Fred Bardshar was born on October 20, 1915, in Seattle, Washington. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1934, and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy on June 2, 1938. His first assignment was aboard the barracks ship USS Reina Mercedes (IX-25) at the Naval Academy from June to July 1938, followed by service aboard the battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) from July 1938 to July 1942. Lt Bardshar next attended flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator at NAS Pensacola, Florida, in April 1943. He served as an instructor pilot at NAS Daytona Beach, Florida, from April to November 1943, and then served as an F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat pilot and Executive Officer of VF-27 in the U.S. and Hawaii from November 1943 to April 1944. LCDR Bardshar deployed with his squadron aboard the aircraft carrier USS Princeton (CVL-23) in April 1944, and he became Commanding Officer of VF-27 in June 1944. He was credited with the destruction of 7.5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat before the USS Princeton was sunk during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 24, 1944. After returning to the United States with the squadron, he deployed with his unit aboard the aircraft carrier USS Independence (CVL-22), serving both as Commanding Officer of VF-27, and as Commander Air Group 27, from July to November 1945. His next assignment was as Inspection Officer at NAS Alameda, California, from December 1945 to June 1947, followed by Naval War College from June 1947 to May 1948. He served as Executive Officer of Air Ferry Squadron TWO at NAS San Diego, California, from May to August 1948, and then as Executive Officer and then Commander of Air Transport Squadron 32 from August 1948 to January 1951. CDR Bardshar attended Test Pilot School at NATC Patuxent River, Maryland, from January to July 1951, and then served as Director of the Service Test Division with the Electronic Test Division at NATC Patuxent River from July 1951 to August 1953. His next assignment was as Operations Officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Leyte (CVS-32) from August 1953 to November 1954, followed by service as Operations Officer on the staff of Commander Carrier Division 6 from November 1954 to January 1956. CAPT Bardshar served in the Strategic Plans Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon from January 1956 to March 1958, and then as the Assistant Chief of the Atomic Plans Branch, Air and Special Operations, with Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Paris, France, from March 1958 to September 1960. He served on the Advisory Group to the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon from September 1960 to January 1961, followed by service as Commanding Officer of the replenishment oiler USS Pawcatuck (AO-108) from January to September 1961. His next assignment was as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet from September 1961 to August 1963, and then as Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CVA-64) from August 1963 to January 1965. During this time he deployed aboard the Constellation in support of operations during the Vietnam War from June 1964 to January 1965. RADM Bardshar served as Chief of the Requirements and Development Division in the Officer of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon from January 1965 to August 1967, and then as Commander of Carrier Division SEVEN from August 1967 to June 1969. VADM Bardshar next served as Vice Director of Operations with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon from June 1969 to February 1970, followed by service as Commander of Attack Carrier Striking Force, Seventh Fleet, and Commander of Task Force 77 from February 1970 to March 1971, during which time he was involved in directing the planning of Naval diversion forces during the Son Tay Raid on November 21, 1970. He retired from the U.S. Navy on January 1, 1973. Fred Bardshar died on September 14, 1993.
His Navy Distinguished Service Medal Citation reads:
For exceptionally meritorious service to the Government of the United States in a duty of great responsibility as Commander, Attack Carrier Striking Force, United States SEVENTH Fleet, from February 1970 to March 1971 during combat operations against enemy forces in Southeast Asia. Responsible for the planning, direction, and execution of air and surface strike and reconnaissance operations against enemy military targets and lines of communication in Southeast Asia, Vice Admiral Bardshar directed the many and varied tasks of the carrier striking force with superb leadership, tactical skill, and resourcefulness. Under his guidance, the task force contributed outstandingly to the efforts of the United States and other free-world nations in Southeast Asia. Vice Admiral Bardshar demonstrated excellent leadership and planning ability in connection with the successful diversionary air strikes over North Vietnam in support of the Son Tay prisoner of war search and rescue operation of 21 November 1970. This operation was followed within a matter of hours by extensive protective reaction air strikes which required extensive planning and coordination. Essential to the successful development of Southeast Asia strategy was the vast array of coordinated conventional contingency plans prepared under Vice Admiral Bardshar's direction. Also, during this period, he provided a preceptive analysis and evaluation of new weapons systems as they were first introduced to the fleet. By his keen foresight, diplomacy and demonstrated ability to apply the versatility and flexibility of sea power to the ever-changing military situation in Southeast Asia, Vice Admiral Bardshar rendered distinguished service and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.