Bartholf, John F, Jr., Capt

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 Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary MOS
7598-Basic Fixed-Wing Pilot
Last MOSGroup
Pilots/Naval Flight Officers
Primary Unit
1945-Present, 7598, Missing In Action
Service Years
1941 - 1945
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Golden Dragon Certificate
Shellback Certificate



 Current Photo 
 Personal Details 

879 kb

State of Birth
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Roger Rape (Mouse)-Deceased to remember Marine Capt John F Bartholf, Jr..

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Contact Info

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon Shellback

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Photo of Simpson Harbor being attacked by other allied air units in November 1943.
On February 14, 1944, Avengers from VMTB-233 and VMTB-232 took part in a mission to sow mines in Simpson Harbor at Rabaul. The TBMs were to fly up in three groups of eight each at the slow speed of 160 knots to drop their parachute-mines, weighing 1,600 pounds a piece. The first group lost one plane. The commanding officer tried to radio the other TBFs to warn them to turn back but he couldn't make radio contact. The second group lost two planes. The third group was immediately found by searchlight and anti-aircraft guns while flying at 800 feet over the water and had five aircraft shotdown. A total of six planes and eighteen men were lost during the attack. Four of the eighteen men survived the loss of the six TBFs that evening. Of the four, none survived captivity. One was murdered at Tunnel Hill, two died of starvation / disease / medical neglect, and a fourth was murdered by the Japanese Navy sometime in April. HE WAS EXECUTED BY THE JAPANESE ON 15 APR 1945.
Other Comments:
Distinguished Flying Cross
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant John F. Bartholf, Jr. (MCSN: 0-14325), United States Marine Corps, for heroism, conspicuous gallantry, and meritorious achievement as a Section Leader of a Marine Torpedo Bombing squadron engaged in aerial combat activities in the Solomon Island and New Britain areas. First Lieutenant Bartholf participated in numerous night and daylight attacks upon heavily defended enemy land installations and shipping during the periods from 1 November to 10 December 1943, and from 26 January to 14 February 1944. In a night mine-laying mission conducted in Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, on 14 February 1944, First Lieutenant Bartholf courageously pressed home his attack which required straight and level flight at a slow airspeed and precariously low altitude in the face of numerous enemy searchlights and severe and intense heavy and automatic anti-aircraft fire. Before reaching his objective, First Lieutenant Bartholf was picked up by many enemy searchlights and was forced to maneuver his aircraft through an intense and accurate barrage of enemy anti-aircraft fire. Despite the enemy fire which repeatedly hit and damaged his aircraft, First Lieutenant Bartholf courageously and skillfully drove home his attack and released his mine in its assigned position in the mine field before being shot down by enemy fire. His high courage, devotion to duty, and superb airmanship throughout the entire attack was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: November 1, 1943 - February 14, 1944
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 Ribbon Bar
Pilot Wings
Rifle Expert (Pre 1959)USMC Basic Qualification Badge

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1941, The Basic School (Quantico, VA)
 Unit Assignments
Naval Aviation Schools Command (NASC), Pensacola, FLVMSB-233Prisoner of WarMissing In Action
  1941-1942, 7599, Naval Aviation Schools Command (NASC), Pensacola, FL
  1943-1944, 7598, VMSB-233
  1944-1945, 7598, Prisoner of War
  1945-Present, 7598, Missing In Action
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)
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