Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice


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Those Who Died That Others Might Be Free

 

Purple Heart

Harold Lind

 

Date and Place of Birth: May 15, 1921 Ottumwa, Iowa
Date and Place of Death: July 21, 1944 Guam, Mariana Islands
Baseball Experience: College
Position: Unknown
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Military Unit: 3rd Marine Division United States Marine Corps
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations

 

Harold Lind

Harold L Lind was born in Ottumwa, Iowa on May 15, 1921 – the only son of Mr and Mrs Harvey Lind. He attended Ottumwa High School where he was a basketball player all four years. In his junior year he finished in second place in individual scoring with 131 points. He also scored the most free throws in the entire conference, with 55. Lind was also a star on the local American Legion junior baseball team.

 

He graduated from high school in 1939 and entered the University of Iowa that fall. Lind was an excellent college baseball player and rose to captain of the Iowa team.

 

Harold Lind enlisted in the Marine Corps reserve in October 1942 while at the University of Iowa. Upon graduation in 1943, Lind was stationed at Parris Island in South Carolina, Quantico, Virginia and San Diego, California.

 

In January 1944, Second Lieutenant Lind was assigned to the Hawaiian Islands and then to the south Pacific for the invasion of Guam, although his exact location was never known by his family.

 

Guam is the largest of the Marianas, 30 miles long and 9 miles wide. It had been a United States possession from the Spanish-American War of 1898 until it was captured by the Japanese on December 11, 1941. It was not as heavily fortified as the other Mariana Islands such as Saipan that had been Japanese possessions since the end of World War I, but by 1944 it had a large garrison.

 

The Allied plan for the invasion of the Marianas called for heavy preliminary bombardment, first by carrier aircraft and planes based in the Marshall Islands to the east, then once air superiority was gained, close bombardment by battleships. Guam was chosen as a target because its large size made it suitable as a base for supporting the next stage of operations towards the Philippines, Taiwan and the Ryūkyū Islands.

 

On July 21, the Americans landed on both sides of the Orote peninsula on the west of Guam, planning to cut off the airfield. The 3rd Marine Division landed near Agana to the north of Orote at 08:28. Japanese artillery sank 20 LVTs but by 09:00 tanks were ashore.

 

By nightfall on July 21, the Americans had established beachheads about 1 mile deep, but Second Lieutenant Harold Lind had lost his life in the process.

 

Harold Lind was temporarily buried at Guam. On Tuesday, April 6, 1948, his body was returned to Ottumwa. Military services were held at Johnson Funeral Chapel and he was buried at Ottumwa Cemetery.

 

Harold Lind was one of twelve major lettermen in athletics at the University of Iowa to lose his life in World War II.

 

Thanks to Patricia Essick at the Ottumwa Public Library for help with this biography. Information on the Battle of Guam was obtained from www.wikipedia.com.

 

Added December 19, 2006. Updated January 7, 2007.

Copyright © 2008 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.