Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps

Harold William "indian joe" Bauer

  • Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Marine Fighting Squadron 212
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 10 - November 14, 1942
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous courage as Squadron Commander of Marine Fighting Squadron 212 in the South Pacific area during the period from 10 May to 14 November 1942. Volunteering to pilot a fighter plane in defense of our positions on Guadalcanal, Lt. Col. Bauer participated in two air battles against enemy bombers and fighters outnumbering our force more than two to one, boldly engaged the enemy, and destroyed one Japanese bomber in the engagement of 28 September, and shot down four 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 brillantly that four 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.
Medal of Honor Recipient Harold William "indian joe" Bauer
Medal of Honor Recipient Harold William "indian joe" Bauer
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Nebraska
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: May 11, 1946
    Camp Miramar, California - presented by Maj. Gen. Field Harris to his widow Mrs. Harriet Bauer
  • Born: November 20, 1908, Woodruff, Phillips County, KS, United States
  • Died: November 16, 1942, 15 miles north of Russell Island, Solomon Islands
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Manila Cemetery (Wall of the Missing), Manila, Philippine Islands
  • Location of Medal: National Museum of the US Marine Corps, Quantico, VA

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