Werner K. Bauer
Officer

USN
USS West Virginia
1941

Dear Curator:
Hi, my name is Dave Hunter, and I have an uncle living in the St. Louis area who was an Ensign aboard the USS West Virginia on December 7, 1941. His name is Werner K. Bauer. Unfortunately he doesn't talk much about his war experiences except to Rotary groups occasionally, and while I am keen to hear ANYTHING he will share I am no longer inclined to risk invading his privacy by asking him questions directly. All I know about his actions at Pearl Harbor are that he stayed aboard to help fight fires until the order to Abandon Ship was given, at which point he dove overboard, swam to shore (he has always been an excellent swimmer, due mostly to the fact that his father - my grandfather - devoted his life to training Olympic swimmers), was treated for exhaustion and served the remainder of the war on a succession of four submarines. Of particular note is an entry I read yesterday in the war diary of George Macartney Hunter (no relation that I am aware of) which is a link to your USS West Virginia web page. Paragraph 10 of Ensign Hunter's diary begins with: "At 0830 a huge fireball started aft of frame 90. Fortunately Bauer had flooded the aft magazines, doubtlessly saving hundreds of lives".  I do not know if there were any other Bauers in Wee Vee's crew at the time, but I suspect (and hope!) that the Bauer referenced here was none other than my uncle. I don't think my uncle would mind being listed by your website as a surviving member of the West Virginia, but if you have a protocol I should be following in order to list him please let me know.  I look forward to hearing from you! 

Sincerely,

Dave Hunter tunzabeads@yahoo.com


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