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CWO John Arnold Austin
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Birth: Aug. 30, 1905
Jefferson County
Alabama, USA
Death: Dec. 7, 1941
Pearl Harbor
Honolulu County
Hawaii, USA

Austin was born in Warrior, Alabama, and enlisted in the United States Navy on 20 November 1920. Between that time and 26 July 1935, he served four successive enlistments. On that date, Austin accepted an acting appointment as carpenter (warrant officer grade) and reported on board the submarine tender Canopus then serving as a unit of the Asiatic Fleet. On 8 August, he detached from the tender and reported for duty in Augusta. On 4 December 1935, Austin received a permanent warrant as a carpenter. He left the heavy cruiser on 13 July 1937 and reported on board Tennessee on 10 September 1937. He served in that battleship until detached on 14 June 1939 to proceed to further assignment to Rigel reporting on 18 July 1939. After 14 months in that destroyer tender, Carpenter Austin departed on 21 September 1940 bound for duty in Oklahoma and reported on board the battleship on 5 October 1940. In October 1941, Austin received a commission as chief carpenter (commissioned warrant officer).

On the morning of 7 December 1941, Chief Carpenter Austin was in Oklahoma. When the battleship capsized as a result of Japanese bombs and torpedoes, he was trapped below water with many of his shipmates. Austin searched for a means of escape and found a porthole which, though beneath the surface, offered just such an avenue. As a result of his efforts, 15 sailors escaped a watery grave. Chief Carpenter Austin, however, did not. As his citation reads, "He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country." Chief Carpenter Austin was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.

USS Austin (DE-15), was an Evarts-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy during World War II. The ship was named for Chief Carpenter John Arnold Austin (1905-1941) who was killed in action on board USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941, and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

The USS OKLAHOMA Memorial was dedicated 7 December 2007 on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. The memorial stands on the shores of Ford Island, next to the former berth of the Oklahoma. Today the USS Missouri museum is moored where the Oklahoma was moored when she was sunk.

The memorial's black granite walls suggest the once formidable hull of the Oklahoma. On the black granite wall is the alphabetical list of each sailor and what row his marble standard is in. When the wall is photographed the marble standards can be seen in the reflection. The white marble standards represent its lost sailors and Marines. Each perfectly aligned marble standard symbolizes an individual in pristine white dress uniform, inspired from the naval tradition of ‘manning the rails.' In full dress whites the ship's crew stand at attention along the rails or in the rigging of the ship to display respect and honor. The marble standards of this memorial stand perfectly straight, ‘manning the rails' of the Oklahoma, forever.

Chief CARPENTER John Arnold Austin's white marble standards is in Row 1.


Link to mass graves of 389 Crew USS Oklahoma, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

Family links: 
  John Mack Austin (1883 - 1944)
  Bertha Thompson Austin (1885 - 1966)
  John Arnold Austin (1905 - 1941)*
  John Arnold Austin (1905 - 1941)
  John Arnold Austin (1905 - 1941)*
  Opal Austin Brackett (1907 - 1990)*
  J Elton Austin (1915 - 1930)*
  Joseph Horace Austin (1922 - 2001)*
*Calculated relationship
USS Oklahoma Memorial
Pearl Harbor
Honolulu County
Hawaii, USA
Plot: Row 1
GPS (lat/lon): 21.36371, -157.95433
Created by: Debbie (Tetrault) & Bruc...
Record added: Sep 28, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77247530
CWO John Arnold Austin
Added by: ET
CWO John Arnold Austin
Added by: Debbie (Tetrault) & Bruce Almeida
CWO John Arnold Austin
Added by: Debbie (Tetrault) & Bruce Almeida
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NARA records list his Next of Kin's Home of Record as Orange, California...Your service and sacrifice must never be forgotten.
- Eric Ackerman
 Added: Mar. 28, 2016
- O'KC
 Added: Sep. 28, 2015
You are missed, Thank You
- Phil
 Added: Aug. 31, 2014
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