Died January 18,2019
Brigadier General John C. Bartholf is deputy director of maintenance, engineering and supply, in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Bartholf was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1925. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., in June 1946, with a bachelor of science degree, a commission, and his pilot wings.
He completed fighter pilot training and in November 1946 was assigned to the 20th Fighter Group at Shaw Field, S.C., where he flew P-51 Mustangs and F-84 Thunderstreaks. In June 1948 he joined the 51st Fighter Group, equipped with P-80s, on Okinawa.
He returned to the United States in October 1949, attended atomic energy training and, in March 1950, was assigned to the 1009th Special Weapons Squadron, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, with duty as detachment commander of a special project in Brazil, then for 18 months was on a detachment staff at McClellan Air Force Base, Calif.
In August 1953 he was transferred to the 8th Fighter Bomber Group in Korea where he flew F-86 aircraft, served as squadron operations officer and executive officer, and was a member of the Far East Air Forces gunnery team which placed third in the U.S. Air Force Gunnery Meet at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., in June 1954.
In November 1954 General Bartholf was selected to participate in the Armed Forces Pilot Exchange Program and served with Air Group Two, U.S. Navy, as squadron operations officer on board the carrier USS Essex, Seventh Fleet. During this tour of duty, he accomplished 71 carrier landings and was authorized to wear U.S. Navy pilot wings.
From August 1955 to May 1958, he served at the U.S. Air Force Academy, then at Lowry Air Force Base, Colo., on the initial commandant's staff. As a member of the Military Studies Department, he assisted in the development and instruction of the airmanship curriculum.
In September 1958 he was assigned to the 14th Fighter Group at Ethan Allen Air Force Base, Vt., as commander of the 14th Air Base Squadron, then the 14th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, and lastly the 14th Materiel Squadron. When the base was inactivated in June 1960, General Bartholf was assigned to Headquarters Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colo., as executive to the director of maintenance. In January 1962 he entered the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va.
General Bartholf was transferred to the Seventeenth Air Force at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in August 1962, as deputy chief of the Tactical Evaluation Team. In July 1963 he was named commander of the 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing at Royal Air Force Station Woodbridge, England. During this assignment, he qualified as a select crewmember in the F-100 aircraft.
In August 1965 he entered the National War College at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., and while there completed work for a master's degree in international affairs from The George Washington University. He next completed combat crew training at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
General Bartholf arrived in Thailand in May 1967 and was assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, as assistant director of operations. In November he became director of operations for the 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. At Udorn, General Bartholf became one of the first Air Force pilots to fly both the reconnaissance and fighter versions of the F-4 aircraft in combat. During his Thailand tour of duty, he completed 125 combat missions, 100 over North Vietnam.
He returned to the United States in July 1968 and joined Headquarters U.S. Air Force as deputy chief of the Operations Review Division, Directorate of Operations, in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations.
In August 1969 he returned to Royal Air Force Station Bentwaters/Woodbridge, England, where he was assigned as vice commander and then as commander of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, In August 1970 he moved to Wiesbaden, Germany, to assume duties as assistant deputy chief of staff, operations, at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
General Bartholf became vice commander, Warner Robins Air Materiel Area, Air Force Logistics Command, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., in November 1971. In July 1973 he again was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, as deputy director of maintenance, engineering and supply, in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics.
His military decorations and awards include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters. He is a command pilot.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective Nov. 1, 1971, with date of rank Oct. 27, 1971.
(Current as of Dec. 15, 1973)