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