Welcome to the iHonor American Flag at the T&C Port of Call ;) remembering VADM Hank Mustin
iHonor Vietnam War Navy Veteran: U.S. Navy Vice Admiral (Ret.) Henry "Hank" C. Mustin
VADM (Vice Admiral) Henry C. Mustin served in the US Navy for 34 years (1955-1989) Determined "Destroyerman" was epitome of "Non Sibi Sed Patriae - Not for self, but for country" "Hammerin' Hank" called it like he saw it ... in a clear, concise, powerful manner ... just like he delivered his speeches
We honor and thank Vice Admiral Hank Mustin for defending our freedoms and fighting to liberate the lives of others.
[ Rear Admiral Mustin - circa mid-1980s]
Henry Croskey Mustin Born August 31, 1933 in Bremerton, WA
Outstanding multi-sport athlete could also captivate a houseful of friends & guests with his guitar playing Played football, basketball, and baseball at St. Stephens and Coronado High Schools Family cocktail parties, often attended by famed WWII Navy leaders Halsey and Nimitz, fueled Hank to be like a Navy leaders like them 1950 Graduate of Coronado HS at age 16 Too young to attend Naval Academy, enrolled in Univ. of Virginia for one year In 1951, received appointment to US Naval Academy for the Class of 1955 As Midshipman 3rd Class, in 1954, became engaged with Lucy Holcomb Graduated from US Naval Academy and married Lucy in 1955
Commissioned as Naval Surface Warfare Officer Selected USS Duncan (DD-874), a Gearing-class Destroyer, and served as Engineering officer Elevated to Engineering Department head in less than 2 years
[ Ensign (ENS) Mustin aboard USS Duncan ]
Fulfilled dream of commanding a ship early in career In 1958, as just a Lieutenant - Junior Grade, given command of mine hunter ship, USS Bunting (MHC-45) Wore 2 leadership hats: Skipper of crew of 30 and new father to Lloyd M. Mustin II in 1959 He was a masterful morale builder for his Bunting crew during these mostly uneventful Cold War days Followed dad's (RADM Lloyd Mustin's) advice and entered Naval Post Graduate School (NPS) Smartly chose to study electrical engineering - which helped him excel in the Navy's new guided-missile era At NPS, molded his acumen to address Navy problems as an engineer rather than a manager and fathered 2nd son, Thomas Russell
With Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering in-hand, assigned as Chief Engineer of the Commissioning Crew for Navy's newest guided-missile destroyer, the USS Lawrence (DDG-4) While dealing with engineering problems during shipyard construction of USS Lawrence, Hank and Lucy had their 3rd child - Katherine Elizabeth in 1961 Soon after home-porting the new USS Lawrence in Norfolk, VA, now Lieutenant Hank Mustin and crew of USS Lawrence was deployed to intercept Soviet ships involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis Then, Hank became first Navy officer to serve as both Chief Engineer and Weapons Officer of a guided-missile destroyer Chosen to help author a new naval warfare publication called "Fleet Air Defense," which became Naval Warfare Publication 32
In 1963, became first-ever Lieutenant serving as XO (Executive Officer) of a new guided-missile class destroyer completing construction, the USS Conyngham (DDG-17) During sea tests and work-ups, putting it out to sea all but 13 days in its first year, the USS Conyngham and its crew "set all kinds of records" and "won all the Es" (E awards are given to a ship and its crew for its Battle Efficiency / Readiness) Upon being promoted to Lieutenant Commander (LCDR), Hank engineered a new naval gunfire support procedure for the Conyngham - one which became a Navy-wide SOP Upon completion of this sea duty tour, LCDR Mustin was ordered to Naval War College in Newport, RI Being an over-achieving professional sailor, not only was Hank the distinguished graduate of the 1-year Naval War College course, but he also earned a Master's Degree in International Studies from George Washington University ;)
[ Brothers in Vietnam: Navy LT Thomas Mustin (left) and LCDR Hank Mustin (right) ]
Upon graduation from Naval War College, LCDR Hank Mustin shipped off to Vietnam Initially assigned to work for the commander of U.S. naval forces in Vietnam After 4-months of pencil-pushing at Navy HQ in Saigon he pleaded and pestered to join the Navy's Delta River Patrol Group and got it
Unfortunately, details of Hank's combat action in Vietnam and subsequent Navy assignments that elevated him to Vice Admiral (equivalent to 3-star General) are very limited ... But, given that he was awarded the Vietnamese Medal of Honor and Gallantry Cross with Palm, he must have done something very heroic
This is where we'll have to ask the Mustin family for help completing this tribute to VADM Hank Mustin
After his service in the Vietnam War, LCDR Hank Mustin served another 20+ years, until 1989, and his duties, as he rose to the rank of Vice Admiral, included: USS HENRY B. WILSON (DDG-7) Commander, Destroyer Squadron TWELVE Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group TWO (Commander, AMERICA (CV-66) Battlegroup) Commander, US Second Fleet Commander, NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic Commander, Joint Task Force 120, where he was responsible for 225 ships and 2100 aircraft spanning over 45 million square miles from the Arctic Circle to the Equator.
