Charleston, South Carolina, United States. Established in 1842, it is one of six United States senior military colleges. It has 18 academic departments divided into five schools offering 29 majors and 38 minors. The military program is made up of cadets pursuing bachelor's degrees who live on campus. The non-military programs offer 10 residential undergraduate degrees, 24 residential graduate degrees, as well as online/distance programs with 7 online graduate degrees, 3 online undergraduate degrees and 3 certificate programs.
Austin's first assignment was to temporary duty at the Bureau of Ordnance at the United States Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C., during which he was under instruction at the Naval Gun Factory at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, the Naval Proving Ground at Dahlgren, Virginia, and the Naval Powder Factory at Indian Head, Maryland. He completed this assignment in August 1924 and reported aboard the battleship USS New York (BB-34), upon which he served for two years. From July to December 1926, he underwent instruction at the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport, Rhode Island. He then trained until June 1927 on board the minesweeper USS Chewink (AM-39), which was the station ship at Submarine Base New London, Connecticut. In June 1927 he reported aboard the submarine USS R-10 (SS-87), based in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii. In June 1929, he transferred to the submarine USS R-6 (SS-83), serving on board her until May 1931.
The Bureau of Ordnance (BuOrd) was the U.S. Navy's organization responsible for the procurement, storage, and deployment of all naval weapons, between the years 1862 and 1959.
The United States Department of the Navy (DoN) was established by an Act of Congress on April 30, 1798, to provide a government organizational structure to the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps and, when directed by the President, the United States Coast Guard, as a service within the Department of the Navy, though each remain independent service branches. The Department of the Navy was an Executive Department and the Secretary of the Navy was a member of the President's cabinet until 1949, when amendments to the National Security Act of 1947 changed the name of the National Military Establishment to the Department of Defense and made it an Executive Department. The Department of the Navy then became, along with the Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force, a Military Department within the Department of Defense: subject to the authority, direction and control of the Secretary of Defense.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.
During the next three years, Austin was an instructor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Physics at the U.S. Naval Academy, R-11 (SS-88), serving aboard her until June 1937 when he became executive officer of the presidential yacht USS Potomac (AG-25).teaching physics and chemistry. He returned to sea in May 1934 as the commanding officer of the submarine USS
Physics is the natural science that studies matter and its motion and behavior through space and time and that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.
Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.
USS R-11 (SS-88) was an R-class coastal and harbor defense submarine of the United States Navy. Her keel was laid down on by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Quincy, Massachusetts, on March 18, 1918. She was launched on March 21, 1919 sponsored by Miss Dorothy Batchelder, and commissioned on September 5, 1919 with Lieutenant Commander Charles S. Alden in command.
In December 1937, Austin became Press Relations Officer for the Department of the Navy.The position lent itself to his interest in oral communications and allowed him to develop it as a professional skill, and during his tour he delivered speeches written for him by United States Secretary of the Navy Charles Edison and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold R. Stark. He also wrote articles on submarine warfare for Encyclopædia Britannica and the World Book Encyclopedia . Austin believed that this tour played a large role in his eventual achievement of flag rank.
The Secretary of the Navy is a statutory officer and the head of the Department of the Navy, a military department within the Department of Defense of the United States of America.
Charles Edison, was a son of Thomas Edison and Mina Miller Edison. Commonly known as "Lord Edison", he was a businessman, inventor and animal behaviorist who became Assistant and then United States Secretary of the Navy, and served as the 42nd Governor of New Jersey.
The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is the highest-ranking officer and professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral who is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy. In a separate capacity as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the CNO is a military adviser to the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, the Secretary of Defense, and the President. The current Chief of Naval Operations is Admiral John M. Richardson.
Austin remained in the press relations assignment until August 1940, when he was sent to the United States Embassy in London, England, as deputy to Rear Admiral Robert L. Ghormley who, as Special Naval Observer there, was charged with negotiating the operational and technical details of cooperation between the Royal Navy and U.S. Navy in the event that the United States entered World War II. Austin was the only member of Ghormley's mission other than Ghormley himself to attend every meeting with the United Kingdom 's political and naval leadership, including Winston Churchill and Admiral Sidney Bailey. During his tour at the embassy, the United States entered World War II on 7 December 1941.
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
Vice Admiral Robert Lee Ghormley was an admiral in the United States Navy, serving as Commander, South Pacific Area, during the Second World War.
Austin became commanding officer of the destroyer USS Woolsey (DD-437) on 12 February 1942. A lieutenant commander by August 1942, he commanded her until December 1942. While he was in command, Woolsey operated in the Atlantic Ocean, escorting convoys from North America to Iceland, the British Isles, and Puerto Rico. She also took part in Operation Torch, the Allied amphibious invasion of North Africa in November 1942, by which time Austin was a commander. During Torch, Woolsey detected and assisted the destroyers USS Quick (DD-490) and USS Swanson (DD-443) in sinking the German submarine U-173 off Casablanca, French Morocco, on 16 November 1942. For meritorious achievement in command of Woolsey that day, Austin received the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device “V.”
