1910 – 1951

Samuel Bertolet was born on August 13, 1910 in Reading Pennsylvania, son of Samuel E. and Alexandrine Wilson Bertolet. He attended Reading High School and Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, for one and one half years, prior to entering the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, from his native state in 1929. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on June 1, 1933 he advanced to the rank of Commander to date from January 1, 1944.

Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1933, he assigned to the USS NEVADA (BB-36). Detached from the USS NEVADA in 1936 and served for one year on the staff of Commander Battleships, Battle Force.  Between 1937 and 1939, he was assigned to the USS JOHN D. EDWARDS (DD-216), after which, the USS SIRIUS (AK-15), then the USS PENSACOLA (CA-24). He continued sea service in that cruiser until July 1941.

Following his sea duty assignments, CDR Bertolet was assigned to the Office of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D.C. until May 1943.  Following his staff duty assignment, he served with the Combat Intelligence Unit in the Pacific Area, in connection with radio intelligence until July 1945.  While attached to the Division of Naval Communications from February 14 1942, to September 2, 1945 he was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct.

From December 1947 to August 1948, he was Commanding Officer of the Naval Communication Station, Recife Brazil.  Following his service in Brazil, CDR Bertolet served consecutive duty until April 1950 in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, and at Headquarters, Potomac River Naval Command, and Washington, D.C.  On April 5, 1950 he became the Acting Head, Security Branch, Office of Naval Communications and Head, Naval Security Group until June 29, 1950.  At the time of his death, October 7, 1951 at the Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, he was serving as Assistant to the Head of the Security Branch at the Naval Communication Station, Washington, D.C.

In addition to the Legion of Merit and the Navy Unit Communication Ribbon, CDR Bertolet was authorized to wear the China Service Medal (USS JOHN D. EDWARDS), the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

Source: NCVA/Echoes of Our Past