World War II Honor Roll

Joseph John Bottalico, Jr.

First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps


United States Marine Corps

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: April 20, 1945
Buried at: Plot 370 Grave 3
                  New Camden Cemetery
                  NE Corner of Mount Ephraim & Ferry Avenues
                  Camden NJ
Awards: Purple Heart

FIRST LIEUTENANT JOSEPH JAMES BOTTALICO, JR was born on February 3, 1920 in Haddonfield NJ. He grew up in Camden NJ, where his family lived at 816 South 5th Street. His father worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Joseph Bottalico Jr. attended Burrough Junior High School in Camden, and was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, where he was a star athlete, and was the captain of the football team. While in High School, he served a two year term in the National Guard, from 1937 to 1939.

Joseph Bottalico obtained a scholarship to Brown Prep, and had enrolled at William and Mary, also on scholarship, in Williamsburg VA when the war broke out. He enlisted while at William and Mary, and was activated as an aviation cadet in June of 1942. His pre-flight training was done at Athens GA, where he was ninth in his class. He had been sent to the Anacostia Naval Air Station in Washington DC for preliminary flight training in August of 1942, according to the September 2, 1942 edition of the Camden Courier-Post. The Courier reported on February 2, 1943 that he had been sent to the Naval Air Station at Pensacola FL  for flight training. Upon completion of this training Joseph J. Bottalico Jr. was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.

On December 18, 1943 it was reported in the Camden Courier-Post that he had been promoted to First Lieutenant, and that his brother PFC Nicholas Bottalico was with a Marine aviation unit at Pollocksville Field NC. 

Joseph J. Bottalico Jr. trained as a bomber pilot, and went overseas as a member of Marine Bomber Squadron VMB-612 in May of 1944, flying North American PBJ-1H bombers, the naval version of the B-25 Mitchell bomber. He was killed with 4 others of his crew when his aircraft #35239 crashed near the end of the runway when flying off of the newly captured island of Iwo Jima on April 20, 1945. By the time he was killed he had logged over 1200 hours of flight time. During the Iwo Jima operation he had flown 25 missions against the island prior to its capture, and his group had sunk 25 Japanese ships during this operation. Another Camden man also served with VMB-612. Technical Sergeant Frank Brown was lost in July of 1945 when his plane failed to return from a bombing mission.

Joseph James Bottalico, Jr. was survived by his parents, who lived at 816 South 5th Street in Camden NJ, two sisters, and four brothers. His brother, Nicholas, who was also in Marine Aviation aboard a carrier in the Philippines at the time. After the end of hostilities his body was brought home, and he was buried at New Camden Cemetery in Camden NJ on April 17, 1948.

Camden Courier-Post - February 12, 1938

Association Groups, Girls' Sports Managers Are Appointed

Student Association committees for the new school term have been appointed recently at Woodrow Wilson High School. Managers of girls' sports also have been named for the Girls' Athletic Association at the school.

Members of the Student Association committees are:

Attendance—Irene Chonto, chairman; Anne Stasiewicz, Mary Marsh. Bulletin Board — Betty Chesshire, Ruth Calvert, Rosemary Straub. Welfare—Pearl Shepacarter. Athletic— Brewster Bragg, Joseph Bottalico, Harry Oldt, Joseph Maichlik, Harry King, Golda Harper, Elizabeth Nicktern, Jane Harford, Peggy Gleason, Isabella Cleary.

Social Dance — Martha Griffin, chairman; LeRoy Seeds, vice-chairman; Elva Hinkle, Dorothy Heston, Helen Summers, Ruth Calvert, DeLyle Harrigyle, Martha Zilg, Charles Grigley, Harry Howell, Frank DeJong, Albert Pierce, Longrotta, Robert Biehler.

Managers of girls' sports are Geraldine Kraut, volley ball; Florence Falkinberg, tumbling; Sylvia Rosenberg, quoits; Thelma Storm, swimming; Marian Converse, bowling; Georgina Osborne, statistical secretary. Badminton is being entered as another sport in the athletic association..

January 1939
Woodrow Wilson High School Yearbook

Click on image to Enlarge

JOSEPH J. BOTTALICO - June 1939 Woodrow Wilson HS Yearbook

Camden Courier-Post * September 17, 1942