Caption - "CDR. Paul H. Bastedo, US Navy, awarded the distinguished service medal." Naval Historical Center Photographic Section, #NH 54945.

Rear Admiral
Paul Henry Bastedo, USN

25 February 1887 - 17 April 1951

Addresses of President Roosevelt before a Joint Session of the National Congress and the Supreme Court of Brazil at Rio de Janeiro

Lucky Bag - 1908

President Roosevelt's 1936 Cruise to Latin America on USS Indianapolis: A Scrapbook


Paul Henry Bastedo was born in Buffalo, New York, on 25 February 1887, son of Walter Stanley and Catherine Ann (Henry) Bastedo. He attended grammar and high schools in Buffalo, and entered the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, from his native state in 1904. Graduated on 5 June 1908, he served the two years at sea, then required by law, before he was commissioned Ensign on 6 June 1910. Advancing periodically in rank he attained that of Captain to date from 1 July 1936. On 1 April 1944, he was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy, and advanced to the rank of Rear Admiral on the basis of combat awards.

Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1908, he joined the USS Montana, and in January 1910 transferred to the USS Michigan. Detached from that battleship in October of that year, he continued sea duty aboard the USS Dolphin. In May 1912, he reported as Assistant to the Engineer Officer aboard the USS Utah, with further service in the fire control party.

Returning to the United States in April 1913, he had duty in connection with the machinery aboard the USS Cassin, building at the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. When that destroyer was commissioned, 9 August 1913, he joined her to serve for a year. Between September 1914 and August 1917, he was assigned to the Bureau of Steam Engineering, Navy Department, Washington, DC. While there he had additional duty as a Naval Aide to the White House and at the Treasury Department in connection with a conference of delegations of South American Countries to the Pan American Union.

In September 1917 he became Aide on the staff of Commander Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, USS Melville flagship. While in that assignment he had additional duty in London, England, and as a Naval Member of the Inter-Allied Commission. During May and June 1918 he had duty in the USS Cummings, and following a month’s service in the USS Shaw, assumed command of Sub Chaser Squadron One, Corfu, Greece, with additional duty in command of Shore Base of US Naval Base #25.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for “distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commander of Sub-Chaser Squadron One, Hunt Commander Otranto Barrage, and as Commander of detachment of three Sub-Chasers in the engagement Durazzo, when two enemy submarines were destroyed.

In March 1919 he rejoined the staff of Commander Naval Forces Operating in European waters and served as Aide until May 1919, when he reported aboard the USS Chattanooga. Returning to the United States in July 1919, he had fitting out duty in the USS Jacob Jones at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, and assumed command of that destroyer upon her commissioning, 20 October 1919.

Relieved of command of the Jacob Jones in May 1920, he reported as Assistant to the Naval Inspector of Machinery, New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey. He remained there until October 1922, when he reported as Gunnery Officer aboard the USS Utah. Transferred to the USS Wright, he served as her Executive Officer from June 1924 until July 1925, when he returned to shore duty in the office of Naval Intelligence, Navy Department, Washington, DC.

In November 1927 he joined the staff of Commander in Chief, US Fleet, as Aide, with additional duty as Fleet Communication Officer. He served as such until May 1929, and two months later became Assistant Director of the Office of Naval Communications, Navy Department, Washington, DC. Ordered in June 1932 to the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, he had fitting out duty in the USS Indianapolis. She was commissioned on November 15, of that year, and he reported aboard as Executive Officer.

Detached from that cruiser in September 1934, he returned to the Navy Department to serve as Officer in Charge of the Public Relations Office, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department. On 11 May 1936, he became Naval Aide to the President of the United States.

Caption - "South American Cruise: FDR. President Franklin  D. Roosevelt, aboard USS Indianapolis (CA-35), bids farewell to the people of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2 December 1936. Argentina was the second stop on FDR's "good neighbor"  cruise to South America. Next to the president is his son, James Roosevelt, Colonol, USMC. FDR's military aides are at the left: (L to R) Captain Paul H. Bastedo, Colonol E.M. Watson (US Army), and Captain Ross T. McIntire." Naval  Historical Center Photographic Section, #NH 68160.

For two years (December 1937-December 1939), he commanded the USS Quincy, after which he had duty until June 1940 in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department. He completed a course at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, in May 1941, and remained there for duty on the staff until January 1943.

Caption - "USS San Fransisco (CA-38).  View taken aboard ship in 1939; those present (L-R).; Capt. Paul Bastedo, USN (co, USS Quincy, CA-39).; Capt. L.M. Stevens, USN (co, USS Vincennes, CA-44) RADM. John Downes, USN.; Capt. R.C. Parker, USN (co, USS San Fransisco, CA-38)." Naval Historical center Photographic Section, #NH 93597.

Following a temporary assignment in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, he reported in February 1943, as Aide on the staff of Commander US Naval Forces, Europe, with additional duty as Naval Attache at the American Embassy, London, England. In September 1943 his additional duty became his primary assignment, and he continued to serve on the staff of Commander Naval Forces, Europe.

Returning to the United States in March 1944, he was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy on April 1 of that year, but remained on active duty in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, until 1 June 1946.

He died on 17 April 1951, at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal, Rear Admiral Bastedo had the Mexican Service Medal (USS Cassin); the World War I Victory Medal, Submarine Clasp; the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal; the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the American Campaign Medal; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal. He had also been awarded the following foreign decorations: Silver Medal and Citation, and “Fatiche Di Guerre” with Ribbon by the Italian Government; Decoration and Diploma, Commander of the Order of Leopold II, by the Government of Belgium; and Decoration and Diploma, National Order of the Southern Cross, rank of Commendador, by the Government of Brazil.

Adapted from: "Paul Henry Bastedo, US Navy," produced by Office of Information, 9 March 1959, located in Paul Henry Bastedo Biography file, Navy Department Library.

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