Behrens, William Wohlsen, RADM

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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1945-1948, Navy Recruiting Station Bainbridge, MD
Service Years
1917 - 1948
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Kent Weekly (SS/DSV) (DBF), EMCS to remember Behrens, William Wohlsen, RADM USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Lancaster, PA
Last Address
Harrisburg, PA

Date of Passing
Jun 27, 1965
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
United States Navy Memorial
  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

During WWI, William Behrens served in the enlisted ranks as follows:
S1c - Section Base, Cape May, NJ from 6/6/1917 to 11/10/17
YN2 - USS Margo (SP-870) from 11/10/1917 to 12/10/1918
YN2 - USS Frances II (SP-503) from 12/10/18 to 9/3/1918
Other Comments:

Navy Cross
Awarded for Actions During World War II
Service: Navy
Division: U.S.S. Houston (CA-30)
General Orders: Commander 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0301 (
November 30, 1944)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain William Wohlsen Behrens (NSN: 0-55422), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of this profession as Commanding Officer of the Heavy Cruiser U.S.S. HOUSTON (CA-30), during enemy air attacks on the evening of 14 October 1944, off Formosa. When his ship was torpedoed, dead in the water and dangerously stricken, Captain Behrens coolly supervised the evacuation of excess personnel, directed effective damage control measures and supervised the ship's being placed in tow by another cruiser. Subsequently his ship was again torpedoed in enemy air attacks on
16 October 1944. Again his cool action and unflagging determination were an inspiration to his officers and men, contributing in a large part to his ship's continued retirement to safety. His courage and skill were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Submarine Chasers (SC)US NavyNAVSTA PhiladelphiaNaval Ship Yard Philidelphia, PA
USS Cimarron (AO-22)Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)
  1919-1920, Submarine Chaser SC-26
  1920-1920, USS Quincy (AK-10)
  1920-1921, USS Ramapo (AO-12)
  1921-1922, USS Conner (DD-72)
  1922-1923, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport RI
  1923-1924, USS Bruce (DD-329)
  1924-1926, USS Whitney (AD-4)
  1926-1927, USS Wyoming (BB-32)
  1927-1928, NAVSTA Philadelphia
  1928-1929, USS Mahan (DD-102)
  1929-1931, USS Lansdale (DM-6)
  1931-1931, USS Wyoming (AG-17)
  1931-1932, USS Claxton (DD-140)
  1932-1932, USS Iuka (AT/ATO-37)
  1932-1934, 4th Naval District
  1934-1935, USS Minneapolis (CA-36)
  1935-1936, USS Henderson (AP-1)
  1936-1938, USS Southard (DD-207)
  1937-1939, Naval Ship Yard Philidelphia, PA
  1939-1940, USS Cimarron (AO-22)
  1940-1942, USS Concord (CL-10)
  1942-1943, Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)
  1943-1945, USS Houston (CL-81)
  1945-1948, Navy Recruiting Station Bainbridge, MD
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1917-1918 World War I
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Philippine Sea
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Saipan
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Guam
  1944-1944 Western Caroline Islands Operation/Battle of Peleliu
  1944-1944 Asiatic-Pacific Specified Raids (1944)/Formosa Air Battle
 Colleges Attended 
Franklin and Marshall CollegeTemple UniversityUniversity of Pennsylvania
  1914-1915, Franklin and Marshall College
  1915-1916, Temple University
  1916-1917, University of Pennsylvania
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Apr 11, 1917, Promoted to S1c
  May 01, 1918, Promoted to YN2
  May 07, 1919, Commissioned as Ensign
  Jun 01, 1922, Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade
  Jun 01, 1925, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Jun 30, 1934, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Jul 01, 1939, Promoted to Commander
  Jun 17, 1942, Promoted to Captain
  Aug 22, 1945, Promoted to Commodore
  Jan 01, 1948, Retired
  Nov 30, 2019, General Photos
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