Baumgard, Edward W. J

Edward Wolbert Baumgard, Jr. was born on May 28, 1932, to Edward  and Ellen Justice Baumgard. He was their only child. The family resided at "Wee Acres" in Frazer Pennsylvania, and was very active in the community and the East Whiteland Presbyterian Church.

Edward enlisted in the Marine Corps on August 25, 1950, and trained at Parris Island, South Carolina. From there he went to Camp LeJune, North Carolina, and later to Camp Pendleton, California before leaving for Korea. His group was assigned front line duty to C Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment, of the 1st Marine Division, which had been crippled in the intense fighting. The unit was defending Hill 122, a strategic hill, just east of the city of Panmunjom. Panmunjom is a major city in the northern portion of South Korea where the Armistice was eventually signed.
Edward W Baumgard Jr
With the intense battle producing repeated attacks, the Marines name the hill "Bunker Hill." It was here on August 19, 1952, that Private First Class Edward Baumgard was killed in action at 20 years old. He  had spent less than four months in Korea. He was well-liked by his marine buddies - his memorial service was delayed to permit two of his closest Marines friends in Korea to arrive. Ten other marine buddies were present for the services.

Edward received the 
Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

Pfc. Edward W Baumgard Jr. had many marine friends who had kept in close contact with the parents. In December, 1958, the wife of one of these buddies, Richard Leone of New Hampshire, wrote the Baumgards a letter, telling them of a patient in Santa Maria Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His name was Jackie Jensen and he was an orphan who spent three and a half years in the hospital as a result of an accident while at work. Mrs. Leone enclosed an article concerning Jackie's loneliness and suggested that perhaps the Baumgards needed him as much as he needed them. It started with a Christmas card to this bedfast stranger miles away. It finalized with the Baumgards having a foster son, Jackie, whose picture hangs besides Eddie's in their living room. They now spoke of their "sons", and believe Eddie's memorial lives on in Jackie.

Credits


Researched by Vince Lukach, WCMSC