Adams County

Bernard Wayne Long


Commendation to Long

“Missing in Action” Since Nov. 13

Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Long of Lincoln township have received a letter from the Navy Department, stating that the Bureau of Naval Personnel has awarded a special commendation to their son, Bernard Wayne Long, who has been reported missing in action since last November. The ship he was on was lost November 13, 1942. The letter from the Bureau says:

June 21, 1943
My dear Mrs. Long:

The Bureau is pleased to inform you that your son, Bernard Wayne Long, Chief Gunner’s Mate, United States Navy, who has been reported missing in action, has been commended by the Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force for his services as set forth below:

“For skillful and effective performance of duty during the engagement with Japanese naval forces near Santa Cruz Island on October 26, 1942. Long served as Chief Gunner’s Mate aboard a destroyer which was in the screen of an aircraft carrier and which was subjected to repeated attacks by enemy dive and torpedo bombers. When a 5” gun was unable to fire, Long repaired it while under enemy bombardment, thus enabling it to continue in action during the remainder of the battle. His conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service.”

It is regretted that since the commendation referred to contains certain information which at present is confidential, it must be retained in the Bureau until such time as the need for secrecy is past. It will be forwarded to you at a later date. I am sure you will understand the need for withholding such confidential information at the present time.

Sincerely yours,
Randall Jacobs,
Rear Admiral, U. S. N.
The Chief of Naval Personnel.

Source: Adams County Free Press, Corning, Iowa, Thursday, July 15, 1943, Page 7

Censorship Lifted on
Bernard Long Death


After many months of being held in the confidential files, the facts concerning the death of Chief Gunner’s mate Bernard Wayne Long, of Lincoln Township, have now been released for publication by the War Department. Long’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Long, Corning Route 2, on June 16 were officially notified by Capt. G. M. Stoddard, U. S. N. Assistant Director, enlisted personnel division, that the information is no longer considered confidential and now has been released for publication.

While Mr. and Mrs. Long have known for many months that their son was lost, censorship regulations have prevented publication of the facts in regard to his death. Even now all of the details are not available or known but Long went down with the U. S. S. Barton in the Pacific area on November 13, 1942. The ship was lost by Jap attacks with dive and torpedo bombers.

Given Citation

Wayne’s parents have received an official citation given their son and signed by Admiral W. F. Halsey. They have also received the Purple Heart and a beautiful “Grateful Memory” certificate signed by the President of the United States. The official citation reads as follows;

“For skillful and effective performance of duty during the engagement with Japanese naval forces near Santa Cruz Islands on October 26, 1942. LONG served as Chief Gunner’s Mate aboard a destroyer which was in the screen of an aircraft carrier and which was subjected to repeated attacks by enemy dive and torpedo bombers. When number three gun of the 5” mounts were unable to fire LONG repaired it while under enemy bombardment, thus enabling it to continue in action during the remainder of the battle. His conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service.”

Admiral, U. S. Navy.


Joined in 1934

Bernard Wayne Long was an “old timer” in the United States Navy, having enlisted November 6, 1934. In the course of his service before Pearl Harbor, he was awarded many honors for valor and bravery, including the highest honors given by the Chinese government. He served for 3 ½ years in Chinese waters and his ship was close by when the Japs sank the United States Gun Boat Panay [December 12, 1937] and his ship picked up many of the survivors. Long experienced many combat scenes months before Pearl Harbor while doing convoy duty in the Pacific. 

Bernard Wayne Long was born in Adams County, May 13, 1916 and was lost at sea November 13, 1942, aged 26 years and 7 months. He received his early education in the rural schools of Lincoln Township and later attended high school at Grant. His last visit home was in October, 1940. At that time he expressed the opinion that eventually war was coming and would rather die fighting than live under Hitler’s heel. He died at his battle station, fearless and unafraid, doing his duty as he saw it. He had been promoted to Chief Gunner’s Mate and was performing the duty of a gun captain when his ship was lost.

Bernard is survived by his father and mother; 5 brothers, 3 of whom are in the armed forces; 1 sister; 3 nieces and 2 nephews.

Receive Letters
During the past months Mr. and Ms. Long have received nearly 50 letters and communications from shipmates of their son, expressing sympathy and words of encouragement. All of the letters reflect the high respect his shipmates had for him. Bernard was though of as one of the men, even though he held a higher rank. All stated that he never attempted to impose upon his men and had been many times spoken of as the best liked man on the ship, by both enlisted men and officers.

