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|115k||Harold William Bauer was born on 20 November 1908 in Woodruff, Kansas and grew up in North Platte, Nebraska. He entered the US Naval Academy in 1926 and was appointed a Marine second lieutenant upon graduation in 1930. Following his commissioning, 2ndLt Bauer attended the Officers Basic School at Quantico VA. He was then assigned as a company officer with the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines at Quantico.
In 1932 he became assít basketball and lacrosse coach at the Naval Academy and an instructor in marksmanship, until his assignment to the San Diego Naval Base were he was the Assistant Range Officer. He was promoted to first lieutenant on 29 May 1934. He was then assigned to NAS Pensacola FL where he earned his wings as a Marine aviator in February 1936. He was promoted to captain on 30 June 1937 and served with several squadrons at Quantico including Marine Scouting Squadron One (VMS-1) and marine Fighting Squadron One (VMF-1). Bauer was then transferred to NAS San Diego CA in June 1940 where he served as XO of VMF-221. The attack on Pearl harbor found Bauer and VMF-221 preparing to embark aboard Saratoga (CV 3) for transport to Hawaii.
Bauer and VMF-221 were transported to Hawaii and were slated to reinforce Wake Island, but were diverted to Midway after Wake fell. Transferred to Hawaii in February 1942, Bauer took command of VMF-211 stationed at Ewa and on 1 March 1942 commissioned and took command of VMF-212. Promoted to Major on 29 April 1942, Bauer and VMF-212 were deployed to the South Pacific and were stationed at New Caledonia, and later Efate. Although still the CO of VMF-212, Bauer was responsible for the operation of the airfield they operated from and was to select possible sites for additional airfields in the South Pacific. Bauer's promotion to LtCol, after only three months as a Major was effective 7 August.
On 28 September 1942, Lt.Col. Bauer performed the first feat cited for the Medal of Honor. His squadron was attacked by a superior force of Japanese planes. He engaged the enemy and shot down a bomber. Again attacking a superior force on 3 October, he shot down four of them and left a fifth badly damaged. While leading a reinforcement flight on 16 October to Guadalcanal, Bauer was about to land at Henderson Field when he noticed a squadron of Japanese planes attacking USS McFarland off shore. Though the long flight had almost exhausted his fuel and he knew no friendly planes were able to assist him, he proceeded alone to attack the enemy and destroyed four of them before lack of fuel forced him back to Henderson Field. On 14 November, he was forced to ditch his plane over water after downing two enemies in an attack 100 miles off Guadalcanal. He was last seen in the water in his Mae West and did not appear to be hurt. Days of intense searching by planes and Russell Island natives failed to locate any further trace of him.
USS Bauer (DE 1025) (1957-1973) was the first ship named in his honor. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo)
|129k||undated, souvenir photo||David G. Schulz, EM3 (9/57 - 6/60)|
|122k||1957, San Francisco Bay (© Allied Photographers, San Francisco, Cal.)||Robert M. Cieri|
|38k||circa 1958, location unknown (Official U.S. Navy Photo; From "Jane's Fighting Ships, 1958 - 59")||Robert Hurst|
|146k||1964: Hong Kong - Taken as Bauer came alongside USS Richard B. Anderson. Bauer relieved Anderson as Station Ship Hong Kong shortly thereafter.||Dan Kalbach (YN3, USNR)
USS Richard B. Anderson (DD 786)
|Bauer's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 21 Nov 1957 - .. Jul. 1959||Lcdr. Lawrence Delworth Cummins|
|2.) .. Jul. 1959 -18 Dec. 1960||Lcdr. Isaac Nelson Franklin|
|3.) 18 Dec. 1960 - .. Jun. 1962||Lcdr. William Haley Rogers|
|4.) .. Jun. 1962 - .. Jun. 1963||Lcdr. Harry Peter Jefferson|
|5.) .. Jun. 1963 - .. Jul. 1965||Cdr. William Henry Rowden (ret. as Vadm.)|
|6.) .. Jul. 1965 - .. Mar. 1967||Lcdr. Charles Gordon Farnham|
|7.) .. Mar. 1967 - .. Apr. 1969||Lcdr. Robert L. Brandenburg|
|8.) .. Apr. 1969 - .. Sep. 1971||Lcdr. Gary Robert Susag|
|9.) .. Sep. 1971 - .. Aug. 1972||Lcdr. Harris Sperling|
|10.) .. Aug. 1972 - 03 Dec. 1973||Lcdr. John Michael Rodgers|
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