East Saint Louis
St. Clair County
|Death: ||Jul. 12, 1944|
Herman A. Bauer was the son of John and Mary Bauer. His father was Austrian and his mother Hungarian (normally recorded as Austria-Hungary). The 1920 US Census states both were born in Germany as was their oldest child John, which is incorrect. The 1910 Census shows John immigrated to the U.S. in 1904 and Mary in 1906. That census shows the oldest son John was born in Hungary.
Herman was the husband of Margaret Hume, who he married on 2/3/1943, in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Herman A. "Hermie" Bauer was one of nine children born to his parents in East St. Louis, Illinois. His father, John Bauer, worked as a bartender after losing a leg that had been mangled in an aluminum mill accident. Money became very scarce for the fsmily after the accident. Herman graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1936 and played baseball for the semi-pro East St. Louis A.C. Blue Jays as a catcher. He was scouted and signed with the Chicago White Sox during the summer of 1939. The White Sox sent Herman to the Grand Forks Chiefs, a Class D Northern League team, for seasoning. While with the Chiefs he batted .305 in 37 games. In 1940, Herman was the club's starting catcher and clean-up hitter, helping them turnaround from a seventh place finish the previous year to a comfortable 64–48 record for first place and the Northern League championship. Herman hit .294 for that year with 12 home runs and 86 RBIs, and was voted the league's most valuable player by the Northern League Baseball Writer's Association.
He also received the Linus "Skeets" Ebner Trophy with a vote total that was double that of Don Turck of Crookston and Frank Danneker of Winnipeg, who tied for second.
In 1941, Herman jumped to the American Association league with the St. Paul Saints, one level below the major leagues. Sharing the catching duties with Ed Fernandes and Norm Schlueter, Bauer played in 27 games and batted .269 under manager Red Kress.
That same year, Herman helped his younger brother, Hank get a job in professional baseball. Hank Bauer had graduated from high school in 1940 and was repairing furnaces in a beer bottling plant back in East St. Louis. Herman, who was four years Hank's senior, got his brother a tryout with Grand Forks, and while Hank did not catch on with that team he was signed by the Oshkosh Giants of the Wisconsin State League. Hank would become a future New York Yankees' star outfielder. He also distinguished himself in battle during World War II with the United States Marines, receiving the Bronze Star for valor and two Purple Hearts. His baseball career would span over three decades.
Herman's promising baseball career was put on hold when he entered military service with the Army at the end of the 1941 season. In September 1943, now Staff Sergeant Herman A. Bauer, arrived in England with the 33rd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division. The division was initially stationed at Warminster in southwest England, and during nine months of pre-invasion training they maneuvered extensively over Salisbury Plain, and engaged in practice-landing operations up and down the coast.
On June 24, 1944 as a later part of the D-Day Invasion, the 3rd Armored Division and its Sherman tanks landed at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. They first went into action amid the earthbound hedgerow countryside that led to the embattled village of Saint-Lô. German infantry, with machine guns and mortars and supported by artillery, were expertly concealed and lying in wait in the dense summer foliage, and Villiers-Fossard (16 miles south of Omaha Beach) was the site for the baptism of fire for Herman and the 3rd Armored. Despite suffering serious losses, they were able to turn back a vicious counterattack. On July 9th, the division took Pont-Hébert from the Germans and then attacked Hill 91 at Les Haut Vents (translated means "Windy City") which was five miles from Saint-Lô. Despite further heavy enemy counterattacks over the next few days and a continuous barrage of mortar and artillery fire (some by friendly fire), the area was held by the division.
On July 12, Hermie Bauer was mortally wounded and died later that day. He was temporarily buried at a makeshift cemetery but was later moved to the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, for permanent burial (Parts of this bio provided by Gary Bedingfield's "Baseball in Wartime"). A promising baseball career ended on the field in France.
Staff Sergeant Herman A. Bauer, Sn # 36078131, was the recipient of the following military decorations for his service and sacrifice during World war II:
-Purple Heart Medal
-Army Good Conduct Medal
-American Campaign Medal
-European Theater of Operations Campaign Medal with one bronze campaign stars for Normandy)
-World War II Victory Medal
-Normandy Commemorative Liberation Medal
John Bauer (1874 - 1942)
Note: Entered the service from Illinois.
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Departement du Calvados
Plot: Plot J, Row 22, Grave 15
Maintained by: Rick Lawrence
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56642173