OTTO W BAUMANN - PFC
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- July 23, 1946
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- December 28, 1966
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Otto W. Baumann, Jr. was born on July 23, 1946, to Otto and Tressa Uhl Baumann. His home of record is Spotswood, NJ. Otto had two brothers, Gary and Howard. He was a graduate of Spotswood public schools, South River High School in 1964, a member of the Reformed Church, and employed in the Budget and Finance Department at Rutgers University. Scouting was a large part of his life. He joined the Cub Scout Pack 35 in September 1954 and graduated to the Boy Scout Troop 34 in June 1957. He earned his Eagle Scout Badge on November10, 1962 and later earned three Eagle palms.
Baumann enlisted in the Army on December 1, 1965. He completed basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, advanced infantry training at Fort Gordan, Georgia. He originally signed up for the Green Berets, but the recruiting sergeant had failed to mention the age requirements. Consequently, after winning his paratrooper wings at Fort Benning in Georgia, he was ineligible to take part in the Special Forces selection process, having missed the 20-year age requirement cutoff by one month.
He was part of the Chinese Bandits, the Reconnaissance Platoon of Delta Company, 1st Battalion Eighth Cavalry (Airborne). He was referred to as “Skip” by others in his group. He mentioned wanting to be a scoutmaster once he left Vietnam.
On December 28, 1966, at the age of 20, Baumann was killed in action in South Vietnam. He died from hostile force employing grenades and small arms fire. He is buried in the Spotswood Reformed Church Cemetery in Spotswood, NJ.
The Kittatinny Mountain Scout Reservation in the north tip of New Jersey has a cabin named Bauman Lodge after Otto Baumann Jr. Otto was an Eagle Scout and member of the Order of the Arrow, the national honor society of the Boys Scouts of America reserved for Scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. As a member of the Order of the Arrow, he was awarded the Vigil Honor based on his exceptional service above and beyond the norm of leadership, exemplary efforts, and dedication. A plaque is based in his honor inside the cabin.
Otto Baumann was awarded posthumously the Military Merit Medal, the Air Medal, and Purple Heart, and the Gallantry Cross with Palm. There is a stone monument and flagpole in his honor in front of the Spotswood Reformed Church where he was a member. There is also a memorial for all the men of Spotswood who made the supreme sacrifice in Vietnam at the Herman R. Lettau American Legion Post No. 253 on Devoe Avenue in his hometown.
Source: NJVVMF, the Baumann Family and various websites.
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