Harold W. Bauer

NAME
Harold William Bauer
NICKNAME
“Indian Joe” “Coach”
MCSN
O-4534
HOME OF RECORD
21 Pilgram Avenue, Yonkers, NY
originally North Platte, NE
NEXT OF KIN
Wife, Mrs. Hariette Anne Bauer
DATE OF BIRTH
November 20, 1908
ENTERED SERVICE
June 5, 1930
DATE OF LOSS
November 14, 1942
REGION
Solomons
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Russell Islands
CASUALTY TYPE
MIA / Declared Dead
January 8, 1946
UNIT
VMF-212
DUTY
Pilot / Squadron CO
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Harold W. “Indian Joe” Bauer, commanding officer of VMF-212, was a Marine Corps aviation legend. While flying out of Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, he logged an impressive eleven aerial victories and proved himself a great leader and inspiration to his squadron, who called him “Coach.”

On 14 November 1942, the Cactus Air Force staged no less than five attacks on a convoy attempting to resupply Japanese forces on Guadalcanal. Bauer joined the last flight, and while making a strafing run on a transport was attacked by two Zeros. He managed to shoot down one of his assailants, but was forced to ditch his damaged Wildcat (F4F-4 03454) about fifteen miles north of the Russell Islands.

Bauer managed to escape the sinking aircraft and was last seen swimming in the ocean, apparently uninjured, and motioning his wingmen to return to base. A subsequent search could find no trace of Bauer. Although his squadronmates and family held out hope that he had been captured, there was never any sign of “Indian Joe” as a prisoner of war.

Bauer was declared dead as of 8 January 1946.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Medal of Honor, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Lieutenant Colonel
STATUS OF REMAINS
Missing in action
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:

Read an authoritative biography by Kent B. Brown, Bauer’s nephew, at acepilots.com


Articles and Records:


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