Civil Air Patrol

Lone CAP WWII Female Casualty Remembered

Senior Member Elizabeth Dunkman
Public Affairs Officer
Lunken Cadet Squadron
Ohio Wing

Eight members of the Ohio Wing joined three of Lt. Margaret Bartholomew’s family members for a commemorative ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the final mission for Civil Air Patrol’s only female casualty during World War II.

Capt. Michael Purvis, Lunken Cadet Squadron commander, presented a certificate of appreciation and a squadron patch to Bartholomew’s nephew, Charles Rudy Heath II, during the observation at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati.

Lt. Bartholomew with fellow Squadron 5111-1 officers.

Bartholomew was returning to Cincinnati on Oct. 18, 1943, from a courier mission out of Williamsport, Pa., when a sudden snowstorm plunged visibility to zero. She flew lower as she tried to find a safe place to land, but visibility was so poor that she crashed into a hill 55 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

The only female Civil Air Patrol member lost during World War II, she was also the first CAP war casualty from Cincinnati.

Bartholomew was one of Cincinnati’s first CAP members and was the Ohio Wing’s 154th charter member. She was a member of Squadron 5111-1, based at Lunken Airport, home today to Purvis’ squadron.

She was also assigned as the flight leader of all-female Flight C and as station commander of the Cincinnati courier service.

“Let us all reflect today on the service of a true American hero and pledge that we will never forget her selfless sacrifice,” Purvis said at the ceremony’s conclusion. “We must also pledge a renewed effort to ask our elected officials in Washington to award Lt. Bartholomew and every other CAP World War II veteran the Congressional Gold Medal.”

Along with Purvis, members participating were:

Great Lakes Region Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Todd Engelman, region historian

Lunken Cadet Squadron

  • Senior Member Elizabeth Dunkman, public affairs officer
  • Cadet Capt. Jordan Baker
  • Cadet Airmen William Dunkman, Jackson Powell and C.J. Warman

Lt. Col. James R. Sanders Senior Squadron

  • Maj. Shawn Hauser, public affairs officer

Paying their respects at Lt. Margaret Bartholomew’s gravesite are (from left) Cadet Airmen William Dunkman and C.J. Warman, Cadet Capt. Jordan Baker and Cadet Airman Jackson Powell, Maj. Shawn Hauser, Lt. Col. Todd Engelman and Charles Rudy Heath II, Robin Heath and Faith Heath. The cadets are all members of the Lunken Cadet Squadron; Purvis is the unit’s commander. Engelman is Great Lakes Region historian and Hauser is public affairs officer for the Lt. Col. James R. Sanders Senior Squadron. The Heaths are members of Bartholomew’s family.
Photo by Senior Member Elizabeth Dunkman

(From left) Capt. Michael Purvis, Cadet Airmen William Dunkman and C.J. Warman, Cadet Capt. Jordan Baker, Cadet Airman Jackson Powell, Maj. Shawn Hauser, Faith Heath of Sharonville, Charles Rudy Heath II, Robin Heath and Lt. Col. Todd Engelman.
Photo by Senior Member Elizabeth Dunkman

Vintage newspaper stories about Bartholomew's all-female Flight C and her fatal crash.

 

#capgoldmedal

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© 2018 Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters. All rights reserved.