Inspirational Quotes about and from 'Hammerin Hank' Mustin
"I, like most officers of my vintage, admired his professionalism from afar and we all tried to emulate his candidness, his leadership and his love for the service. We learned from him because he led by example." -from eulogy by RADM Thomas C. Lynch, USN (Ret.), who considered VADM Mustin his mentor and friend
“My self-assurance as a man, a father, a husband and an officer is built on your example, which will forever live in my memory.” -LT Lloyd 'Link' Mustin, grandson
“Hank was the big brother every girl should have. He taught me how to ride a bike, how to dance (on the afternoon of my first dance), and how to not ‘throw like a girl.’ He took me to my first movie.” -Hank's sister
"His favorite job was destroyer CO, He felt it was the perfect level combining his tactical proficiency and capability while still maintaining a relationship with his crew." -John Mustin, son
When asked by reporters about the Naval exercises he led in the Norway fjords, “Won’t your actions stir the Soviets to bolster their defenses?” Hank Mustin replied, “Yeah, and they’ll need all they can get!”
"Shoot more. Talk less. God bless.” -VADM Hank Mustin's last message as Commander Second Fleet
Honoring the Mustin's Historic Navy Family USS Mustin (DDG 89)
On July 26, 2003, the USS Mustin (DDG 89) was commissioned at a Naval Air Station North Island Ceremony with retired Vice Admiral Henry 'Hank' Mustin delivering another riveting speech. This destroyer honors the 5 generations of Mustin naval officers - dating back to Hank's grandfather, Naval Aviator #11, Captain Henry C. Mustin, who began serving in 1896 and continues through to Lieutenant Lloyd 'Link' Mustin, a grandson of Hank. GO HERE to learn more about this historic family - the namesake of not only the USS Mustin, but several US Navy facilities ( including the beach club pictured below ... where I bet Hank played his guitar to the delight of many of the years ;)
[ VADM Mustin as Commander, 2nd Fleet ]
VADM Hank Mustin's Military Decorations Two Distinguished Service Medals, three Legions of Merit, three Bronze Stars with Combat “V,” two Air Medals with Combat “V,” Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V,” Combat Action Ribbon, various campaign and service medals, and numerous foreign decorations and awards, including the Vietnamese Medal of Honor and Gallantry Cross with Palm.
Tribute Sources: CLICK HERE to review the eulogy for VADM Mustin on the US Naval Institute blog
GO HERE to examine the 'Oral History' of VADM Henry C. Mustin
Video tribute on YouTube to the life of Henry C. Mustin:
iHonor American Flag : Visitor Comments for VADM Hank Mustin ... posted here from newest to oldest ...
VADM Hank Mustin ... When your son, Tom Mustin, told me he came from a proud Navy family, I had no idea of its lore in Navy history. While thinking of patriotic, military families I know that would appreciate a gifted iHonor American Flag for Memorial Day, I'm glad Tom and your family came to mind. As you can tell from how I tried to relay your inspirational story here, I was truly glued to every page of info I could find about you and your impressive Navy career. My favorite story, not included here, is how raised morale for your minesweeper crew by ensuring honors were given to your ship like the carrier received when it deployed. I can tell I would have enjoyed being under your leadership and now consider you a mentor of sorts for this project - 'Not for self, but for country' - from Sean on 5/6/19 [ photo of VADM Mustin's iHonor American Flag flying at Flag Steward's HQ ]
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iHonor American Flag dedicated to US Navy Vice Admiral Henry C. Mustin posted and flying at Flag Steward HQ before shipment [zoom-in on pics]
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