Andrew Lee Young, Jr., was born in Washington, DC, on 11 January 1908, son of Andrew L. and Emmeline E. (Williams) Young. He attended Central High School and Devitt Preparatory School, both in Washington, before entering the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on 15 June 1927. Graduated with the Class of 1931, he was commissioned Ensign on 4 June 1931, and through subsequent promotions attained the rank of Captain, to date from 1 July 1950.
After graduation from the Naval Academy in June 1931, he had brief instruction at the Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, and reported in August of that year to USS New York, operating with Battleship Division One, Battle Force. From June 1932 until June 1938 he remained at sea almost constantly, with successive duty in destroyers of the Scouting Force, USS Leary, USS Humphreys, and USS Tarbell, until July 1934; in USS Houston, of Cruiser Division 5, Scouting Force, until June 1937; and the last year in USS Brazos attached to Train, Base Force.
Returning to the Naval Academy in June 1938, he served as an instructor in the Department of English, History and Government until May 1940. He was again ordered to sea this time to serve aboard USS Preble, A UNIT OF Mine Division ONE, Battle Force, based at Pearl Harbor. He continued duty in Preble after the Japanese attack on the Fleet at Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1941, until March 1942, when he was transferred to USS Farragut. From February until December 1943 he commanded USS Hull, operating first in the North Pacific (Aleutians Area) and later in the Central Pacific (Gilberts and Marshalls).
He attended the Sonar and Combat Intelligence Schools in San Diego, California, in January-February 1944, and in March assumed command of USS Rowe in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific Ocean Area from 13 March 1944 to 20 October 1945…” he was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat “V”. The citation continues:
“…(He) conducted extensive operations, including bombardment missions and offensive sweeps of the Kurile Islands in severe Aleutian winter weather; radar picket duty off Okinawa during many enemy suicide plane attacks; shore bombardment of Ogasawara Gunto, Bonin Islands; service as anti-aircraft and anti-submarine unit in the screen of Task Force THIRTY EIGHT, and on picket station for that force while operating in enemy waters. By his superb seamanship and excellent judgment, he brought his command safe through a 90-miles-an-hour North Pacific storm in January 1945, with only minor damage to the two destroyers…”
He was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, and the Letter of Commendation with commendation from the Commander Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet. The citations follow:
Bronze Star Medal: “For heroic achievement in connection with operations against the enemy…from June 2 to September 2, 1945, during (which) period his ship served on Radar Picket Station at Okinawa, as shore bombardment ship at Ogasawara Gunto, and in the antiaircraft and antisubmarine screen of a Task Force operating in enemy waters off the Japanese mainland…”
Letter of Commendation: “For meritorious conduct…during the period June 2 to June 20, 1945, while operating on radar picket duty off Okinawa…”
From February 1946 to July 1948 he served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Intelligence), Navy Department, Washington, DC, after which he again had sea duty until June 1950 as Intelligence Officer on the staff of Commander Second Task Fleet, Atlantic. During that period he was attached successively to USS Missouri, USS Leyte, and USS F. D. Roosevelt, flagships. He was then on duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, as Assistant Head of the Intelligence Branch.
In addition to the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, both with Combat “V”, and the Commendation Ribbon, Captain Young had the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; Philippine Liberation Ribbon; World War II Victory Medal; and the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp.