Leslie Stanley “Hank” Bauschka (September 17, 1922 – October 3, 1988)
Many thanks to Gordon Bauschka for providing the above photo.
Hank Bauschka reported aboard USS LCI(L)-11 on October 28, 1942. He was transferred to the LCI(L) Flotilla Two Pool on April 24, 1943. The following article appeared in the October 2, 1943 edition of the Adrian (MI) Daily Telegram:
Adrian Seaman Swims To Safety After Bombs Sink Landing Barge
After being bombed off his landing craft barge by a German Junkers-88 and being forced to swim to another ship in the Mediterranean waters off Bizerte, Seaman First Class Leslie Bauschka is home on a well-earned 30 days’ leave visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. August Bauschka of 351 West Maple Avenue. The twenty-one year old sailor has been in the navy for 13 months and for the last seven months, has been in North Africa.
Seaman Bauschka mans a 20 mm cannon. One of a squadron of about 100 Junkers bombed his landing barge amidships when the boat was going out to anchor. He didn’t even get a chance to get a crack at the Junkers because the captain immediately gave orders to abandon ship. The barge burst into flames and sunk in about 20 minutes.
Of the 21 regular crewmen, one cook and three officers aboard Bauschka’s barge, no one was killed but several were seriously wounded. One of his buddies lost an eye and suffered a crushed side and broken leg and it was only because of Bauschka helping him overboard and dragging him to the next ship that he was saved, “I didn’t even get a scratch,” boasted Seaman Bauschka. “They took us all to a hospital on the mainland and they just looked me over and told me to beat it. We were lucky those Germans didn’t drop any more bombs while we were in the water or we would have all gotten it.
“We even stopped shooting to watch them fall,” said Bauschka in telling of instances when the Yanks were on the winning side in German air attacks. “It’s really pretty to see one of those things come down.” He added that very often Junkers pilots attempt to do damage to Allied shipping by landing on a ship deck when their plane is destined to crash anyway.
Seaman Bauschka thinks the navy is “swell” and says he’s anxious to get back into action. “It seems quiet around here without any guns blasting and planes overhead and tanks rolling down the streets,” he went on to say.
On Seaman Bauschka’s navy jumper are service ribbons for having taken part in the Sicilian invasion and in the African and Mediterranean campaigns as well as for fighting in the American Theater and being on convoy duty. His Mediterranean service bar bears one star for having participated in a major battle, the battle of Bizerte. He reports for further assignment at New York City October 23.
Many thanks to Gordon Bauschka for providing the following article from the August 7, 1945 edition of an unknown newspaper:
Together Again After Four Years
Sunday was the first time in over four years that a picture like this could be taken in the August Bauschka family. Five of Mr. and Mrs. Bauschka’s seven sons have seen service in every corner of the globe, three of them in the navy and two in the army. Sunday, all five of the sons in service, and two who are still civilians, got together at the Bauschka home at 331 West Maple Avenue. The five sons in service all happened to receive furloughs at the same time.
In the back row are (left to right): Pfc. Russell Bauschka, recently discharged from service; Mr. Bauschka; Mrs. Bauschka; and Corp. Wilbert Bauschka, who was in France and Germany. In the naval branch of the family (front row, left to right) are PR 1/C Robert Bauschka; Seaman August Bauschka Jr.; and Coxswain Leslie Bauschka. Robert has been a parachute rigger in Puerto Rico, August has seen duty in seas around India and Italy, and Leslie has been in England and Europe.
Hank Bauschka was married to Mae Belle (1918-1991). He passed away in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Adrian, Michigan.
Many thanks to Caryn for submitting the above photo to Find A Grave.