AUSTIN C. BEHAN, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Austin Behan '25

Date of birth: December 4, 1902

Date of death: February 17, 1945

Age: 42

Lucky Bag

From the 1925 Lucky Bag:


Loss

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 killed.

His wife was listed as next of kin; Austin was also survived by two daughters.

Silver Star

1925 Behan 1.jpg

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.

Service: Navy
Division: U.S.S. Pensacola (CA-24)

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1925

Ensign, USS Colorado

Others at this command: LCDR Daniel Callaghan '11, LT Theodore Chandler '15, and LTjg Frederick Kahn '21.

October 1925

Ensign, USS Colorado

Others at this command: LCDR Daniel Callaghan '11, LT Theodore Chandler '15, and LTjg Frederick Kahn '21.

January 1926

Ensign, USS Colorado

Others at this command: LCDR Daniel Callaghan '11, LT Theodore Chandler '15, and LTjg Frederick Kahn '21.

October 1926

Ensign, USS McCawley

January 1927

Ensign, USS McCawley

April 1927

Ensign, USS McCawley

October 1927

Ensign, USS McCawley

January 1928

Ensign, USS McCawley

April 1928

Ensign, USS McCawley

July 1928

Ensign, USS McCawley

October 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS McCawley

January 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: ENS Eugene Sarsfield '26 and ENS Mannert Abele '26.

April 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: ENS Eugene Sarsfield '26 and ENS Mannert Abele '26.

July 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: ENS Eugene Karpe '26, ENS Paul Tobelman '26, and ENS William Myers '26.

October 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: LTjg Eugene Karpe '26, LTjg Paul Tobelman '26, and LTjg William Myers '26.

January 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), for assignment, Submarine Division 3, USS S-12

April 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-20

Others at this command: LT Robert Smith '20.

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-20

Others at this command: LT Robert Smith '20.

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-20

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-20

July 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-20

October 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-20

January 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-20

April 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-20

July 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cuyama

October 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cuyama

January 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cuyama

April 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cuyama

October 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), navigator, USS Cuyama

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), navigator, USS Cuyama

April 1936

Lieutenant, navigator, USS Cuyama

July 1936

Lieutenant, navigator, USS Cuyama

January 1937

Lieutenant, USS San Francisco

Others at this command: LTjg Millard Klein '31.

April 1937

Lieutenant, USS San Francisco

Others at this command: LTjg Millard Klein '31.

September 1937

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Others at this command: LT Max Stormes '24.

January 1938

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Others at this command: LT Max Stormes '24.

July 1938

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Others at this command: LT Max Stormes '24.

January 1939

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Others at this command: LT Max Stormes '24.

October 1939

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Henley

June 1940

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Henley

November 1940

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Henley

April 1941

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Henley


Class of 1925

Austin is one of 30 members of the Class of 1925 on Virtual Memorial Hall.