Besides a Purple Heart and Navy Cross, Taussig twice earned the prestigious Civilian Distinguished Public Service award. But the honor he most treasured was a Service Dress Blue jacket with captain’s stripes on one sleeve and a chief petty officer’s rating badge on the other, given to him when he was made an honorary CPO.
In the early 1950s, he served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Naval Institute—raising hell in that job much as he did when serving as the Navy’s safety czar. The Naval Institute’s CEO office, which overlooks the Naval Academy cemetery where Captain Taussig now rests, today bears his name to honor his personal courage, honor, and commitment to sailors, and much of his memorabilia is on display there, including his prized service dress blue jacket.
USS Langley (CV-27)
The Independence -class light fleet aircraft carrier Langley (CV-27, later CVL-27) was originally authorized as a Cleveland -class light cruiser, the Fargo (CL-85). Reconfigured with a hangar and flight deck above the cruiser hull, the ship was initially renamed the Crown Point, but with the loss of the Navy’s first carrier, the Langley (CV-1), the name was changed in her honor. Commissioned on 31 August 1943, the 622-foot, 14,220-ton Langley and her crew of 1,400 played a major role in pioneering the techniques of fleet air defense by employing shipboard radars to direct fighter interceptors. Throughout her World War II service, the ship’s air group consisted of two dozen Hellcat fighters and nine Avenger torpedo bombers, with the latter employed primarily as bombers.
Assigned to Admiral Marc A. Mitscher’s Task Force 58, the Langley first used her Avengers in the bombing of airfields on Wotje Island during the January 1944 invasion of Kwajalein, while her radar-directed Hellcats provided air cover at the end of April at Truk, where Langley -based VF-32 shot down 21 Japanese fighters in 15 minutes. The ship participated in strikes on Saipan, Rota, and Guam during the summer of 1944 and from September to the end of the year was in action against Japanese forces in the Philippines and on Truk and Formosa. In January 1945, the Langley assisted in air strikes against Tokyo, and the next month her aircraft began a long period of counter-kamikaze defensive duties. March and April saw the Langley heavily involved in strikes on the Japanese home islands and Okinawa, where the following month her aircraft supported troops ashore. The Langley departed the combat area in May of 1945 for a refit, seeing no further combat under the U.S. flag. The ship’s intensive and highly effective operations, however, had won her a Navy Unit Commendation and nine Battle Stars. Placed in reserve during February 1947, the carrier was transferred to France in 1951 as the La Fayette ; she performed valuable service in support of French forces in Vietnam during the 1950s and was returned to U.S. control in 1963 and scrapped.