Last Known Activity|
Leo Allen Bauer was born on December 3, 1933, in Denver, Colorado, to Leo and Edith (Beck) Bauer. He had five siblings, Clifford, Edith, Eileen, Willard, Glen, and Frank. His hometown was Denver, Colorado, where he attended Baker Junior High and West Denver High School. After high school, he entered the Colorado Air National Guard in 1950. According to his daughter, Sue, “Leo loved the mountains of Colorado and the Black Hills of South Dakota. He enjoyed reading, tinkering with cars, playing cards, and most of all, flying. He talked of being a crop-duster when he retired from the service.”
In 1951 Leo’s unit was activated, and he served first at Buckley Field in Colorado and then in France and Germany. He was then assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base. He met and married Patricia Sorensen of Brookings in 1956, and they later had two daughters: Lizabeth and Sue.
In 1958 Leo was honorably discharged. He then joined the 109th Engineers, South Dakota National Guard stationed at Sturgis. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant following his National Guard Officer Training School. Leo went on to graduate from Black Hills State College in 1962. Soon thereafter, he was promoted to a first lieutenant.
In January of 1963, Lt. Bauer returned to active duty in the Army, first being stationed at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and then going to Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama from where he graduated in September of 1964. He arrived overseas in Vietnam on November 3, 1964, as part of the 219th Aviation Company, 1st Aviation Brigade.
On September 10, 1965, Captain Leo Bauer was killed while performing the duty of pilot. It was a fixed wing aircraft, and he suffered fatal injuries when his plane “overshot a runway during power failure.” His body was returned to South Dakota and after funeral services at the South Canyon Lutheran Church, Rapid City, he was buried at the Black Hills National Cemetery with military honors.
The survivors of Leo Bauer at the time of his death were “his three girls”-- wife, Patricia, daughters, Lizabeth and Sue; his brothers, Frank, Glen, and Cliff, his sisters, Eileen (Frank) Willard and Edith (Cliff) Hurlbert. In closing, his family said of Leo, “We love and miss you very much.”