Bright, Mark Kenneth, LT

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant
Last Primary Designator/NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1943-1944, 131X, USS Lexington (CV-16)
Service Years
1941 - 1944
Lieutenant
Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

145 kb

Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1919
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Michael D. Withers (Mike), OSCS to remember Bright, Mark Kenneth, LT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Lodi, ca
Last Address
Anderson,Indiana

Casualty Date
Jul 17, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Location
Pacific Ocean
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Court 5 (cenotaph)

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
WW II ACE: CREDITED WITH 9 ENEMY KILLS

   
Comments/Citation

NAVY CROSS

Awarded for actions during the
World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Mark Kenneth Bright (NSN: 0-103989), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron FIVE (VF-5), attached to the U.S.S. SARATOGA (CV-3), in action against enemy Japanese forces while deployed over Guadalcanal and Tulagi, in the Solomon Islands, on 7 August 1942. Upon sighting an enemy force of eleven dive bombers about to enter upon a diving attack against transports and other surface vessels, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Bright played an important role in an attack upon them which resulted in the destruction of nine of them, thereby breaking up the enemy attack and preventing the enemy from registering any hits upon their targets. He personally shot down two of the enemy bombers, one of them while in its dive before its bombs had been released. He also assisted in destroying two other planes which crashed under the combined fire of his guns and those of other friendly pilots. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service.
General Orders: Commander In Chief Pacific Fleet: Serial 28 (1943)
Action Date: August 7, 1942
Service
: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Company: Fighting Squadron 5 (VF-5)
Division: U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-3)

 

DISTINGUSHED FLYING CROSS

Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Mark Kenneth Bright (NSN: 0-103989), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight against enemy forces in the vicinity of the Palau Islands on 30 and 31 March 1944; near western New Guinea on 21 and 22 April 1944; in the vicinity of Truk Islands on 29 and 30 April 1944; as pilot of a carrier-based fighter plane. He led his division of fighters in repeated attacks against enemy positions in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire, and by his own strafing attacks damaged two enemy destroyers, started fires on two enemy merchant ships, sank or set on fire eight small enemy craft, destroyed at least two enemy planes on the ground and damaged many others, and otherwise inflicted substantial damage on the enemy. His courage and skill was at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Commander in Chief, Pacific: Serial 05323 (October 3, 1944)
Action Date: March 30 - April 30, 1944
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Torpedo Squadron 16 (VT-16)
   
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New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)/Operation Reckless
Start Year
1944
End Year
1944

Description
The Battle of Hollandia (code-named Operation Reckless) was an engagement between American and Japanese forces during World war II. It took place in spring of 1944 and was part of the New Guinea campaign. The landings were undertaken simultaneously with the amphibious landings at Aitape ("Operation Persecution") to the east. The battle was an unqualified success for the US forces, resulting in a withdrawal by the Japanese to a new strategic defence line in the west of New Guinea and the abandonment of all positions in the east of the island.

Initial operations commenced in the second week of March 1944 with air raids by the Fast Carrier Force on Palau and islands in the Carolines, while aircraft of the US 5th Air Force and the RAAF attacked Japanese airfields along the New Guinea coast from Wewak to the Vogelkop and on Biak Island.

On 30 March and continuing to 3 April these air forces attacked Hollandia itself and the airfields on the Sentani plain. Achieving complete surprise they were able to destroy nearly 100 aircraft on the ground, leaving 6 Air Div unable to resist the planned invasion.

On 16 to 18 April the amphibious forces sailed from their bases at Finschafen and Goodenough Island, taking evasive routes to confuse their intentions until they arrived off Hollandia during the night of 21/22 April. The landings took place at dawn on 22 April after a supporting naval bombardment at each site.

At Tanahmera Bay the two RCT’s from 24 Div. were able to land without opposition, but found the beach to be highly unsuitable. Backed by a swamp just 30 yards from the shoreline, and with just one exit trail unsuitable for vehicles, Tanahmera Bay was quickly written off as a landing site; while the infantry already ashore pressed on to the Sentani plain the remainder of 24 Div was diverted to Humboldt Bay, which had by this time been secured. After four days under these conditions the two units had reached the western airfield and on 26 April it was secured.

Meanwhile at Humboldt Bay 41 Div. also achieved complete surprise, and though the beaches were defended after the naval bombardment the Japanese troops there uncharacteristically abandoned their positions and fled inland. There was some opposition as they pressed forward, but by 24 April they had reached the lake and by 26 April secured the two eastern airfields. The two forces linked up the same day.

The collapse of Japanese resistance has been attributed to lack of preparedness, due to changes in the command structure and to a lack of combat troops; many of the 11,000 men based there were administrative and support units. None of the senior officers present had been in post more than a few weeks and the senior air officer had been relieved following the destruction of his air forces at the beginning of April. Neither Kitazono nor Endo had been able to prepare a comprehensive defence plan, and in any event had neither the men nor the resources to carry it out. On the other hand the Allied operation had been over-insured; concerns over the strength of the Japanese garrison had left the Allies with a four to one advantage in the event.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1944
 
Last Updated:
Nov 30, 2013
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  41 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Alumbaugh, Maurice, PO1, (1942-1953)
  • Ballard, Bland Albert, F1c, (1942-1945)
  • Booth, Robert Douglas, PO2, (1943-1945)
  • Hazelwood, Denna, PO1, (1942-1944)
  • Soucy, Ronald, PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Vizcarra Jr., Oscar, S1c, (1943-1946)
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