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USN Presidential Citation Ribbon


Citation submitted by Fred Holthe, USS Bronstein DE 189.  Mr. Holthe also submitted a copy of the award letter he received 16 March 1954 when he requested a copy of the Citation.  The letter is below.

Mr. Holthe states, "Regarding the part in the Citation about being temporarily disabled -  When the acoustic torpedo exploded off our stern the stern came up out of the water and slammed back down.  This caused a complete power failure of the entire ship.  We were dead in the water, all that worked were the swvd powered head sets.  It took the engineering officer about 15 minutes to get us moving and all power restored.  I guess with all that was happening the subs were not aware of our problem. This was a rather scary time for us. "




            The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Presidential Unit Citation to the


for service set forth in the following:


                       "For exceptionally meritorious achievement in the performance of outstanding combat service against enemy forces in the Atlantic Ocean area from 29 February to 17 March 1944.  While operating as part of an anti-submarine task group on the night of 29 February, the U.S.S. Bronstein engaged three German submarines during a four and one-half hour period and struck heavily and effectively throughout the concentrated action to score decisive victories.  Vigilant and determined, this intrepid ship took U-441 under gunfire, successfully preventing a surface torpedo attack on two friendly escorts and, after the enemy vessel submerged, proceeded to launch an underwater weapons attack which inflicted extensive damage upon the U-boat and forced its return to a repair base.  Encountering U-709 by sonar contact, the BRONSTEIN succeeded in sinking this submarine with the assistance of two other vessels and, in the final action of the night, gain sonar contact on U-603, which was making an approach on a friendly aircraft carrier.  In the ensuing engagement, the BRONSTEIN skillfully maneuvered into position and sank the enemy submarine unassisted, although temporarily disabled by the explosion of an acoustic torpedo in her wake.  Sixteen days later, the BRONSTEIN, together with another escort, sank a third U-boat and captured prisoners from the ill-fated submarine.  Consistently maintaining a superior degree of efficiency in the performance of her assigned missions, this gallant ship established an optimum level of anti-submarine effectiveness for escort vessels during World War II.  By her readiness for combat, and the skill, courage and determination of her valiant officers and men, the U.S.S. BRONSTEIN rendered invaluable service in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."





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