Frank Hutches Austin, Jr., was born in Kenville, Texas, October 18, 1924, son of Dr. Frank H. Austin, Sr., and Mrs. (Ruby Collins) Austin. He attended the University of Texas, at Austin, and Southwestern Medical College in Dallas, Texas, receiving the degree of Medical Doctor from the latter in June 1948. In July of that year he was commissioned Lieutenant (junior grade) in the Medical Corps of the US Navy, and subsequently advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, to date from January 1, 1956.
Reporting first to the Naval Hospital, Long beach, California, he completed his internship there in April 1950, and from May to August of that year was Resident in Surgery at the Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Illinois. He attended the School of Aviation Medicine, at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, during the period September 1950 to February 1951, and as a Flight Surgeons served until June 1952 with Marine Fighter Squadron 212, operating in the Korea Area. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, with Combat “V” and citation to follow:
“For meritorious service as Flight Surgeon of Marine Fighter Squadron Two Hundred Twelve in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea from 27 March to 10 December 1951. An officer of marked professional skill and resourcefulness, Lieutenant (jg) Austin performed difficult operations at all hours of the day and night during this period and was largely instrumental in suppressing a violet epidemic at Yongil-Man Airfield in Korea. Throughout a period of three months at sea, he constantly made himself available on the flight deck during combat operational activities, rendered immediate attention to wounded and injured airmen on their return from missions and greatly aided the ship’s medical department in caring for all those on board. By his tireless devotion to duty and concern for all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the US Naval Service.”
Upon his return to the United States in June 1952, he was ordered to the Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, where he served as Flight Surgeon from July through December 1952. In January 1953 he reported to the Chief Naval Air Training, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, and remained there as a Student Naval Aviator until April 1954, when he completed flight training and was designated Naval Aviator. The next month he joined Transport Squadron 3 at the Naval Air Station, Atlantic City, New Jersey, as Flight Surgeon Naval Aviator. In January 1957 he was ordered detached for duty at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, his current assignment.
In addition to the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V,” Lieutenant Commander Austin has the American Campaign medal and the World War II Victory Medal for service as a member of the NROTC Unit while receiving his medical education (from June 3, 1944 until June 1948); the National Defense Service medal; Korean Service Medal, with four operations stars; and the Nations Service Medal.