LUDWIG G BAUMANN - MAJ
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- April 19, 1931
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- January 30, 1969
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- Air Force
- South Vietnam
Ludwig George Baumann was born in Bound Brook, NJ, on April 19, 1931. His home of record is Plainfield, NJ. Growing up in Plainfield, NJ, he was known to be very personable with a great sense of humor. Ludwig picked up easily on foreign languages, such as German and Russian, in his early school days. He was "not known as one of the quieter boys" of his Blair Academy High School in Blairstown, NJ. He was, however, very dependable as a varsity football and baseball manager. A well-rounded young man, Baumann was an avid reader, a philatelist, an artist, and enjoyed skiing, golf, and bridge. He also joined the Dramatic Club, the International Society, Stylus, Breeze, and the White Color Club while at Blair Academy. A religiously devout man, Baumann belonged to the Presbyterian Youth Sponsors, the Chapel Choir, and later served as a Sunday school teacher.
Baumann excelled at Blair Academy and graduated in 1949. He went on to Middlebury College in VT, graduating from there in 1953, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. He married Ms. Jean Felice in 1955, and the couple had three daughters, Debbie, Brenda and Melinda.
Yearning to serve his country, Baumann enlisted in the US Air Force and received his training at over eight different locations. Promoted to officer in November 1954, Baumann worked as a navigator with the Military Air Transport Service at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. Expanding his education while in the Air Force, Baumann attended Cambridge University in England in 1962, and earned an MBA in Accounting from Syracuse University in 1966.
Baumann began his tour in Vietnam on August 27, 1968. While there, he attained the rank of Major (MAJ). He participated in 48 Aerial Missions in support of the Berlin Crisis while on duty. For his superb knowledge and intelligence as a pilot in such missions as photoreconnaissance and sustained aerial flights, Baumann received many awards. These include: the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, a Purple Heart, and a National Defense Service Medal. Major Baumann earned these during extremely dangerous missions over highly defended mountain terrain in South Vietnam between October 2, 1968 and January 22, 1969.
The Major lost his life on January 30, 1969, during one of these missions over the Khanh Hoa Province in South Vietnam. He was declared killed in action.
My husband was born on April 19, 1931. He graduated from Blair Academy '49 and from Middleburg College in '53 with a degree in English Literature, but he really was interested in flying and went through cadet training in Waco, TX, where we met. I was at Baylor University. In 1955, we graduated and were married, and began life in the Air Force. We lived all over the United States. My husband went through pilot training in Florida and we had two girls by that time. We spent almost four years in England and had a 3rd daughter. During this time, Lud participated in approximately 48 aerial missions in support of the Berlin crisis and was awarded many medals and awards. While in England, he attended Cambridge University. On our return to the United States, he was promoted to Captain and we attended Syracuse University where he received his Master's Degree in one year in Accounting. We were assigned to Loring AFB where he was promoted to Major and became a Squadron Commander. He spoke several languages fluently so he applied for an Embassy Post as an Air Attaché and we had been accepted when he was told he had to serve a year in Vietnam. He brought us back to Ft. Worth so I could be near my parents. Six months in Vietnam, and 2 weeks before we were to meet in Hawaii on an R&R, his plane was shot down in the jungle near Saigon. Two weeks later, the crash site was found by native Montanards, who risked their lives to bring out his remains. Funeral Services were at the Sam Houston National Cemetery with full military honors. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart. He died on January 30, 1969.
He was a wonderful father who spent much quality time with his girls. He taught them to read the "new" math at a very early age, to ski and much history. Everywhere we moved, he took them all around the surrounding countryside.
Written by Mrs. Jean Baumann, Wife
Major Baumann's Distinguished Flying Cross citations read:
Major Ludwig G. Baumann distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an RF-4C Navigator near Kontum, Republic of Vietnam on 9 November 1968. On that date, Major Baumann was launched with minimum notice to acquire photographic reconnaissance of an area in which a friendly force ground operation was pending. Displaying outstanding skill and determination, Major Baumann planned and executed this difficult mission while accomplishing complete target coverage in a minimum of time and in the face of unfriendly reaction from ground forces. His efforts resulted in the delivery of the required intelligence data to the requestor in an absolute minimum of time. The professional competence, aerial skill and devotion to duty displayed by Major Baumann reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Major Ludwig G. Baumann distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an RF-4C Navigator over Southeast Asia on 26 January 1969. On that date, Major Baumann flew an unarmed and escorted low altitude photo-reconnaissance mission in highly defended mountainous terrain. Major Baumann tenaciously pursued his mission to obtain complete coverage of three high priority targets in spite of intense hostile antiaircraft fire. The professional competence, aerial skill and devotion to duty displayed by Major Baumann reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Sources: Jean Baumann (wife) and NJVVMF.
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