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eMedals-United States. A Posthumous Purple Heart to Electrician's Mate USS Cushing (DD-376), KIA during the Battle of Guadalcanal

Item: M0215-33

United States. A Posthumous Purple Heart to Electrician's Mate USS Cushing (DD-376), KIA during the Battle of Guadalcanal

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United States. A Posthumous Purple Heart to Electrician's Mate USS Cushing (DD-376), KIA during the Battle of Guadalcanal


Two-piece construction, in sterling silver gilt with purple and white enamels, engraved "EDWARD W. BAUER EM3c USN" on the reverse, measuring 35 mm (w) x 43.5 mm (h), original ribbon with brooch pinback, intact enamels, scattered gilt wear throughout, in its hardshelled "coffin-style" case of issue, very fine. Accompanied by two reproduction photographs of USS Cushing, along with copies of his Service Records and assorted research papers.

 
Footnote: Edward William Bauer was born on July 24, 1920 in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania, the son of Frank Joseph Bauer Sr. He was baptized in the Roman Catholic faith at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Erie, on August 8, 1920. Bauer completed Grade 12, last attending Cathedral College from September 1938 to June 1939. He worked for five months as a Case Insulator before enlisting with the United States Navy, signing his Application for Enlistment at the Naval Recruiting Station as an Apprentice Seaman (2342774) in Buffalo, New York, on October 1, 1940, for six years' service, naming his next-of-kin as his father, Frank Joseph Bauer Sr. of Erie, stating that he had no previous military service and that he was not married. Nine days later, he was posted to the Naval Training Station in Newport, Rhode Island on October 10, 1940, where he qualified in recruit swimming. After seven weeks at Newport, he was transferred to the West Coast on November 27, 1940 and posted to the United States Naval Training Station at San Diego, California on December 1st. He achieved the rank of Seaman 2nd Class on February 1, 1941 and was posted to the Mahan-class destroyer USS Cushing (DD-376) from February 8 to October 2, 1941. The USS Cushing was the third Navy ship named for Commander William Barker Cushing (1842-1874). It was during this time that he saw a promotion to Seaman 1st Class on July 1, 1941. While posted to the United States Naval Training Station at San Diego, Bauer qualified as a Motion Picture Operator, in a course taken from October 2 to December 6, 1941. He was posted to the Recruiting Station at San Diego from December 6 to 22, 1941, then re-joined the USS Cushing for service in the Pacific theater, the ship having undergone overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard at Vallejo, California, near San Francisco, when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor. Bauer would see his final promotion while with USS Cushing, this time to Electrician's Mate Third Class, on May 1, 1942. USS Cushing sailed from San Francisco, California on December 17, 1941, with a brief stop in San Diego, for convoy escort duty between the west coast and Pearl Harbor until January 13, 1942. She then sailed to the Midway Islands, to serve on anti-submarine patrol from January 18th to February 2nd, before returning to San Francisco on February 19th, to screen Task Force 1 off the California coast in training and patrol duty. On August 1, 1942, USS Cushing departed San Francisco for training exercises at Pearl Harbor, then joined the operations around Guadalcanal. Constantly on the move, she escorted vital re-supply convoys to the bitterly contested island, and fought in the Battle of Santa Cruz on October, 26th, when an outnumbered American force turned a Japanese flotilla back from their advance toward Guadalcanal. Bauer is credited with having been at the Battle of Santa Cruz in the Solomon Islands, followed seventeen days later by the Capture and Defense of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands on November 12, 1942. USS Cushing was under the command of Lieutenant Commander Edward N. Parker. The ship had screened transports safely into Guadalcanal on November 12, 1942, and was in the van of the force that moved out to intercept the Japanese fleet in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on the night of Friday, November 13, 1942. The Landing Support Group under Rear Admiral D.J. Callaghan encountered a Japanese Raiding Group, including two battleships, steaming ahead to bombard Henderson Field at Guadalcanal. A devastating naval action ensued in the darkness off Guadalcanal, two miles to the southeast of Savo Island. USS Cushing was able to hit the Kongo class destroyer Hiei with three torpedoes, along with a second destroyer of unknown class with five hits, with a large explosion and no gunfire observed on the second enemy ship. The USS Cushing itself was heavily hit by enemy fire at about 0200 on November 13th and was stopped, lying dead in the water with no power on the ship but she determinedly continued to fire her guns at the enemy, launching her torpedoes by local direction at an enemy battleship.
 
Shortly thereafter, the ship again came under heavy fire, to which no adequate reply could be made. At about 0220, while under fire, the Commanding Officer ordered that the ship be abandoned, and about one half of the crew and four officers who were not wounded, along with over sixty-five wounded men and six wounded officers left the ship. As the range closed, she suddenly sighted three enemy destroyers at 3,000 yards. Due to the enemy fire, the ship commenced to burn furiously forward, spreading aft, along with a fire below decks aft. At about 0315, the Commanding Officer left the ship and believed that he was the last man off the ship. The USS Cushing burned the day of November 13th until about 1700, when as reported by Lieutenant-Colonel William J. Fox, United States Marine Corps, observing from Guadalcanal, there was a large explosion at the location of the USS Cushing and cold air moved in on the water, with no further sign of the ship being seen, the ship sinking about 3,500 yards southeast of Savo Island. Air search from this area on the morning of November 14th found wreckage, but there was no sign of the ship. USS Cushing lost about seventy men killed or missing, some of the men rescued from the water, many of which were wounded. Heavy damage had been inflicted on the United States force before the Japanese Raiding Group retired northward, the Americans losing twelve ships, while the Japanese lost three ships. Despite the loss, along with the task force, she had aided in saving Guadalcanal's Henderson Field from bombardment by the Japanese forces. Her hulk currently rests at the bottom of the waters around Savo Island, in an area around Guadalcanal known as "Ironbottom Sound." 2342774 Electrician's Mate Third Class Edward William Bauer, United States Navy was aboard the USS Cushing (DD-376) when it was sunk by Japanese naval gunfire in the Guadalcanal/Savo vicinity, with Bauer declared Missing in Action following the Third Battle of Savo Island on November 13, 1942. The date of his death for administrative purposes within the naval service was determined to be November 14, 1942, declared "Killed in Action", as his remains were "non-recoverable". In a telegram addressed to his father, from Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs, The Chief of Naval Personnel, dated January 10, 1943, Jacobs stated "The Navy Department deeply regrets to inform you that your son, Edward William Bauer Electrician's Mate Third Class USN is missing following action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country. The Department appreciates your great anxiety but details not now available and delay in receipt thereof must necessarily be expected. To prevent possible aid to our enemies please do not divulge the name of his ship or station." One year after his death, in a letter sent to his parents, from the Secretary of the Navy, dated November 16, 1943, the Secretary stated "in view of the immediate and subsequent searches made for the personnel after the battle, and due to the length of time that has elapsed without any indication that your son survived, I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that he is deceased". Electrician's Mate Third Class Edward William Bauer, United States Navy is remembered with honor on the Walls of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Taguig City, Manila, Metro Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, as his final resting place is unknown. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart with Certificate, along with the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
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