8th Cav

Leonard William Bauer


Specialist Four, Army of the United States


From Durand, Wisconsin

03 December 1949 - 18 April 1970

Leonard William Bauer is on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Panel 11W Line 020

The Purple Heart

Purple Heart

Awarded for wounds or death as result of an act of any opposing armed force, as a result of an international terrorist attack or as a result of military operations while serving as part of a peacekeeping force.
The oldest of our military awards, the predecessor for the Purple Heart was George Washington's "Badge of Military Merit" (1782). Washington's award was resurrected in 1932 as the Purple Heart and is awarded to any person wounded in action while serving in any of our Armed Forces. It is also presented posthumously to the next of kin of personnel killed in action or who die of wounds sustained in action.


Leonard Bauer was killed in action April 18st 1970. I was able to contact his nephew Joe Bauer in regards to additional information about Leonard.

Email from Joe Bauer received 11/24/05

Thanks for the e-mail about my uncle Leonard. I can't tell you how much this means to me. I was born in 1973 so I never had the chance to meet him. but for some reason I've always felt very close to him my whole life. Leonard was the oldest child in a family of nine children and one parent. His mother died in child birth of the youngest brother, my uncle tom. So Leonard played a very important role in raising his siblings. When he died, it was like losing another parent and a brother at the same time for my father and the rest of the brothers. Over the years I have picked up bits and pieces of Leonards life and what he was like, but for the most part  no one in the family would openly talk about him. I guess it was a lose everyone has tried to put in the past and leave it there. except me. I was raised catholic and I'm sure at some point I did believe in God back when there was a santa claus. But most of my life, whenever I think of a "higher power", I think of Leonard. I know that sounds crazy but I truly believe Leonard is my guardian. I can't think of any other reason why I would think of someone I never met almost daily. I was really surprised to hear from anyone who knew him. He was only in Vietnam a short time. I didn't think anyone would remember a few months 35 years ago. I told my family about the memorial I entered for him but I doubt if anyone looked it up. That's ok though. I did it for Leonard and all other vets who served. What you are doing with that web sight is a wonderful thing. If there is anything I can do to help, I would be happy to. just e-mail me back and let me know.

In reply to my request to do this page:

I think a tribute would be great. I forwarded your e-mail and the web sight address to my dad yesterday. I don't know when he will look at it but he seemed really interested. It would be good if he could get involved with a tribute since he would have the most information about Leonard. I live in green bay and my family is from Durand, WI. But I will be going home to visit for a Christmas party on Dec 10. I will also sit down with my aunt Marilyn and Grandpa. My Grandpa is 82 and still thinks the "web" is something a spider makes, but if I show him the web site I know he would be proud to have a tribute to his son on there. I will try to get as many pictures as I can.   Speaking of pictures, on the tribute you did for Vinny the third picture I think, is a picture of him sitting down with his shirt off writing a letter. Who is the guy sitting next to him wearing the helmet? He looks like my uncle Don but Don was never in the military so I thought maybe it might be Leonard? Could it be?   Anyway thanks for your time and efforts. If there's anything else I can do for ya I'm here.                                             

Joe Bauer

Here are my recollections

(as written by Gordon Swenson)

This was a bad day. We were following a trail and our point man called back to say that he found a machine gun setting in the middle of the trail with no one around it. Just as they were calling this in he heard voices and saw 2 individuals walking down the trail towards the machine gun. One of them had a AK47 slung over his shoulder. They never saw our guy. The point man opened up with his M16 and killed them both. Turns out there were about 7 or 8 more of them just around the corner. Suddenly all hell broke loose. I got on the radio and called for air support. About then we got a call on the radio that one of our guys had gotten killed. I called for a Tactical air strike with Napalm. One of our guys spotted an enemy sniper in a tree and I can remember hearing the M60 gunner calling for more ammo. The sniper was shot (I suppose he was dead then) but didn't fall out of the tree. So the M60 gunner cut the tree down with gun fire. About then the jets showed up and began dropping the napalm. I found that if anything could stop a fire fight, napalm would. Sure enough the shooting stopped. Our casualty was Leonard Bauer . I helped carry him to the helicopter to be flown out. I can still remember the boots sticking out of the poncho liner that was covering him and his dog tags attached to the shoe laces. (This was common practice to keep the dog tags from rattling together like they would if you wore them around your neck.)

I have placed a copy of the "Daily Officers" log from 04/18/70 that refers to the actions that took place that day.

click here for daily log.

(you will need adobe reader to view these records. PS it's free)



For information on the terms and codes used please refer to my dictionary for assistance.


Leonard Bauer Dec 1949 to April 1970

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Leonard (in the middle) and buddies in Basic Training

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Army Photo

Leonard Bauer (Basic training photo)

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Leonard & Treetop

Leonard & Randolph "Treetop" Foriest

(looks like LZ Candy)

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