LAUFF, Bernard, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1967-1968, 250X, Office of Judge Advocate General (OJAG)
Service Years
1937 - 1968
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Antarctic Circle
Order of the Penguin
Order of the Shellback
Realm of the South Wind
Society of the South Pole

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember LAUFF, Bernard (Ben), CAPT USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Milan Mich.
Last Address
Social Security records show he
died in London, England, 1995.

Date of Passing
Nov 05, 1995
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Department of State Service Badge US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Golden Dragon Operation Deep Freeze III

 Military Association Memberships
Old Antarctic Explorers Association (OAEA)
  1957, Old Antarctic Explorers Association (OAEA)

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Bernard John Lauff, USN (Ret.)

Captured at Wake, December 1941, prisoner of war at Zentsuji, Japan on June 24, 1945, and moved that clay to Roku Roshi, Japan.

Commanding Officer USS Glacier AGB-4:  The ship returned to McMurdo Sound on 28 October 1956 for "Deep Freeze II", having made the earliest seasonal penetration in history. Glacier then delivered stores and supplies at McMurdo and then Little America, she led seven other ships of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) through the ice pack to the two Antarctic bases. In January 1957 she led two cargo ships into Vincennes Bay where the last of the seven American bases for the International Geophysical Year was to be constructed. Glacier departed Wilkes Station on 17 February 1957 for the United States via Melbourne when the operation was completed.

Lauff Island is a small island lying 2 n.mi. north of Cape Dart, Siple Island, off the Bakutis Coast of Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica. It was discovered and photographed from aircraft of USA Navy Operation Highjump, 1946–47, and was named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names for Commander Bernard J. Lauff, US Navy, Commanding Officer of USS Glacier during Operation Deep Freeze, 1956–57.

The Liberty Incident: On the fourth day of the Six Day War (8 Jun 1967), at about 2 PM Sinai time (then, GMT+2), Israeli defense forces attacked the USS Liberty about 14 miles off the coast of the Sinai peninsula, near El Arish.

Captain Bernard J. Lauff, USN, a highly respected veteran of Wake Island in World War II, was designated a member of the U.S. Court of Inquiry which was convened on the Liberty attack. 
The court convened in London at forty-six minutes before midnight on June 10, 1967, two days and a few hours after the attack. Testimony was taken in London from Captain Leonard Robert Raish, the Assistant Chief of Staff for the Commander in Chief U.S. Naval Forces Europe. The court remained in session until 0250 June 11. Rear Admiral Kidd then traveled to Souda Bay, Crete, and boarded the Liberty at sea on June 12 while she was en route to Valletta, Malta. The other members of the court met the ship on June 14, 1967, at the port of Valletta, Malta, and at 0730 the court went into session aboard the Liberty.

The court completed taking evidence in Malta on June 15 and returned to London, where it took additional evidence. The court was closed at 1645 London time on June 16. The court concluded its deliberations two days later and presented its fifty-two findings together with the record of its proceedings to Admiral McCain.

After ten official US investigations (including five congressional investigations), there was never any evidence that the attack was made with knowledge that the target was a US ship. There is substantial evidence the attack was a tragic mistake caused by blunders of both the US and Israel. Eight US presidents, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (41), Clinton, and Bush (43), have each accepted the conclusion that the attack was a tragic case of mistaken identity.

Nevertheless, conspiracy theorists continue to claim the Israelis knowingly attacked a US ship. By some estimates, there are more conspiracy theories about the Liberty incident than about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Captain Bernard J. Lauff was married to Metta Lund of Oslo, Norway. He died in London, England on November 5, 1995 at age 76.
Other Comments:
Prisoner of War Medal
Awarded for actions during the World War II

Ensign Bernard J. Lauff (NSN: 0-97651), United States Navy, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Wake Island on 23 December 1941, and was held as a Prisoner of War until returned to U.S. Military control at the end of the war.

General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947
Action Date: December 23, 1941 - 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Ensign
Division: Prisoner of War (Japan)
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 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
US NavyUS Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)COMPATWING 2 (CPW-2)Prisoner of War
Naval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)CNO - OPNAVUSS Wisconsin (BB-64)USS Canisteo (AO-99)
State Department, Washington, DC, Naval Support Unit (NSU)United Nations Command (UNC)Joint Task Force Support Forces Antarctica USS Glacier (AGB-4)
CTF 43 BLUENavy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Washington, DCNaval Legal Service Units (JAG)
  1937-1937, Naval Training Station (Staff) Norfolk, VA
  1937-1941, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1941-1941, 111X, Naval Activities, Wake Island, 14th Naval District/COMNAVBASE Pearl Harbor
  1941-1941, 110X, COMPATWING 2 (CPW-2)
  1941-1945, 111X, Prisoner of War
  1946-1947, 111X, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1948-1949, 111X, Naval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)
  1949-1950, 111X, Defense Liaison Division, CNO - OPNAV
  1950-1952, 111X, USS Wisconsin (BB-64)
  1953-1954, 111X, USS Canisteo (AO-99)
  1954-1955, 111X, State Department, Washington, DC, Naval Support Unit (NSU)
  1954-1955, 111X, United Nations Command (UNC)
  1956-1957, 111X, Joint Task Force Support Forces Antarctica
  1956-1957, 111X, USS Glacier (AGB-4)
  1956-1957, 111X, CTF 43 BLUE
  1958-1960, 111X, Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Washington, DC
  1967-1968, 250X, Office of Judge Advocate General (OJAG)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Wake Island
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyNaval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
  1937-1941, United States Naval Academy
  1945-1946, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Sep 28, 1945, Send us more Japs1
  Mar 18, 1949, A survey of the instrument landing system glide path
  Jun 10, 1967, The Liberty Incident, US Navy Court of Inquiry.2
  Jul 26, 2016, General Photos1
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