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Home : Home : Warfare Centers : NSWC Dahlgren : Who We Are : History : Dahlgren Centennial Historical Biographies : Dahlgren Centennial Biography - Captain Steven N. Anastasion



United States Navy, Retired

Steven Nicholas Anastasion was born on April 9, 1921, in New Haven, Connecticut, son of Savas and Helen (Elefteriades) Anastasion. He attended New Haven High School, prior to entering the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on appointment from his native state in 1939. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on June 19, 1942, with the Class of 1943 (accelerated course due to World War II), he subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from July 1, 1962.

After graduation in 1942, he reported on board the USS CHAMPLIN (DD-601) to serve as Torpedo Officer, Weapons Officer and later Executive Officer until July 1945. In that destroyer, he participated in the invasions of Sicily and Southern France, bombardments of the Formio-Anzio area of Italy and in North Atlantic Convoy operations. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and a Gold Star in lieu of the Second Bronze Star Medal, each with Combat "V".

He returned to Annapolis for postgraduate study in ordnance (special physics) and from June 1946 to February 1948 continued instruction at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge, from which he received the degree of Master of Science. He was next engaged in work in connection with his postgraduate training at Dahlgren, Virginia, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Los Alamos, California, until January 1949, when reported on board the USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) for duty in the Weapons Department.

From October 1949 until June 1951, Captain Anastasion, as Technical Officer, participated in Operation GREENHOUSE (Joint Task Group THREE Point ONE), the atomic weapons test at Eniwetok. He was next assigned to the Staff of the Assistant Chief for Nuclear Energy Applications, Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, Washington, D.C., where remained until June 1952. 

Following command of the USS NAWMAN (DE-416) in July 1954 he became Director of the Technical Training Division, Field Command, Defense Atomic Support Agency, Sandia Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico. In June 1958 he reported for instruction (Naval Warfare Course) at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, graduating in June 1958.

He assumed command of the USS HAWKINS (DDR-873) in July 1958 and in August 1960 was detached for duty as Special Technical Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research and Development). There he served also as Assistant to the Chairman and Staff Director of the Interagency Committee on Oceanography, Federal Council for Science and Technology. Following a year's study at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington D.C., he commanded the USS LEAHY (DLG-16) from July 1964 to March 1967. He then reported as Assistant Director of the Special Studies and Objectives Division, Office of Program Appraisal, Office of the Secretary of Navy, Navy Department. "For exceptionally meritorious service . . ." in that capacity, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

In July 1969 he became Commander Naval Weapons Laboratory, Dahlgren, Virginia and for outstanding services that assignment was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of the Second Legion of Merit. The citation follow in part:

". . .Captain Anastasion has been responsible for the diverse technical advances made by one of the Navy's major research, development, test and evaluation laboratories. He ably applied his extensive knowledge and outstanding grasp of the overall needs and requirements of the Navy to provide direction, counsel and advice on current programs and to encourage and guide exploration into new areas of research of potential benefit to the Navy..."

On February 1, 1972 he was transferred to the Retired List of the U.S. Navy.

In addition to the Legion of Merit with Gold Star and the Bronze Star Medal with Gold Star and Combat "v", Captain Anastasion has the American Defense Service Medal with star; American Campaign Medal; European-African- Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four stars; World War II Victory Medal ; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Europe Clasp; and the National Defense Service Modal. In January 1972 he was awarded the Outstanding Community Service Award by the Fredericksburg (Virginia) Chamber of Commerce.