Courtesy of the Piedmont Chapter, Georgia Sons of the American Revolution:
COLONEL ROBERT W. BAUCHSPIES (1932-2006)
Our Past President, Colonel Bob Bauchspies, died peacefully on December 22, 2006 following a long illness.
Bob was born on an Army Post at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania on 17 May 1932, the third son of five boys and a
girl to a Regular Army doctor as “Army Brats.” He recounts attending eleven different schools throughout the
United States until graduation from high school. “The longest we were ever in one place was during World War II, when in 1942 Dad left for England to take command of the first U.S. hospital to enter the European Theater during Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa, returning home in mid-1945 after VE Day.
Later, in 1948, while Bob’s dad was Surgeon, Third Army, at Fort McPherson, the family began to go their separate
ways to college. Bob graduated from College Park High School in 1949, and that summer enlisted in the Naval Reserve V-6 Program. He underwent “boot camp” at the Naval Air Station, Atlanta, and was assigned to a squadron as a “weekend warrior.” Many things were in motion. The Korean Conflict broke out. Bob’s two older brothers were at Georgia Tech as Midshipmen under the Holloway scholarship. Bob left for Penn State, and the rest of the family relocated to the Presidio, San Francisco as his Dad left for Korea with an 18 month tour as Surgeon.
Being a family of a doctor and a mother who was a registered nurse, it may seem strange that none of the “Bauchspies Boys” entered into medicine; however they all entered into the armed forces gaining Regular Commissions, and went to Korea. Bob received a commission from Penn State ROTC in the Corps of Engineers and in 1954 was assigned to Japan. His two younger brothers, Jim and Dick, both graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in ’56 and ’58, and, to top that off, his sister , Kathie, the youngest in the family, married a Regular Army Officer.
Two of Bob’s nephews are currently on active duty as Regular Army Majors, one recently returned from 13 months in Iraq as a Stryker Company Commander and the other, Rollie Miller (a member of the William Few SAR Chapter) is on orders from the Pentagon to go to Europe. All totaled, The Bauchspies family has contributed close to 175 years of continuous active commissioned service to the nation. All have served at least one tour incountry during combat. Now that’s another story.
During Bob’s 30 years of active service, he has served normal command and staff assignments within the U.S. and seven overseas assignments. He was a Combat Engineer and during his tour in Vietnam , ‘67-’68, he served as
the Assistant Division Engineer with the 4th Infantry Division located in the Central Highlands tri-border area of
Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam. It was also the time of the “Tet” Offensive.
Having not been together for 16 years, Bob was able to meet with Jim and Dick as Dick entered Vietnam for
his second tour. Although all four were in-country at the same time, they were not in the same units. Dick’s arrival at
the Replacement Center in 1968 was the only time they were all together.
Bob retired from the service in 1984 with the rank of Colonel after having served as Chief, Systems Analysis and
Evaluation Directorate, Ballistic Missile Defense Program Office with the Army General Staff, the Pentagon. His
last overseas assignment, ‘78-’79, was as Commander, Joint Task Force, Defense Nuclear Agency, Enewetak Atoll,
in the Marshall Islands. The atoll had been used as an experimental site for the expenditure of 43 atomic weapons
and the first H-Bomb in the 1950’s.
Bob’s 13 month assignment was to clean up the residual radiation in the atoll’s 47 islands, restore the atoll, and
return it to the Marshallese people. This was done. A few years ago Bob was asked , what was the most significant
thing about his military career. He replied, “That we all came back o.k.”
Bob transferred to the Piedmont Chapter upon his relocation to Georgia in 1995. He has served first as Chairman,
ROTC and Knight Essay Committees and was elected as Chapter Secretary, VP and President. While serving as VP Bob wrote the Chapter’s Bylaws and Constitution and the Committee Descriptions as they appear in our Membership Directory.
While he served as Chapter President the Chapter won the coveted President General’s Cup, the President General’s
Activities Award, USS Stark Award, Liberty Bell, etc. He restored the Chapter’s “Piedmont Piper” newsletter and
appointed the Editor as an officer of the chapter. That Editor, Compatriot Paul Simpson, won the Carl F. Bessant
Award for having the best multi-sheet newsletter in the National Society for that year. Bob was the first Commander
of the Chapter Color Guard and initiated such activities as leading the Old Soldiers Day Parade and the Presentation
of the Colors at the Patriotic Concert held annually by the Roswell Methodist Church.
On the GASSAR level, Bob was appointed Chairman of the Knight Essay Committee and gained increased recognition
of our State winners. He also was appointed Chairman of the JROTC and ROTC programs, which he combined into one program. While serving as a GASSAR VP, Bob cofounded the Casmir Pulaski SAR Chapter in Carrollton along with Compatriot “Dutch” Dreyer and served as the founding secretary. During this time he remained a Dual Member with Piedmont.
Bob says his most precious award was in finding his wife, the former Karin Wiel Jorgensen of Stabekk, Norway,
while Bob and Karen were serving their respective governments in Turkey. Their marriage of 46 years has been
blessed with three children: Karin Ann, Bob, Jr. and Donna as well as six grandchildren Bob and Karin find the
Atlanta area much to their liking and enjoy their home in the Windward Community of Alpharetta.
Quite a trip, Colonel Bob!
BAUCHSPIES, ROBERT W
- COL US ARMY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 05/17/1932
- DATE OF DEATH: 12/22/2006
- BURIED AT: SECTION 66 SITE 5014
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard