Born to Earl & Adah Catherine Bortell in 1917. John enlisted in the US Army WWII on Jun 2, 1942. His regiment was 81st Infantry Division known as "Wildcats". He was killed Dec 31, 1944 in an explosion from a War land mine. He was involved in 3 Japanese invasions in Pacific on Peleliu Islands under the command of General McArthur. He received a Purple Heart and Combat Infantry badge for exemplary conduct and great skill in actions against the enemy. He was buried on the island at the US Armed Forces Cemetery but later was sent home to be buried in Havana Illinois.