Harold William “Indian Joe” Bauer

Harold William “Indian Joe” Bauer

Woodruff, Phillips County, Kansas, USA
Death 14 Nov 1942 (aged 33)
Cenotaph Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines
Memorial ID 56334407 · View Source
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World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. A 1930 graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, he served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, and was awarded the CMOH for his bravery during the period between May 10, 1942 and November 14, 1942, while he was a Lieutenant Colonel and pilot of a F-4F Grumman Wildcat in Marine Fighting Squadron 212, which he commanded in the South Pacific. His citation reads “Volunteering to pilot a fighter plane in defense of our positions on Guadalcanal, Lt. Col. Bauer participated in 2 air battles against enemy bombers and fighters outnumbering our force more than 2 to 1, boldly engaged the enemy and destroyed 1 Japanese bomber in the engagement of 28 September and shot down 4 enemy fighter planes in flames on 3 October, leaving a fifth smoking badly. After successfully leading 26 planes on an over-water ferry flight of more than 600 miles on 16 October, Lt. Col. Bauer, while circling to land, sighted a squadron of enemy planes attacking the U.S.S. McFarland. Undaunted by the formidable opposition and with valor above and beyond the call of duty, he engaged the entire squadron and, although alone and his fuel supply nearly exhausted, fought his plane so brilliantly that 4 of the Japanese planes were destroyed before he was forced down by lack of fuel. His intrepid fighting spirit and distinctive ability as a leader and an airman, exemplified in his splendid record of combat achievement, were vital factors in the successful operations in the South Pacific Area”. On November 14, 1942 he was shot down by Japanese aircraft off Guadalcanal Island, and was seen to have successfully abandoned his plane. However, a subsequent search for him the next day found no trace of him, and he was officially declared dead on January 8, 1946. His Medal was awarded posthumously to his family by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines, and a cenotaph was erected for him in Swan Lake Memorial Gardens, Grain Valley, Jackson County, Missouri.

Bio by: Russ Dodge


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 7 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56334407
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harold William “Indian Joe” Bauer (20 Nov 1908–14 Nov 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56334407, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by Find A Grave .