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John Arnold Austin was born in Warrior, Ala. on 30 August 1905. He enlisted in the Navy on 20 November 1920. Between that time and 26 July 1935, he served four successive enlistments. On the latter day, Austin accepted an acting appointment as carpenter (warrant officer grade). That same day, he reported on board Canopus (AS 9) then serving as a unit of the Asiatic Fleet. On 08 August, he detached from temporary duty in the submarine tender and reported for duty in Augusta (CA 31). On 04 December 1935, Austin received a permanent warrant as a carpenter. He left the heavy cruiser on 13 July 1937 and reported on board Tennessee (BB 43) on 10 September 1937. He served in that battleship until detached on 14 June 1939 to proceed to further assignment to Rigel (AD 13) reporting on 18 July 1939. After 14 months in that destroyer tender, Carpenter Austin departed on 21 September 1940 bound for duty in Oklahoma (BB 37) and reported on board the battleship on 05 October 1940. In October 1941, Austin received a commission as chief carpenter (commissioned warrant officer).
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the morning of 07 December 1941, Chief Carpenter Austin was in Oklahoma. When the battleship capsized as a result of Japanese bombs and torpedoes, he was trapped below water with many of his shipmates. Austin searched for a means of escape and found a porthole which, though beneath the surface, offered just such an avenue. As a result of his efforts, 15 sailors escaped a watery grave. Chief Carpenter Austin, however, did not. As his citation reads, "He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country." Chief Carpenter Austin was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.
USS Austin (DE 15) (1943-1945) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
(Photo from War History Online)
DE / FF / LCS Archive
|135k||25 September 1943: Mare Island Naval Shipyard - USS Austin (DE 15) is being launched.||Darryl Baker
PNCM, USNR (ret.)
Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
|47k||Austin of the 'Evarts' type shown in camouflage measure 32/9D. She has four single hand-worked Bofors, for Pacific service. This gave
her a close-range armament of six Bofors and ten Oerlikons.
[U.S. Navy photo from the book "Allied Escort Ships of World War II (A Complete Survey)" by Peter Elliott]
Bosnia - Hercegovina
|77k||undated wartime image, shown in camouflage measure 32/9D||Jerry Church|
|331k||07 September 1944: USS Austin (DE 15) photographed off Dutch Harbor, Alaska||David Wright|
Yard / District Craft Archive
|200k||07 November 1944: Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard||Pieter Bakels
Wehl, The Netherlands
|459k||07 November 1944: San Francisco, Cal. - Two views of Austin's stern taken while she was at Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard||Ed Zajkowski
|195k||January 1945: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Austin (DE 15) at Pearl Harbor, circa in January 1945. She is painted in
Camouflage Measure 32, Design 9D. From 01 to 28 January, Austin conducted submarine training exercises south of the island of Oahu. Note the South Dakota-class battleship in the
background. Per Bill Fessenden; It should be noted that DANFS mentions only one ship of that class in Pearl Harbor at the time, namely USS Indiana (BB 58). BB 58 is stated
to have been in Pearl Harbor from 12 Dec 44 until 10 Jan 45. Of the other units in the class, USS South Dakota (BB 57) and USS Massachusetts (BB 59) were
operating with Task Force 38 in the Western Pacific, while USS Alabama (BB 60) was enroute Puget Sound, having left Ulithi on 24 Dec 44. BB 60 entered drydock on 18 Jan 45.
(U.S. Navy photo from the USS Texas (BB 35) World War II cruise book)
England, United Kingdom
|View the USS Austin (DE 15) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS Austin as submitted by the ship at war's end.||View a short article on the design and development of the Evarts Class DE submitted by Bob Sables.|
|Austin's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 13 Feb. 1943 - 20 Oct. 1943||Lcdr. Herbert Gordon Claudius, USNR (Comm. CO) (Omaha, Neb.)|
|2.) 20 Oct. 1943 - 03 May 1944||Lt. Philip Dana Holden, USNR (Winetka, Ill.)|
|3.) 03 May 1944 - 01 Nov. 1945||Lcdr. Warren Hudson White, USNR|
|4.) 01 Nov. 1945 - 01 Dec. 1945||Lt. James Louis Tedford, USNR|
|5.) 01 Dec. 1945 - 21 Dec. 1945||Lt. E. E. Richardson, USNR (Decomm. CO)|
Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.
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Page Last Updated: 10 January 2023