Joseph Sailer, Jr.

NAME
Joseph Sailer, Jr.
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
O-4675
HOME OF RECORD
8012 Crefield Street, Philadelphia, PA
NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Joseph Sailer, Sr
DATE OF BIRTH
August 14, 1907
ENTERED SERVICE
June 13, 1930
DATE OF LOSS
December 7, 1942
REGION
Solomons
CAMPAIGN / AREA
New Georgia
CASUALTY TYPE
MIA / Declared Dead
December 8, 1943
UNIT
VMSB-132
DUTY
Pilot / Squadron CO
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Major Joseph Sailer, Jr. was the commanding officer of VMSB-132, a Marine scout-bomber squadron operating out of Guadalcanal as part of the Cactus Air Force. In November and December 1942, he led numerous successful strikes against Japanese ships in the Solomon Islands.

On 7 December 1942, Sailer led a flight of six SBD “Dauntless” dive bombers to attack a group of Japanese destroyers off New Georgia. The major hit his target, but his dive brakes failed to retract, greatly slowing his aircraft. Just as Sailer radioed that he would need to make a crash landing, a Japanese float plane raked his bomber, and SBD-3 Bureau Number 06689 turned on its back and crashed into the sea.

No trace of Sailer or his radioman, PFC James W. Alexander, was ever seen again. Both men were declared dead on 8 December 1943.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Navy Cross, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Major
STATUS OF REMAINS
Not recovered.
MEMORIALS
Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Major Joseph Sailer, Jr. (MCSN: 0-4675), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as a Pilot in Marine Scout-Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO (VMSB-132), Marine Air Group FOURTEEN (MAG-14), FIRST Marine Aircraft Wing, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Guadalcanal Area of the Solomons Islands from 10 to 15 November 1942. Zealously seeking out and engaging the enemy under extremely hazardous conditions, Major Sailer led six attacks in spite of intense aerial opposition and anti-aircraft fire, scoring direct hits on a Japanese battleship of the Kongo Class, a heavy cruiser, a destroyer and two transports. His determined fighting spirit and unyielding devotion to duty contributed decisively to our success in routing the Japanese forces. His actions at all times were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Articles and Records:


Photo Gallery:
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