Unknown Sailor

RM3c Harold Walter Bauer

Harold Walter Bauer came from a hard-working family.

The 1930 Census said Harold, then 16, was a delivery boy for a photography studio in Wichita, Kansas. His divorced mother, Victoria, was the head of the household and a cafe cook. An older teenage brother was a grocery-store helper and a sister a waitress. A younger brother sold newspapers.

By 1940 Harold, still at home with his mother and older brother, was a deliveryman for Dockum Drug Co.. His mother was a cook and his brother, Ernest, a baker. The three were fortunate to have jobs every week in 1939 — a rarity in many households during the Great Depression.  Their combined incomes totaled $2,420 — the equivalent of $44,515 in 2019 dollars.

Harold, who graduated from East High School, served in the Naval Reserve before going into active duty in November 1940. He married Beatrice Parcel on Christmas that year and in early 1941 set sail for Hawaii to join the crew of the U.S.S. Arizona.

He was a radioman third class on the battleship when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Mr. Bauer was born March 4, 1914, in Macon, Virginia, to Frederic Bauer, a farmer and German immigrant, and Victoria Lehmann Bauer, a homemaker. They moved to Kansas before 1920.

His brother Ernest served in the Army during the war.

Sources: the Wichita (Kansas) Beacon; Census records; Navy muster rolls; cenotaph at Grant cemetery in Marion, Kansas. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.
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