Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran George Bartlett, who served in Vietnam, Korea and World War II during a 36-year career.
George Bartlett was born in October 1924 in Nampa, Idaho, and grew up in Mackay, Idaho. He was inspired to join the military after the Pearl Harbor attack, so after he graduated from high school, he joined the Marine Corps in February 1943. Bartlett completed boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. The Marine Corps selected him for navigation school but he did not meet the minimum age requirement. Instead, Bartlett attended aviation mechanic school in Jacksonville, Florida, and graduated at the top of his class. He then went to navigation school in Cherry Point, North Carolina, and became a navigator bombardier.
In April 1944, Bartlett served with Marine Bombing Squadron 443 and flew a PBJ-1 bomber. During World War II, Bartlett served in the Pacific Theater and took part in 75 combat missions. He received three Air Medals and a Good Conduct Medal during the war.
Bartlett returned to the U.S. in 1945 and remained active in the Marine Corps Reserve until recalled for active duty in 1950. He served at Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, California, as a navigator with Marine Ground Control Intercept Squadron 1. During the Korean War, Bartlett transported medical personnel to Hawaii, Guam, Korea and Japan. He also was part of the aircraft warning squadron on Cho Do, which he considered to be the highlight of his service.
In May 1951, Bartlett commissioned as a second lieutenant while completing his bachelor of science in architecture at the University of Oregon. He completed basic officer training at the Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and attended the air controller school in Cherry Point, North Carolina. In July 1952, Bartlett went back to Korea as a senior air controller. In 1953, he returned to the U.S. and taught as an instructor at the Non-commissioned Officer Academy at Camp Pendleton, California.
Bartlett promoted to captain in 1954 and major in 1961. After graduating Command and Staff College in 1963, he served with the 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division. In 1965, Bartlett went to Vietnam, where he remained until July 1966. He served with Special Landing Force and conducted 15 landings in South Vietnam. Bartlett received a Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V.” In 1970, he returned to Vietnam, where he served as the G-1 for III Marine Amphibious Force. He received a Legion of Merit with Combat “V” for his service and promoted to colonel.
Bartlett promoted to brigadier general in 1975 and worked for the Marine Corps Headquarters until his retirement in 1977. In an interview with the American Veterans Center, he reflected on his lengthy career: “I’m proud of everything I did.”
We honor his service.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Amanda Baker
Editor: Cassidy Reid
Researchers: Carl Wesseln & Shiv Lamba
Graphic Designer: Helena Strohmier