CPL Charles F. Bahde

2018-1-22 Bahde

Decorated World War II veteran, industrial designer, builder, real estate investor/entrepreneur, world traveler, artist, philanthropist, devoted husband and family man.

He became an Eagle Scout and when he was 16. He was an “all-city” running-guard on his Milwaukee high school football team. Bahde began taking flying lessons with the Civil Air Patrol, in the hope of becoming a fighter pilot. World War II was raging in the Pacific and Europe.

When he was 17 and still in high school, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an Air Cadet – only to learn afterwards that he had been offered an athletic scholarship for football and track at the University of Wisconsin.

He ended up training as a belly-gunner. Instead of being assigned to a bomber, he was sent on an invading convoy to Iwo Jima, a Japanese-held volcanic island where some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific took place.

It was unique for a member of the Air Force to wade ashore off a landing barge with Marines following the initial assault. On Iwo Jima, Bahde, a corporal and Armorer, was assigned to servicing and loading the .50 caliber guns on P-51 fighter planes.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and a Presidential Citation for pulling four survivors out of a burning B-29 bomber that had crash-landed on the field where he was working. He himself was badly burned. His honorary plaque is at the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in La Jolla.

We honor you, Charles Bahde.
(#Repost @sdnews.com)

CPO Russel T. Winsett

2018-1-21 Winsett

Winsett graduated from Hamilton High School prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1940 and was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the attack in 1941 and fought in several engagements in the Pacific. He witnessed the raising of the flag at Mt. Suribachi at Iwo Jima. He retired from the Navy in 1960 as a Chief Petty Officer and began work at the U.S. Post Office from 1960 to 1975. He retired as postmaster in Rio Grande, N.J.

We honor you, Russel Winsett.

(#Repost @Burlington County Times)


SPC John A. Vargas

2018-1-20 Vargas

John was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA, and was raised in NYC. After his military service he earned a degree in marketing.

He was “drafted” into the U.S. Army and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Lewis, Wash. while serving in Vietnam, he voluntarily transferred to the 25th Division 3/4 Air Cavalry, aka Centaurs. John was a door gunner on a Huey gunship that was consistently engaged in daily and nightly raids.

On May 19, 1967, while on a combat mission in the Hobo Woods, South Vietnam, John was seriously injured, sustaining bullet wounds to his right shoulder. In spite of his wounds, he continued to engage the enemy with M60 tracers while making their position with smoke grenades. Subsequently, he saved the other three crew members while assisting to kill at least 17 Vietcong. For his bravery and dedication to duty, along with the Purple Heart, John was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for Valor. He is one of a few in the Army to have received the DFC, which is usually awarded to an Air Force pilot.

While in Colorado he joined the executive staff, eventually retiring from a technical college as director of placement. Always being community minded; John was a volunteer with the Colorado Springs Police Department. He is a member of Highlands Ranch, Colo., American Legion Post 1260, VVA 1106 and PH Chapter 1041.

We honor you, John Vargas.

(#Repost @The American Legion)

CPT Russell M. Nelson

2018-1-19 Nelson

As a boy, Russell Nelson had many interests, but in college he decided to study medicine. By the time he received his degree in June 1945, he was already well into his first year of medical school, and he completed the four-year course in three years. In August 1947, he was a full-fledged M.D. at age 22, having graduated with highest honors.

In the meantime he met and married Dantzel White. Russell had been persuaded to participate in a play at the university, and she was a lead soprano in the play. When he met her and heard her sing, he was smitten. He needed no further motivation to perform in the play, and they were married three years later in August 1945 in the Salt Lake Temple. They had 10 children. Sister Nelson passed away in February 2005. In April 2006, he married Wendy L. Watson. Today she often accompanies him on his Church assignments.

After his internship at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Nelson worked on a team that made medical history: After three challenging years, they developed the first machine that performed the functions of a patient’s heart and lungs during open-heart surgery.

Before returning to Salt Lake City, he enlisted to serve a two-year term of medical duty in the U.S. Army during the Korean War; he served in Korea and Japan and at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Later he worked for a year at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, then returned to the University of Minnesota for a year and received his PhD in 1954.

Over the years, he literally touched the hearts of thousands of patients, including top Church and civic leaders. In 1972 he performed heart surgery on Elder Spencer W. Kimball. Following the surgery he received a personal witness that his patient would someday become President of the Church.

On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced that Russell Nelson would be it’s next president and prophet. He has previously served as an apostle since 1984.

We honor you, Russell Nelson.

