Irving W. Baum 1943
|Irving W. Baum 1996
Name Middle Initial:
PO BOX 931
& State: REDLANDS, CA
WW II, KOREA
Branch: Army Air Corp
99TH BOMB GROUP,1st,8th,15th AF; MATS
Captured: GRAZ, AUSTRIA
Held In: LUFT III, LUFT VII, LUFT XIII, NURNBURG 7A
Long Interned: 354 days
/ repatriated: liberated
at Capture: 21
Received: AIR MEDAL 1 OAK LEAF CLUSTER, EUROPEAN THEATER RIBBON
2 STARS. PRESIDENTIAL CITATION 2 CLUSTERS, POW MEDAL
Job: B17 Navigator; Munitions Officer
CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION DEPT.
after War: SURVEYOR
Irving W. Baum was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 3, 1923.
During his early childhood his family moved to Queens, New York where he
grew up and attended school.
He studied Chemical Engineering at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY before
enlisting in the Army Air Corps Cadets in 1942. Upon receiving his
commission he served as Navigator on B17s in the European Theater of
War. He flew bombing missions with the 8th and 15th Air Force out of
England and Italy. He was shot down over Wiener Neustadt, Austria while
on a raid out of Foggia, Italy. He spent a year as a prisoner of war in
camps near Musgau, Sagan, Moosburg and Nuremberg. He was liberated by
General George Patton in 1945.
After he was discharged, he decided to go into Land Surveying. In 1946
he married Ellen Rose Mayer in Elmhurst, NY and moved to Westchester
County where he worked as a surveyor until he was recalled to active
duty with the Air Force during the Korean Conflict. He first flew with
MATS (Military Air Transport Service) out of Westover AFB,
Massachusetts. Later he served as Munitions Officer at Lages Air Force
Base, Terceira, Azores until he was caught in a RIF (Reduction in
Force). He and his family decided to reside in the nearby town of Praia
for another year while he worked for an American firm surveying on Lages
After his return to the United States he moved west to Redlands,
California, where he worked for a small engineering company. Upon
becoming a licensed Land Surveyor he was hired by the State of
California in 1955. Most of his 38 years of service was spent with
CALTRANS San Bernardino in the Design, Right-of-Way Engineering and
Surveys departments, working on the state and interstate freeway system.
From 1965 to 1973 he was assigned to the State Water Resources
Department in Los Angeles, working on the Feather River Project which
brought northern water to southern California. He retired as Supervising
Land Surveyor in December 1993.
Irv was an amateur radio operator and, under call sign KB6LA,
participated in the California Blood Bank Society and other emergency
agency nets, as well as in special events, which required the services
of ham operators.
An Eagle Scout in his youth, he became an outdoor leader for the Girl
Scouts of America. He led scout troops on day hikes and backpacking
trips into the San Gorgonio and San Jacinto Wilderness Areas and taught
astronomy during Senior Scout jamborees.
He was a life member of American Ex-POWs Inland Empire Chapter. He also
belonged to CLSA. Air Forces Flyers Club, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency
Service, NRA, Sierra Club, Redlands YMCA, and a number of humane and
conservation organizations. He enjoyed hiking, bicycle riding,
backpacking and car camping trips, target practice, model trains, and he
had a lifelong love for all animals.
Irv and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 15,
1996 at a garden party hosted by their children. He passed away at his
home on February 4, 1997. He is survived by four children: Sandra L.
Mayo, West Hills, CA; Valerie G. Hart, Kiryat Chaim, Israel; Rob Kim
Baum, Haifa, Israel; Craig D. Baum, Tucson, AZ; and five grandchildren:
Brandi L. Mayo, Shelbi L. Mayo, Noam M. Hart, Nadav J. Hart and Makenna
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