Capt. Robert C. Barnhart Jr., USN (Ret.)|
Robert C. Barnhart Jr. died from pneumonia at Lake Forest, CA on December 15, 2012. He was 92 years old.
Born in Johnstown, PA to Robert C. Barnhart Sr. and Edna Adams Barnhart, Bob went to Valley Forge Military Academy on a trombone scholarship prior to attending the US Naval Academy. Immediately after graduation in 1944, Bob reported to the USS Astoria (CL-90) as a gunnery officer and saw action at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Bob married Paula Jeen Gay of Long Beach, CA on March 24, 1945.
After WWII, Bob served aboard the USS Harwood, taught NROTC at Cornell University, graduated from the Naval War College and was a Company Officer at USNA. He was XO of the USS Hanson (DD 832) from 1957-1958. His first command was the USS Newell (DER 322) out of Pearl Harbor, HI, in 1958. After a tour at the Pentagon and graduation from the National War College, Bob became CO of the USS Turner Joy (DD 951) in 1963. On August 4, 1964, the USS Turner Joy and the USS Maddox (DD 731) were attacked by North Vietnamese PT boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Turner Joy sank 2 PT boats during this action, for which Bob received a bronze star. This attack caused Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Johnson the authority to greatly increase US presence in Viet Nam.
In 1968, Bob became CO of the USS Jouett (DLG 29), for which he received another bronze star for actions in the Gulf of Tonkin. In 1970, Bob moved to London where he was Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans and Policies for CINCUSNAVEUR. Bob completed his 30 year career in the Navy as Chief of Staff, 4th Naval District, Philadelphia, PA.
After retirement from the Navy, Bob settled in Lake Forest, CA, where he worked for General Dynamics, Pomona for 10 years before completely retiring.
In 1979, his wife of 34 years, Jeen, passed away. Bob remarried on September 13, 1980 to Valmere (Dolly) Kasala. Bob's passion was fishing, and he and Dolly would often summer at the family fishing cabin in Pennsylvania. They also volunteered at Saddleback Hospital when not traveling. After 31 years of marriage, Dolly passed away in February, 2012.
Bob is survived by his sister, Muriel Luke of Johnstown, PA; by his children, Bobby, Randy (Class of '73), Annette Colver, and Gary; step-daughters, Lynn Kinigstein and Diane Reynolds; and 14 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held for Bob at Saddleback Church on Saturday, 29 Dec 12, at 10:00 AM.
Published in Orange County Register from Dec. 28 to Dec. 29, 2012