USS Gregory (APD 3).
Harry Frederick Bauer was born on 17 July 1904 at Camp Thomas Lytle, Georgia, the son of a U. S. Army first sergeant. He was graduated from the Naval Academy in 1927.
Commander Harry F. Bauer

Midshipman Harry Frederick Bauer.

Early in his career, he served at shore stations and in Twiggs, Cuyama (AO 3) and Arkansas (BB 31) where, in 1931, he was promoted to lieutenant junior grade and received a Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy. He subsequently was attached to Babbitt and Elliot

In June 1934 he was reassigned to the Naval Academy for postgraduate work and as an instructor. In 1936 he was assigned as aide and flag lieutenant to the Commander Cruisers, Scouting Force, from where he went to Tracy as executive officer. In February 1939 he was assigned to the Office of the Detail Officer at the Bureau of Navigation. On 1 July 1941, he was promoted to lieutenant commander. On 1 January 1942, he assumed command of Gregory (APD 3).

During the night of 4–5 September 1942, APDs Gregory and Little were returning to their anchorage at Tulagi after transferring a Marine Raider Battalion to Savo Island. The night was inky black with a low haze obscuring all landmarks, and the ships decided to remain on patrol rather than risk threading their way through the dangerous entrance channel. As they steamed between Guadalcanal and Savo Island at ten knots, three Japanese destroyers—Yudachi, Hatsuyuki and Murakumo—entered Ironbottom Sound undetected to bombard American shore positions. At 0056 on 5 September, Gregory and Little saw flashes of gunfire, which they assumed came from a Japanese submarine until radar showed four targets. A Navy pilot also saw the gunfire and, also assuming it came from a Japanese submarine, dropped a string of five flares almost on top of the two APDs.

Gregory and Little never had a chance. Immediately, the Japanese destroyers spotted them and, at 0100, opened fire. Gregory was able to bring all her guns to bear but was desperately overmatched. Less than three minutes after the fatal flares were dropped, she was dead in the water and beginning to sink. Two boilers had burst and her decks were a mass of flames. LCdr. Bauer, himself seriously wounded, gave the word to abandon ship, and Gregory's crew reluctantly took to the water. Bauer ordered two companions to aid another crewman yelling for help. He was not seen again.

In addition to the Purple Heart, LCdr. Bauer was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and promoted to commander for his conduct. A memorial marker is in Arlington National Cemetery.

Sources: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships and Wikipedia.