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|9k||Vernard Eugene Bivin was born in Greenville, Kentucky, on 23 November 1921. He enlisted in the Navy at Louisville, Kentucky, on 26 March 1940. Seaman 1st Class Bivin served as trainer on one of the heavy cruiser Salt Lake City's (CA 25) 5"/25 guns during the Battle of Cape Esperance on the night of 11-12 October 1942, when Task Group 62.4, under Rear Admiral Norman Scott, engaged a Japanese force of three heavy cruisers and two destroyers bent on shelling Henderson Field. Although Salt Lake City and light cruiser Boise (CL 47) crippled Japanese heavy cruiser Furutaka during that fierce night engagement; both cruisers suffered damage in the fierce night action. S1c Bivin remained at his battle station, executing his duties so well that none of the other members of the gunís crew knew he had been mortally wounded. Only when he collapsed during a lull in the battle, still trying to keep his pointers matched and the gun firing without cessation, did they learn of the extent of the young Kentuckianís injuries that ultimately claimed his life. His courageous devotion to duty resulted in his being awarded, posthumously, the Navy Cross.
USS Bivin (DE 536) (1944-1947) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
(Photo © USS Salt Lake City Association courtesy of Sandy Eskew)
|92k||undated wartime image||John Klar|
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