PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Austin, Bernard Lige
Date of birth: December 15th, 1902 (Wagener/South Carolina, United States)
Nationality:  American
BIOGRAPHY: 
Service number: NSN: 0-58722

For his services after the Second world War, Bernard Austin received three times the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.
     
SILVER STAR MEDAL (SSM)
Rank: Commander
Unit: Destroyer Division Forty-Six (DesDiv 46)
Awarded on: January 14th, 1944
Action: 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."
Details: Commander, Southern Pacific Forces: Serial 00162 (January 14, 1944).
 
     
NAVY CROSS
Rank: Commander
Unit: Destroyer Division Forty-Six (DesDiv 46)
Awarded on: January 14th, 1944
Action: 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."
Details: Commander Southern Pacific Forces: Serial 00162 (January 14, 1944).
 
     
NAVY CROSS
Rank: Captain
Unit: Destroyer Division Forty-Six (DesDiv 46), Destroyer Squadron Twenty-Three (DesSquad 23) (Destroyer Division Forty-Six (DesDiv 46), Destroyer Squadron Twenty-Three (DesSquad 23))
Awarded on: January 17th, 1944
Action: 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."
Details: 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.
 
 
 
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Information source(s):   - Sterner C.D., Recipients of The Navy Cross, 1916 - Present
- The Military Times Hall of Valor
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