John Hale Bates, World War II CasualtyPorter County Data on World War II Casualties . . . .

John Hale Bates
Radioman Second Class, US Air Service
Date of Birth:
Date of Death: 1942
Burial: Tablets of the Missing, Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
Cause of Death: Missing in Action
Date of Enlistment:
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart
Hometown: Hebron

Newspaper Notices:

Hebron Youth Lot At Sea
John Hale Bates, Assigned to Carrier, Missing In Pacific Action

Another Porter county boy has paid the supreme sacrifice in the war against the axis powers.

Roger Bates, of Long Lake, north of Valparaiso, has received word from the Navy department at Washington that his nephew, John Hale Bates, formerly of Hebron, is missing in action.

Young Bates was a member of the U. S. air service and was assigned to a carrier which was in the Pacific area.

Previous to enlisting in the service more than a year ago he had lived with his uncle who reared him from childhood.

Bates was 23 years of age and was graduated from Hebron high school where he was a star basketball player.

He was a grandson of the late Hale Bates, former county commissioner.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; June 23, 1942; Volume 15, Page 1 Column 5

Ten Porter County Men Dead Or Missing Since U. S. Went Into War Against Japan

"Remember Pearl Harbor" Today Valparaiso and Porter county citizens remembers that event which transpired just a year ago today when a Japanese air squadron, more than 100 strong, roared out of a peaceful sky to deal destruction and death to American warships, air dromes and U. S. fighting men at Pearl Harbor.

With quietness and an air of solemnity, citizens recalled dastardly Japanese sneak attack and resolved to "Remember Pearl Harbor" as their battlecry to retaliate in full measure to the Japanese for their treachery in causing the unwarranted deaths of several thousand brave members of the U. S. fighting forces.

Not until yesterday was the full extent of the carnage at Pearl Harbor revealed to the public on the theory that such information would have proved valuable to the enemy.

Local Youth Wounded

Porter county had only one casualty at Pearl Harbor. He was Harold Lenburg, of Valparaiso, who was critically wounded in the onslaught. Lenburg spent considerable time in hospitals recovering from his wounds before he was able to return home. He is recipient of the Purple Heart award.

Since that eventful day a year ago in the Pacific, ten Porter county men have been included in the government's casualty lists as killed in action or missing.

First to answer the summons was Charles McKindred Proffitt, gunner on the U. S. destroyer Jacob Jones, which was torpedoes in the Atlantic in September.

DeForest Dye, a member of the Navy, was next reported missing in the Pacific in March. Then in May, Capt. Robert F. Ruge, of the Marine Corps, was reported missing. Ruge had been on Bataan and Corregidor just before U. S. forces on those points capitulated to the Japanese. Later he was promoted to the rank of major.

Hebron Youth Missing

Another Porter county man stationed at Corregidor, Joseph Twa, of Hebron, was also reported missing. In both the Ruge and Twa announcements it was not known whether they were killed or captured. No further word has been received.

Next to be added to the honor roll of Porter county was the name of Glen Owens, of Valparaiso. He was reported killed in action in the Pacific in June. His body was buried at sea.

Soon after the announcement of young Owens' death, came word that John Hales Bates of Hebron was missing from a carrier in the Pacific. He was a member of the U. S. air service.

Another man to pay the supreme sacrifice was Howard L. Pumroy, of Kouts. Pumroy was reported killed in the Solomons while fighting with the marines.

John Jacob Birky, student pilot of the Royal Canadian Air Force residing on Valparaiso RFD 3, was killed at Centralia, Ontario, in October when a plane which he was flying during night practice crashed. The body was brought to this city for memorial services.

Capt. William H. Chambers of the U. S. air force was reported missing in action since Oct. 19. He was believed to have been in Alaska region.

The latest casualty reported was Pvt. First Class Edward Smith of Valparaiso. He was reported killed in action in the South Pacific on Nov. 18.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; December 7, 1942; Volume 16, Page 1 Column 6

JOHN HALE BATES - The Roll of Honor of Purdue University, No. 3 Archives of Purdue, lists John Hales Bates, as Radioman 2/c. He enlisted in the Navy in April and was assigned to the USS ENTERPRISE in November, 1940. He was missing in action as of June 4, 1942, when a torpedo plane on which he was a free gunner and radio operator failed to return to the ENTERPRISE during the Battle of Midway. He was awarded posthumously the Distinguished Flying Cross.
History Committee. 1990. Charter Centennial: Hebron, Indiana, 1890-1990. Hebron, Indiana: Star Printing. 120 p. [pages 9-10]

Return to List of Porter County World War II Casualties

Information abstracted and transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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