In Memory of
First Lieutenant
Ubald L. Bauer
Rapid City, South Dakota
Pennington County
March 16, 1918 – March 13, 1945
Killed in Action over Frankfort, Germany

Ubald L. Bauer

Ubald “Ube” Leu Bauer was the son of Henry A. and Alma E. Bauer.  He was born on March 16, 1918, in Zell, South Dakota.  Ubald was one of eight siblings:  Irene, Leo, Norbert, Elaine, Corinne, Franklin, and Dorothy. Only two are still living:  Irene Gaffney of Rapid City and Dorothy Bauer of Denver, Colorado.  After graduating from high school in Rapid City, Ubald worked as a pager for his father.  He also attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota.  His major was law, and his plans were to enter the family business, “The Black Hills Life Insurance Company.”  While attending USD, Ubald was a member of the ATO Fraternity.  His sister, Irene B. Gaffney, shared one of her most memorable experiences with Ubald when they were very young.  It was just after World War I, in the 1920’s, when airplanes were being developed and beginning to fly.  Their father took all three siblings to a field outside of Rapid City where a man was offering plane rides.  Horrified ladies stood by commenting, “that man must be out of his mind taking children up in that thing.”  All three Bauer children took a ride on the plane.  Leo and Irene were both quite frightened, looking down so far below.  However, for Ubald it was a wonderful experience, and from that day on he would say, “I am going to be a pilot when I grow up!”

Ubald Bauer entered the active service of the Armed Forces on March 27, 1942.  He  earned the rank of  First Lieutenant.  Initially he took pilot lessons from Clyde Ice at Roswell Air Force Base in New Mexico, and then Ubald became a flying instructor himself at the same air force base.  First Lieutenant Bauer was stationed in the United States from March 27, 1942, through September 11, 1944, and then he was re-stationed in Europe.    He was stationed in Europe from September 11, 1944 until his death occurred March 13, 1945.  While stationed in Europe he was the pilot of a B-26 (Marauder) bomber that participated in combat missions.  First Lieutenant Bauer’s mother received several letters from Headquarters, Army Air Forces, concerning his status.  On May 3, 1945, she received an additional notice from Headquarters, Army Air Forces, providing her with detailed information on her son’s fate.  She was told that he was the pilot of a B-26 bomber that participated in a combat mission to Frankfurt, Germany on March 13, 1945.  While on the mission his plane was damaged and observed falling to the ground.  The letter also stated that they would continue searching for her son’s body.    Mrs. Bauer received an additional letter on April 12, 1945, from the Office of the Catholic Chaplain in New York.  Father Joe Chatham expressed his sympathy.

I extend to you, from my heart, our prayerful sympathy in your anxiety and sorrow. I 
have said many Masses for Ubald and his crew, and his many friends here join with me
in daily prayers for him and his loved ones at home.

It was also reported in this letter that a crewmember from another ship that was involved in the attack saw and talked to one member of Ubald’s crew, Sgt Norman L. Stock, 131773729.  He had parachuted from the plane and was captured by the Germans.  He did not know what happened to any of the rest of the crew. 

First Lieutenant Bauer’s remains were eventually found and initially buried in the Civilian Cemetery in Rauheim, Germany.  However, American Graves Registration Personnel later reburied them in Saint Avold, France.  The body is now resting in Plot RRR, Row 1, Grave 10.  The cemetery is under the constant care and supervision of our government.  It has been designated as a permanent American Military Cemetery dedicated in grateful remembrance of our World War II dead.  However, a memorial burial site is at Mount Calvery Cemetery, Rapid City, South Dakota.  On March 13, 1946, his parents received a letter from the War Department informing them that their son would be receiving the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster.  In this letter it was stated:

I have the honor to inform you that, by direction of the President, the Air Medal
and one Oak Leaf Cluster, representing an additional award of the same decoration,
have been posthumously awarded to your son, First Lieutenant… Ubald L. Bauer, Air Corps.

The Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster is given to those for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flights in the European Theater of Operations having completed the required number of operational sorties against the enemy.  First Lieutenant Bauer also received the Purple Heart at the request of the President for the sacrifice of his life in defense of his country.

First Lieutenant Bauer did remarkable tasks for our country.  He entered the Armed Forces on his own will knowing the consequences that could occur.  He will be remembered and honored for the service and sacrifice he gave his country and his family.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Shauna Williams and Mike Freeman, Seniors, Wall High School, Wall, South Dakota, May 9, 2002.  Information for this entry was provided by Mrs. Irene B. Gaffney, Rapid City, South Dakota, sister of First Lieutenant Ubald L. Bauer.