(Submission by: Ninzel Rasmuson #Repost @LDS.org)

SFC Chad Andrew Hand

2018-1-18 Hand

On 22 June 2004 Sergeant First Class Hand was the Convoy Security Team Leader in a logistical convoy traveling north on Main Supply Route Tampa from Al Taqaddum, Iraq to Camp Anaconda at Balad, Iraq. At approximately 0200, the transfer truck he was traveling in was attacked by an improvised explosive device. Due to the explosion, the driver lost control of the vehicle. While traveling about 100 kilometers an hour, the vehicle went across the median, the left hand lanes and into a palm tree grove. The vehicle finally stopped about 100 meters into the grove and the windshield had blown inward on them. The driver jumped out of the vehicle to stop the convoy.

Sergeant First Class Hand got out of the vehicle and tried to run. He repeatedly lost footing resulting in contusions to his lower left extremity and left wrist. After reaching the road, he saw the convoy gun truck. He screamed, “It’s me, don’t shoot, it’s Sergeant First Class Hand.” He was recovered by the convoy truck and taken to the front gate of Logistical Supply Area Anaconda., Balad, Iraq. He was then transported ot 31st Combat Support Hospital where he was treated for corneal abrasions on his left eye caused by the glass blown from the vehicles windshield.

We honor you, Chad Hand.

(#Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Fame)

Sgt Henry A “Hank” Bauer

2018-1-17 Bauer
Henry A “Hank” Bauer was born in East St Louis, Illinois on July 31, 1922. The youngest of nine children, Bauer’s father was an Austrian immigrant who worked as a bartender having earlier lost his leg in an aluminum mill.

After graduating from Central Catholic High School, Bauer went to work repairing furnaces in a beer-bottling plant when his older brother Herman – who was playing in the White Sox farm system – was able to get him a tryout that resulted in a contract with Oshkosh Giants of the Wisconsin State League. Alternating between infield and outfield, he batted .262.

In January 1942, Bauer enlisted in the Marine Corps. He took basic training at Mare Island, California, where he also played for the camp baseball team. 

But the easy life came to an abrupt halt. “One morning,” Bauer told TIME magazine in 1964, “this sergeant came up to me and said, ‘Why don’t you volunteer for the Raider battalion?’ I said okay. But the first thing they told me was, ‘You’ve got to swim a mile with a full pack on your back.’ I said, ‘Hell, I can’t even swim,’ and they turned me down. I told the sergeant what happened. He said, ‘You gutless SOB, go back down there.’ So I told them I knew how to swim. They took me.” 

Bauer came down with malaria almost as soon as he hit the South Pacific. “My weight dropped from 190 pounds to 160 pounds,” he said. “I was eating atabrine tablets like candy.” Temporarily recovered (over the next four years, Bauer had 24 malarial attacks), he fought on New Georgia, was hit in the back by shrapnel on Guam. Next came Emirau off New Guinea, then Okinawa. Sixty-four men were in Platoon Sergeant Bauer’s landing group on Okinawa; six got out alive. Hank himself was wounded again on June 4, 1945. “I saw this reflection of sunshine on something coming down. It was an artillery shell, and it hit right behind me.” A piece of shrapnel tore a jagged hole in Bauer’s left thigh. Also wounded that day was Richard C Goss, who was serving with Bauer. “There goes my baseball career,” Bauer told Goss as they were evacuated together. Bauer’s part in the war was over —after 32 months of combat, eleven campaign ribbons, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

His brother, Herman, was not so fortunate. He was killed in action in France with the 3rd Armored Division on July 12, 1944

Bauer felt there was no future for him in baseball so he joined the pipe fitters’ union in East St. Louis, and got a job as a wrecker, dismantling an old factory. But a roving baseball scout named Danny Menendez found him and offered him a tryout with the Quincy Gems, a Yankees’ farm club.  

Bauer hit .323 at Quincy and promptly moved up to the Kansas City Blues, where he hit .313 in 1947 and .305 in 1948. Bauer played 19 games with the Yankees in 1948, he played 100-plus games in Yankees’ pinstripes for the next 11 seasons, plus nine World Series appearances. 

During the 1960s, Bauer managed the Kansas City Athletics and Baltimore Orioles.  In 1966 he led the Orioles to the World Series where they defeated the Dodgers in four games. Bauer then ran a liquor store for many years.

Hank Bauer died of cancer in Shawnee Mission, Kansas on February 9, 2007. 

We honor you, Hank Bauer.

(#Repost @Baseball in Wartime)

WO Robert Reynolds Myra


Myra enlisted in the Coast Guard Merchant Marines in October of 1945, at the young age of 17. He served in the Stewards Department as a Messman- Utility Man. Within a months’ time, he was promoted to Warrant Officer, a very quick promotion during that era! Although his service was at the tail end of the war, the Merchant Marines were often in the most dangerous positions, as the ships were frequently targeted as a way to block the supply chain.

Years later, among his important military documents, family members found his diagram of the ships’ life boats with personal notations of where life-saving gear would be found. He seemed prepared for the worst- an unlikely characteristic of peers his age at that time. Later studies showed, that many perished due to the lack of preparation for such catastrophic events.

We honor you, Robert Myra.

(Submission by Lynda Myra)