Bright, Mark Kenneth, LT

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant
Last Primary 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.

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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)

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 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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Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of the Coral Sea
Start Year
1942
End Year
1942

Description
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought during 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other.

In an attempt to strengthen their defensive positioning for their empire in the South Pacific, Japanese forces decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New Guinea and Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands. The plan to accomplish this, called Operation MO, involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet, including two fleet carriers and a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion fleets, under the overall command of Japanese Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue. The US learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence and sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-American cruiser force, under the overall command of American Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, to oppose the Japanese offensive.

On 3–4 May, Japanese forces successfully invaded and occupied Tulagi, although several of their supporting warships were surprised and sunk or damaged by aircraft from the US fleet carrier Yorktown. Now aware of the presence of US carriers in the area, the Japanese fleet carriers entered the Coral Sea with the intention of finding and destroying the Allied naval forces.

Beginning on 7 May, the carrier forces from the two sides exchanged airstrikes over two consecutive days. The first day, the US sank the Japanese light carrier Shoho, while the Japanese sank a US destroyer and heavily damaged a fleet oiler (which was later scuttled). The next day, the Japanese fleet carrier Shokaku was heavily damaged, the US fleet carrier Lexington was critically damaged (and was scuttled as a result), and the Yorktown was damaged. With both sides having suffered heavy losses in aircraft and carriers damaged or sunk, the two fleets disengaged and retired from the battle area. Because of the loss of carrier air cover, Inoue recalled the Port Moresby invasion fleet, intending to try again later.

Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, the battle would prove to be a strategic victory for the Allies for several reasons. The battle marked the first time since the start of the war that a major Japanese advance had been checked by the Allies. More importantly, the Japanese fleet carriers Sokaku and Zuikaku – one damaged and the other with a depleted aircraft complement – were unable to participate in the Battle of Midway, which took place the following month, ensuring a rough parity in aircraft between the two adversaries and contributing significantly to the US victory in that battle. The severe losses in carriers at Midway prevented the Japanese from reattempting to invade Port Moresby from the ocean. Two months later, the Allies took advantage of Japan's resulting strategic vulnerability in the South Pacific and launched the Guadalcanal Campaign that, along with the New Guinea Campaign, eventually broke Japanese defenses in the South Pacific and was a significant contributing factor to Japan's ultimate defeat in World War II.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1942
To Year
1942
 
Last Updated:
Nov 30, 2013
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  135 Also There at This Battle:
  • Gayler, Noel, ADM, (1935-1976)
  • Gregory, William, PO1, (1935-1943)
  • Mead, Sanford, CAPT, (1927-1958)
  • Nabors, Paul, S1c, (1940-1942)
  • Panks, Gerald, PO3, (1942-1946)
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