AUSTIN C. BEHAN, CDR, USN
Austin Behan '25
Date of birth: December 4, 1902
Date of death: February 17, 1945
From the 1925 Lucky Bag:
Austin was lost on February 17, 1945, when USS Pensacola (CA 24) was damaged by shore battery fire from Iwo Jima. He was the ship's executive officer. Two other officers and fourteen men were also lost.
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Commander Austin Carty Behan (NSN: 0-59498), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in the line of his profession as First Lieutenant of the U.S.S. PENSACOLA (CA-24), during the operation of that vessel subsequent to the torpedo hit received on the night of 30 November - 1 December 1942, against enemy forces off Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal. With the safety of the ship definitely endangered by the fires raging in the vicinity of the mainmast, Lieutenant Commander Behan, with utter disregard for his own safety and his life hazarded because of exploding 8.5-inch and 20-mm. ammunition, distinguished himself by his skill, knowledge, and intrepidity in fighting the fires, bringing them under control, and finally extinguishing them, thereby aiding materially in saving the ship. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.
Division: U.S.S. Pensacola (CA-24)