Bjarnason, Paul Henrik, CAPT

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Captain
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1958-1961, NAVBASE Guantanamo Bay
Service Years
1930 - 1961
Captain
Captain

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

272 kb

Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1913
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Bjarnason, Paul Henrik, CAPT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
San Diego, CA
Last Address
Falls Church, VA

Date of Passing
Jan 04, 1999
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
3-U 1

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US Navy Retired 30


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 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
US NavyMine Force Pacific Fleet (MINEPAC)COMPATRECONFORPACUSS Chemung (AO-30)
NAVBASE Guantanamo Bay
  1936-1938, USS California (BB-44)
  1938-1940, USS Hamilton (DD-141)
  1940-1942, USS Bowditch (AGS-21)
  1942-1943, USS Stockton (DD-646)
  1944-1944, Mine Force Pacific Fleet (MINEPAC)
  1945-1946, USS Henry A. Wiley (DD-749)
  1947-1949, NAVSUPDEPT, COMPATRECONFORPAC
  1954-1955, USS Chemung (AO-30)
  1958-1961, NAVBASE Guantanamo Bay
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1939-1940 Neutrality Operations in the North Atlantic
  1942-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1945-1945 World War II/China-Burma-India Theater/China Defensive Campaign (1942-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyNaval War College
  1932-1936, United States Naval Academy1
  1948-1949, Naval War College2
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Jun 28, 1936, Commissioned as Ensign
  Jun 04, 1939, Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade
  Jun 30, 1942, Promoted to Lieutenant
  May 01, 1943, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Mar 15, 1944, Promoted to Commander
  Jul 01, 1955, Promoted to Captain
  Jan 04, 1999, Paul (Poul) Henrik Bjarnason
  Mar 17, 2007, Ship and Crew Salute: USS Henry A. Wiley Day
  Sep 06, 2017, General Photos2
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Paul Henrik Bjarnason
NSN: 0-77152, United States Navy (Ret.)

Paul (born Poul) Henrik Bjarnason, 85, a retired Navy captain who was a highly decorated combat veteran of World War II and later worked for the Navy as a civilian, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 4 at his home in Falls Church. Capt. Bjarnason was commanding the destroyer-minelayer Henry A. Wiley when he sailed into Okinawa in May 1945. As the ship came under concentrated attack from the air, he "directed skillfully coordinated offensive gunfire to destroy four enemy planes," according to the citation accompanying the Navy Cross he was awarded after the battle. It is the Navy's highest award for valor after the Medal of Honor. Capt. Bjarnason, at the time a commander, also received the Legion of Merit, with Combat "V" for valor and a second Legion of Merit. His ship received the highly prized Presidential Unit Citation for its service under his command. After the war, he held a variety of staff, command and teaching posts on land and at sea. He taught seamanship and navigation at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, graduated from the Naval War College and served as head of the anti-submarine warfare surface training section in the office of an assistant chief of Naval Operations. From 1958 until retiring from active duty in 1961, he served as commanding officer of the naval station of the Navy Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Capt. Bjarnason, a native of San Diego, enlisted in the Navy in 1930, serving as a sailor before entering the Naval Academy from the fleet. In 1936, he graduated from the academy. Before the war, he served aboard such ships as the carrier Saratoga and battleships Mississippi and California. He also commanded a ship doing hydrographic research projects. In November 1942, he became became executive officer and navigator aboard the destroyer Stockton. He worked on convoy operations in the Atlantic, then went to the Southwest Pacific theater in the fight for the Admiralty Islands and took command of a mine division. After he retired in 1961, he was a program manager with the Naval Electronics Systems Command until about 1980.
   
Other Comments:

Navy Cross
Awarded for Actions During World War II
Service: Navy
Division: U.S.S. Henry A. Wiley (DD-749)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Commander Paul Henrik Bjarnason (NSN: 0-77152), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of this profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. HENRY A. WILEY (DD-749), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the vicinity of Okinawa, on 4 and 5 May 1945. During this period he ably commanded his ship, showing extreme courage, skill in combat, and determination, during numerous concentrated and determined attacks against his ship by enemy aircraft, and Baka bombs. Were it not for his demonstrated coolness in action, as well as a fine coordination of offensive directed gunfire his ship would not have avoided certain destruction. As a result of this extensive action his ship destroyed four enemy planes and two Baka bombs. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
   
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