Below we are permitted to print in full two of the many letters which Mr. and Mrs. Long have received. These two letters are typical of all the others received, expressing high esteem in which Bernard was held by all his mates:

I knew your son, B. Wayne, so I am writing you to find out if you can tell me something about him. I went on board the Barton last June 1, and I was in the same gun crew with Wayne. He was the gun captain and it was his first pointer. We went through the Barton’s first firing practice together. I guess we became pretty close friends for he and I would sit by the gun on a lot of midnight watches and he told be all about you and his home back in Iowa. One morning in August (about 10th) we pulled into Norfolk, Va. I got a telegram that afternoon that my brother was dead so he came over and told me he was sorry about my brother. He had just made chief and was putting on his new chief’s uniform for the first time. As I went off the gangway I took a look back and he was standing near gun two. I waved and said, “so long “Huey” (we called him “Huey” after Huey P. Long), don’t let old “Betsy” Barton get sunk.” He smiled and said, “Don’t worry about him.”

That’s the last time I saw him but I wrote him a few times and the letters came back. So I was looking thru a list of missing men and came across his name. It really hurt me, Mrs. Long, and I certainly sympathize with you. If there is anything I can do please let me know. Maybe there is something you would want to know that I could tell you. I would like for you to write me and tell me what happened to him and the Barton if you could and if anyone else that was on the Barton has written to you. Please tell me their names and addresses. If you read anything in the paper about the Barton please tell me. My deepest regrets for you son for he is one you can be proud of.
Lloyd Sanders, S 1-C U.S.N.

Your notice in this month’s “Our Navy” attracted my attention. Heard the U. S. S. Barton was sunk, made many inquiries about Bernard and your notice is the first news. My feelings are with you. Your son was a true friend, a real sailor and a devoted man – or warsman. Any Mother is proud to have such a son.

The ship attacked the night after, revenge was so sweet, the enemy paid dearly in sweat and blood as well as ships and equipment. Our damage was light and a few more days will see us on our way back.

Bernard and myself were the best of buddies during our tour of duty on the Gwin. I’m sure if he really is gone he went out like a real man. Of course all [Page 8] of us fellows face all this and I’m sure he felt the same way as I do, if my turn comes its for the protection of our own and my life is worth the freedom which we have, and my loved ones at home have been protected.

As for news, we were at sea the night the U. S. S. Barton met her misfortune, seems the battle lasted three nights. We met the foe with our group and punished them, they that were left ran and failed or dared not to return. Saw a message of ships missing and as far as the Barton is concerned I could not see or hear from anyone from her.

Hope you hear from one that can give you all the details, if there is any news I can gather, rest assured I’ll write. You son was everything you expected of him and one any fellow would want for shipmate and a friend.

Of course you’ll drop a line, hope some more letters come from his shipmates. I’ll be back there doing my duty and do my utmost aiding to crush the foe and make him pay and pay.
James Gokey

Source: Adams County Free Press, Corning, Iowa, Thursday, July 06, 1944, Pages 1 & 8

Service Honors Trio War Dead


A joint Memorial Service, honoring the memory of three young men of the Grant community who lost their lives while in the service of their country in World War II, was held Sunday afternoon. The men honored were Lt. Loren F. Taylor, Pvt. Robert D. Bryson and CGM. Bernard Wayne Long. The service was largely attended by relatives and friends of the three men.

The service was in charge of Rev. Griey White and Rev. A. Breeling, assisted by members of the Grant American Legion Post. Each of the ministers gave appropriate remarks stressing the importance of realizing and appreciating the great sacrifices our soldier dead have made, in order that our ideals and liberties may be maintained.

Music for the service was furnished by the Weaver Brothers quartet with Mrs. Alta Schuler as pianist. The Legion ritual, paying tribute to the memory of the dead comrades, was given. The Legion also presented a flag to each of the three mothers of the men being honored. The three families presented a large floor basket of huge, dark red poppies, in memory of all men who gave their lives in World Wars I and II.

CGm. Bernard Wayne Long, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Long, was born in Lincoln Township, Adams County, Ia., May 13, 1916. He attended the Grant High School and joined the U. S. Navy November 6, 1934. He was lost at sea in a night engagement when the U. S. S. Barton was lost off Savol Island, near Guadalcanal, November 13, 1942. He was aged 26 years, 5 months. Of the crew of 265 men on the Barton, only 65 survived the battle. CGm. Long is survived by his parents; one sister and five brothers. Three of the brothers served with the armed forces, one with the army, one with the Navy and one is still in the Marine Corps. He also leaves many other relatives and friends who mourn his early passing

[NOTE: Portions of this article regarding Lt. Loren F. Taylor and Pvt. Robert D. Bryson have been omitted but may be found on their individual webpages within this site.]

Source: Adams County Free Press, Corning, Iowa, Thursday, May 30, 1946, Page 6

NOTE: The USS Barton (DD-599) was hit in her midsection, resulting in a massive explosion that broke her in half. She sank within a matter of minutes. Robert Ballard found the forward section of the U.S.S. Barton in 1992 southeast of Savo Island. Upon examination of the wreck site, only the hull and superstructure in front of the boiler room was intact. The stern section was not located.