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Veteran of the Week: Ivan Bauer

Remembering a local WWII solider who made the ultimate sacrifice

The world-famous 101st Airborne Division first saw combat during the D-Day invasion in World War II.


One of the first parachutists to jump on the morning of June 6, 1944, was a Batesville native who would later give his life during the Battle of the Bulge.


S/Sgt. Ivan Bauer was assigned to the 101 st Airborne Division, when he and the “Screaming Eagles” dropped behind enemy lines on D-Day with the mission to secure positions inland from Utah Beach and destroy a German coast-artillery battery near St. Martin-de-Varreville.


The unit accomplished the mission and Bauer survived the Normandy invasion without a scratch.


He and his comrades would fight several weeks as infantrymen before returning to England.


In September 1944, Bauer made a second successful combat jump to secure a bridge and highway in Holland.


It was December 21, 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, when Bauer would further display the patriotism, bravery and sacrifice that defines his legacy as an American hero.


Bauer and his unit were battling strong enemy forces when a small machine gun squad became isolated from his larger unit.


“Although the only route to the squad was under continuous small arms and artillery fire, Sergeant Bauer, realized the need for more ammunition [and] volunteered to crawl forward to

the isolated position with the ammunition,” the Silver Star citation stated.


Once there, Bauer realized the supply of ammunition he provided the squad was not enough.


“Although he might have required the regular ammunition bearers to expose themselves, Sergeant Bauer himself returned for the additional ammunition,” according to the citation.


That heroic action to assist comrades under heavy gunfire led to this telegram sent to his parents in Batesville:


“Mr. and Mrs. Otto Bauer of this city received a telegram from the War Department last Saturday, January 13, stating that their son, Ivan A. Bauer, had died of wounds received in action in Belgium on December 24th ,” the Herald Tribune reported.


As news broke back home of Bauer’s death, family and friends remembered him for being very active in the Lutheran Church, League and Sunday School activities, as well as being a prominent figure in social affairs.


The newspaper reported, “He was a graduate of the Batesville High School, attended Indiana University, and was a highly respected and well-known young man.”


The last time loved ones saw Ivan was more than a year-and-a-half before his death, while he was home in Batesville on furlough on June 22, 1943.

 

WANT TO NOMINATE A LOCAL VETERAN?

Each week we feature a Veteran of the Week in Southeast Indiana. This is sponsored by StoneBridge Trucking in Greensburg. Click here to learn about the Veteran-owned and Veteran-driven company.

HOW TO NOMINATE: Send an email to news@812now.com with the following information:

  • A picture(s) of the Veteran

  • Name, location and service branch of the Veteran

  • Why are you nominating this Veteran

  • Tell us about the Veteran (military and non-military life)

  • Your name and phone number

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