HARRY F. BAUER, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Harry Bauer '27

Date of birth: July 17, 1904

Date of death: September 5, 1942

Age: 38

Lucky Bag

From the 1927 Lucky Bag:

Loss & Biography

From Find A Grave:

Harry Frederick Bauer (July 17, 1904 – September 5, 1942) was an naval officer in the United States Navy.

Born at Camp Thomas in Lytle, Georgia, Bauer, the son of a U. S. Army First Sergeant, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1927. During career he served at shore stations, including a tour as instructor at the US Naval Academy, and an Ensign assigned to duty aboard the USS Arkansas (BB-33). By 1931 Harry had been promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade and continued his service on the Arkansas. During his service on the Arkansas, he was awarded a Letter of Commendation by the Secretary of the Navy.

He subsequently served on the USS Babbitt (DD-128) and on the USS Elliott. In June 1934 he was reassigned to the Naval Academy for post graduate work and as an instructor. On 1 January 1935, Jackie and Harry’s only child, Emilie, was born. In 1936 he was assigned as Aide and Flag Lieutenant to the Commander Cruisers, Scouting Force and from there he went to the USS Tracy (DD-214) as executive officer. (Note: In 1927, the United States Naval Academy did not award academic degrees to their graduates. Instead, they were commissioned in the Armed Forces as Officers. This was changed by an Act of Congress approved on 8 July 1937 and supplemented by the Navy with Bureau of Navigation Bulletin Number 251, 28 August 1937. Officers who were graduates of the Naval Academy were allowed to apply for the award of a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1937 while assigned to the Tracy, Harry applied for his degree and it was granted.) In February 1939 he was assigned to the Office of the Detail Officer at the Bureau of Navigation, Department of the Navy, Washington D.C. On 1 July 1941 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. He remained in Washington until he assumed command of the USS Gregory (APD 3) on 1 January 1942.

Harry was lost when USS Gregory (APD 3) was sunk near Guadalcanal by Japanese surface forces early in the morning of September 5, 1942. He was the commanding officer.

Harry has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery; his wife was listed as next of kin.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Commander Harry Frederick Bauer (NSN: 061133), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. GREGORY (APD-3) during action against enemy Japanese forces off Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 4 September 1942. When hostile vessels moved in under the misty haze of night and bombarded our shore positions, Lieutenant Commander Bauer, although seriously handicapped by limitation of fire power and reduction of armament, unhesitatingly steamed forward to challenge the attacking foe. Suddenly spotlighted under a flood of illumination from two forces of Japanese destroyers, he fought his ship with courageous determination and grim defiance, well aware that she was unequipped to engage an outnumbering force in battle. Scoring several hits on the enemy while attempting to withdraw before a vigorous curtain of fire, he kept his guns blazing away until the GREGORY was eventually struck and set aflame. His brilliant leadership and relentless fighting spirit, maintained with utter disregard of personal safety, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander South Pacific Force and Area: Serial 0509 (March 26, 1943)
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Namesake

USS Harry F. Bauer (DD 738) was named for Harry; the ship was sponsored by his widow.

Related Articles

Gus Lofberg, Jr. '27 was in command of USS Little (APD 4), which was also lost in this action.


Class of 1927

Harry is one of 43 members of the Class of 1927 in Memorial Hall.