Biography

BARTHOLDI, CYRIL SYLVESTER [Maj CO C23rdIR]

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MAJ CYRIL SYLVESTER BARTHOLDI

SILVER STAR

23RD INFANTRY REGIMENT

C CO 1 BN

ARMY

HOSTILE, DIED WHILE CAPTURED (POW)

DATE OF LOSS: SEPTEMBER 1, 1950

SERVICE NUMBER: O-1291216

BORN: APRIL 8, 1919

HOME OR PLACE OF ENLISTMENT

THE DALLES, OREGON

WASCO COUNTY

LOCATION OR BATTLE ZONE: CHANGNYONG

BURIAL LOCATION

SAINT PETERS CATHOLIC CEMETERY, THE DALLES, OR

Comments: Major Bartholdi was the commander of Company C, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy in South Korea on September 1, 1950. He was later executed at the Taejon Police Station on September 26-27, 1950, by retreating North Korean Forces.

FINAL DISPOSITION DATE: SEPTEMBER 26, 1950

KOREAN WAR PROJECT KEY NO: 1543

Combat Infantryman Badge
Korean Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Korea War Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal

Major Bartholdi, known as "Les",  served with the Oregon National Guard while he was at Oregon State.  He was called to active duty 19 September 1940.  

He served with Hq. Det., 2nd Battalion, 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment from 1941 - 1946, and was commissioned as a Captain on 25 August 1942. His unit participated in the Aleutian Campaign in the amphibious assault of Kiska.  Then it entered combat in Italy in January 1945 as part of the 10th Mountain Division.

In July 1947, he was commander of F Company, 9th Infantry Regiment.

In Korea, in July 1950, he was the commander of C Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.

He was taken prisoner near the Naktong River, Changnyong the night of 31 August-1 September 1950 when his unit was completely overrun by North Korean troops and most were killed.  One survivor from his unit, who was captured, managed to escape, stated that the captain was captured, tortured and later murdered by the Koreans along with approximately 43 other Americans in what became known as to as the Taejon Massacre.

He was later interred in St. Peters Catholic Cemetery, The Dalles, Oregon.

Major Bartholdi (then a captain) was a veteran of World War II. Bartholdi was the great-grandson of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the designer of the Statue of Liberty.

He reenlisted in 27 February 1946 as a Master Sergeant at Camp Grant, Rockford, Illinois.   (At this time in history, Camp Grant was a transition camp for returning soldiers).

According to the records, he had one year of college, and was married.  He left a wife, Dorothy, and two daughters at his passing. They lived in Rock Springs, Wyoming.