On 22 December 1942, Austin assumed command of the newly commissioned destroyer USS Foote (DD-511), and took her to the Pacific Theater, where in May 1943 he became Commander, Destroyer Division 46, which along with Destroyer Division 45 made up Captain Arleigh Burke 's Destroyer Squadron 23, the famed "Little Beavers." Seeing action in the Solomon Islands campaign, Austin – with the destroyer USS Spence (DD-512) as his flagship – commanded Destroyer Division 46 in two battles off Bougainville Island, the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay on 2 November 1943 and the Battle of Cape St. George on 25 November 1943. In recognition of his service in command of Destroyer Division 46 he was awarded the Navy Cross and, in lieu of a second Navy Cross, a Gold Star. He also received the Silver Star Medal for gallantry while in command during November 1943, and was awarded the Ribbon for the Presidential Unit Citation given to Destroyer Squadron 23 – the only destroyer squadron to receive a Presidential Unit Citation during World War II – for "extraordinary heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces during the Solomon Islands Campaign from November 1, 1943 to February 23, 1944."
In December 1943, Austin took command of Destroyer Squadron 14, with additional duty as Commander, Destroyer Division 27.
Promoted to commodore after his exploits in the Solomons, Austin became the youngest flag officer in the U.S. Navy at the time.On 15 April 1944 he became Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Training on the staff of Commander, Destroyers, United States Pacific Fleet. On 9 June 1944, he became Assistant Chief of Staff for Administration to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, remaining in the position through the end of World War II in August 1945. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service during this assignment.
On 25 October 1945, Austin was ordered to duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C.. In December 1945, he became Navy secretary of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee. Following this he became a member of the first class of the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C. In June 1947, he was detached to duty as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Politico-Military Affairs at the Department of the Navy, serving in that position until October 1949. During this period, he performed a one-year special-duty assignment at the Office of the Naval Attaché, London, England, as a student at the British Imperial Defence College.completing his studies there in 1949.
In January 1950, Austin was designated Commander, Service Squadron 1. In July 1950, immediately after the outbreak of the Korean War, he was sent to the Western Pacific to organize Service Squadron 3 and command it in logistics operations in support of the United Nations combat effort in Korea. In May 1951 he was assigned to the International Affairs Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, serving as that division's assistant director until February 1952, when he was advanced to director, serving in that position until May 1954. During this tour he served as the first U.S. Navy member of the National Security Council staff. He then became Commander, Cruiser Division 2. In April 1955 he joined the staff of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).
On 15 March 1956, Austin was promoted to the rank of vice admiral and became Director of the Joint Staff for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., remaining in that position until 31 March 1958. In May 1958, he assumed command of the United States Second Fleet with additional duty as Commander, Strike Fleet, Atlantic. Beginning in March 1959, Austin served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Plans and Policy).
On 30 June 1960, Austin became the 32nd President of the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island. He served as president until 31 July 1964, his four-year term being the longest presidency in the college's history at the time. During his presidency, he played a key role in creating the Naval Command College for senior foreign naval officers. He received a Gold Star in lieu of a second award of the Distinguished Service Medal for service during his college presidency, the citation saying that "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” and praising his role in developing a program of annual conferences of presidents and directors of the war colleges of the Americas, saying they were "highly beneficial to professional and diplomatic relationships among the participants.? While at the war college, he served in 1963 as president of a board of inquiry looking into the 10 April 1963 loss of the submarine USS Thresher (SSN-593).
On 1 August 1964, Austin officially retired from the Navy as a vice admiral, but instead of entering retirement he was retained on active duty as chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board in Washington, D.C. He received a second Gold Star in lieu of a third award of the Distinguished Service Medal for his service on the board.He then was assigned to the Bureau of Naval Personnel at the Department of the Navy in August 1967, serving there until 17 October 1967, when he was released from active duty and entered retirement.
Ordered to return to active duty in June 1968, Austin was attached until 15 August 1968 and again from November to December 1968 to the staff of the Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet, to serve as president of a board of inquiry investigating the May 1968 disappearance of the submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589) in the North Atlantic Ocean. He returned to retirement on 14 December 1968.
Austin married the former Isabella Murray Leith (d. 20 May 1983) in 1925.They had three daughters, Alexandra, Jane, and Leith.
Austin died on 21 September 1979 in Bethesda, Maryland.He is buried with his wife at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery.
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Stuart H. Ingersoll
| President of the Naval War College |
30 June 1960–31 July 1964
Charles L. Melson