May 15, 2011
Updated July 9, 2013

Joe Bartolomei, Sr. served on the Harry Lee during its time in the Pacific starting with Tarawa thru VJ Day.  His son, Joe Bartolomei, Jr. contacted us and informed us that his father had passed away in 1996.

Joe Sr. was in the 3rd Naval Beach Battalion and picked the Lee up right after it came back from Europe and was with the Lee all thru it's Pacific service. He made the first trip to Japan and left the Lee just before the next trip back to Japan so he was home when the Lee sailed to Brooklyn for deactivation. He finished his service with 6 of the Lee's 7 battle stars.

Joe Sr. told his son about many of his experiences and memories aboard the Lee, including remembering an old battleship gun barrel cemented into the hold of the ship to attempt to help correct the listing problem.

He also told his son, in detail, about his part in the Tarawa invasion. Joe Jr. has read the book "One Square Mile of Hell" by John Wukovits and said that there were many parts of the book where he felt his Dad must have been right there to witness it as they were just as Joe Sr. related them to him.

Joe Bartolomei, Jr. can be contacted by e-mail and would like to make contact with any shipmates who may have known Joe Sr.