Title: Army Corporal, World War II, Korea, Vietnam
Birthdate: November 16, 1912
Death Date: December 18, 1983
Plot Location: Section D, Range 1, Lot 4
The Bauman family moved from Philadelphia to a little neighborhood in nearby Delaware County called Lester. That was in 1913, a year after their only son, William was born.
Lester is in Tinicum Township, bordered on the south by the Delaware River, on the east by Philadelphia, on the north by the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, and on the west by Darby Creek and the Boeing helicopter plant in Ridley Township. Today, the runways of Philadelphia International Airport take up more than half of the township’s land area. Tinicum was the site of the first recorded European settlement in Pennsylvania, but is also notable for being the birthplace of the stromboli in 1950.
William Sr. began working at Scott Paper Company in 1913, remaining there until he retired in 1950. His marriage to Maude Dunhour was a quick affair; their wedding was in June, 1901 when she was 17, and their first daughter arrived in September.
The Baumans had two more daughters before William was born. They joined St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lester, but didn’t stress the importance of a formal education; none of the children went past 8th grade. According to the 1930 census, William was a messenger for an electrical manufacturer. In 1933 he married a girl named Helen who lived a few streets away, as reported in this local news item, Like William’s mother, she was wed and had a child before she was 18.
Their son was named William H. Bauman, but all was not well at home. The 1940 census listed the 27-year-old William as married but living with his parents. Helen and her son resided with her parents, as they had been since 1935.
William was a miller in an aircraft factory, the Kellett Autogiro Corporation near the airport. His draft card reveals his small stature, 5’5” and 135 pounds, which would have made him a good candidate for an airplane crew. Instead he joined the Army in 1943 and served in Company Headquarters of the 25th Medical Battalion. There he was known by the robust nickname, Buck. Starting in 1944, he spent two years overseas in the Pacific Theater in support of the 25th Infantry Division as they helped liberate the Philippines.
Buck’s specific duties are not known, but his rank was a Technician 5. The battalion treated and evacuated the injured and kept up with supplies and medical records. They followed the 25th, nicknamed “Tropic Lightning,” as they landed on the island of Luzon in January 1945 and fought for 165 days without rest.
His military life did nothing for his married life, which was already all but finished. In 1946 the divorce papers were filed, as shown here. Helen remarried and moved to Chester. Buck re-enlisted in 1946 and again in 1949, making the Army his career.
After World War II, Tropic Lightning performed occupation duty in Japan and the medical battalion presumably returned to their base in Hawaii. In the summer of 1950, the 25th Infantry Division was called to action in South Korea against communist aggression. It was a bitter struggle, calling on the medical battalion for transportation of the injured and logistical activity in the midst of extreme weather and challenging terrain.
The Division returned home to Hawaii in October 1954. Another call to fight communism came in December of 1965 in Vietnam. At age 53, Buck’s duties were most likely administrative. When his father died in November of 1966, the obituary said Buck was living in his father’s house. By April of 1971, all Division units had returned to Hawaii, and Buck was discharged in November, 1973.
His military record says he gave 30 years of service to his country. Not many other veterans buried at Mount Moriah actually served in three wars. One whose life story spans the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and World War I is William Henry Scholls.
Buck was buried with his parents in a plot in Section D that was first purchased by a sister for her two deceased husbands and herself. Another sister and her husband are in Section K.
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