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Henry Chester Bruton

Date of birth: February 15, 1905
Date of death: August 15, 1992
Place of Birth: Arkansas, Belleville
Home of record: Little Rock Arkansas

Henry Bruton graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1926. He retired as a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Henry Chester Bruton (NSN: 0-60171), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. GREENLING (SS-213), in the successful conduct of an offensive war patrol during the SECOND War Patrol of that vessel from 10 July 1942 until 1 September 1942. In spite of strong enemy counter measures, he coolly and courageously pressed home every favorable attack opportunity and succeeded in sinking a total of 23,950 tons of enemy merchant shipping. During one depth charge attack, depth charges were dropping sufficiently close to jar personnel from their feet and to cause minor damage throughout the ship, but he brought his ship through and his crew home without loss and in splendid offensive spirits. His courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet: Serial 24

Action Date: July 10 - September 1, 1942

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Company: Commanding Officer

Division: U.S.S. Greenling (SS-213)

Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Henry Chester Bruton (NSN: 0-60171), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. GREENLING (SS-213). Lieutenant Commander Bruton conducted an aggressive and successful war patrol in enemy controlled waters, during the THIRD War Patrol of that vessel, from 23 September 1942 to 1 November 1942. Undeterred by numerous anti-submarine patrol craft and the severe enemy counter-offensive, Commander Bruton conducted a consistently successful and aggressive War Patrol against a determined and relentless foe. His superb seamanship, skill and inspiring leadership enabled the GREENLING to sink a total of 32,050 tons of enemy shipping and to damage severely one converted aircraft carrier of 22,000 tons. Commander Bruton brought his ship through unscathed and his crew home without loss or injury and with fighting spirit undiminished. His courage and skill were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander In Chief Pacific Fleet: Serial 03549 (December 10, 1942)

Action Date: September 23 - November 1, 1942

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Company: Commanding Officer

Division: U.S.S. Greenling (SS-213)

Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Henry Chester Bruton (NSN: 0-60171), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. GREENLING (SS-213), on the FOURTH War Patrol of that vessel in enemy waters during the period 9 December 1942 through 31 January 1943. Pursuing daring and effective tactics, Commander Bruton skillfully maneuvered the GREENLING into the most advantageous attack position during each engagement and boldly struck at the enemy, sinking one 1,500 ton destroyer, three medium-sized cargo vessels and one small escort vessel, a total of 20,700 tons, and damaging a large tanker of 9,000 tons. His brilliant seamanship enabled the GREENLING to evade damage from vigorous counter-attacks by the Japanese surface vessels following these actions. His actions and conduct are a continuation of his illustrious record, and are in keeping with the best traditions of the Navy of the United States.

General Orders: Commander Southwest Pacific Forces: Serial 0214 (February 18, 1943)

Action Date: December 9, 1942 - January 31, 1943

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Company: Commanding Officer

Division: U.S.S. Greenling (SS-213)

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Commander Henry Chester Bruton (NSN: 0-60171), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commander Submarine Division 82 and for the performance of outstanding service as training officer of Task Force 72. It was his responsibility to arrange and supervise the attack training of every submarine of Task Force 72 prior to going on patrol. The diligence, industry and experience of this training greatly contributed to the success of submarines of Task Force 72 during combat with the enemy. His performance has been outstanding and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: World War II

Service: Navy

Rank: Commander

Company: Commanding Officer

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit to Captain Henry Chester Bruton (NSN: 0-60171), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States from 17 November 1944 to 10 July 1945 as Chief of Staff, Commander Training Command, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet. Through his comprehensive understanding of submarine problems, his initiative and resourcefulness, and his executive ability he assisted materially in the training and upkeep of our submarines for war patrols in enemy waters and to the destruction and damage they inflicted on the enemy. His intelligent planning and organization of an outstanding system for the training of commanding officers, officers and men of the submarine force, has been an important factor in the high state of efficiency of our submarines for war patrols. He was further responsible for the attack doctrines, evasive tactics and counter anti-submarine measures developed through a skillful study of enemy tactics and anti-submarine measures, and for the development of lifeguard exercises which enabled our submarines to successfully carry out missions of recovering numerous aviators downed in enemy waters. His conduct throughout was an inspiration to all submarine personnel, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: November 17, 1944 - July 10, 1945

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Cold War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in addition to two previously awarded Gold Stars in lieu of a Third Award of the Legion of Merit (Army Award) to Rear Admiral Henry Chester Bruton (NSN: 0-60171), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commander, Task Group 7.3, Joint Task Force 7, at Washington, D.C. and Eniwetok-Bikini Atolls, Marshall Islands, from 1 June 1953 to 15 May 1954. Joint Task Force SEVEN, composed of Army, Navy and Air Force elements and a scientific Task Group, in cooperation with the Atomic Energy Commission, conducted at the Pacific Proving Grounds nuclear and thermonuclear tests, Operation CASTLE, which were of nation importance and international significance. The success of the operation was dependent to a great degree upon naval support, and direct responsibility for overall development and fulfillment of the mission assigned the navy Task Group devolved from Admiral Bruton as its Commander. This mission included, but was not limited to, maintaining air and surface security for the Marshall Islands area, providing intra-atoll surface transportation, supplying the facilities of the afloat phases of the scientific program, and undertaking, and actually participating in a number of the scheduled tests. During the course of operations, certain scientific developments occurred which exacted considerable, unforeseen requirements of the Navy Task Group. Through his effective planning and forceful, competent direction, resulting in the most judicious utilization of the forces available to him, he was able to accomplish with marked success these additional unanticipated tasks. Rear Admiral Bruton's outstanding precision and efficiency in the conduct of naval operations contributed immeasurably to the success of Operation CASTLE, reflecting great credit upon himself and the military service.

Action Date: June 1, 1953 - May 15, 1954

Service: Navy

Rank: Rear Admiral

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Cold War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Second Gold Star in addition to a previously awarded Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Legion of Merit to Rear Admiral Henry Chester Bruton (NSN: 0-60171), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Director, Communications-Electronics Division, Headquarters, United States European Command, from 30 June 1958 to 31 July 1960. Rear Admiral Bruton had made a significant contribution to the successful accomplishment of the many joint communications-electronics tasks in the European Command area of responsibility. Under his direction, great progress has been made in the fields of electronic warfare, air-navigation aids, and emergency communications. He provided invaluable support to the efforts of the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, to bring about integrated air defense of NATO Europe and other NATO communications-electronics projects.

General Orders: All Hands (December 1960)

Action Date: June 30, 1958 - July 31, 1960

Service: Navy

Rank: Rear Admiral