Dale Erskine "Bummy" Baumgartner was born on the fifth of April in 1922 to Joseph and Viola Baumgartner, in French Township in Adams County, Indiana. He had 8 siblings, and their names were (in order from oldest to youngest) Esther (Yager), Russel, Glen, Anna (Rodich), Roy, John, Alice (McGough), and Carl.

Baumgartner_Dale2.jpgDale attended Kirkland High School, where he was a part of the Basketball team and the Farmer's Institute, which is like the FFA of today. He was number 5 on the basketball team. He received his nickname, "Bummy", during school as well. He was called a farmer and a night owl for Helen, who must have been a girl he was dating or had a crush on.
Pauline, Ned, and Dale Baumgartner.

After high school, Dale married Pauline Acker on May 5th, 1940. Together, they moved to Decatur and had one son, Ned. Dale than began working in Fort Wayne at the Rea wire company. Dale was inducted into the Army on November 21, 1942, and entered service on December 3rd of the same year. He was training in Camp Beale, California, and Camp Bowie, Texas. During his training, his brother, Carl, who was a part of the Army Air Corp, died in a plane wreck in Kansas. He returned home for the funeral and a small mourning period, then returned to training. He was then assigned to the 36th Armored Infantry, 3rd Armored Division.

The 3rd Armored Division was activated on April 15, 1941. They were sent overseas September 5 of 1943. They landed the 15 of the same month in Liverpool. Their first major action was August 5-8 of the same year in the battle of Mortain. On the third of September Mons was captured. Liege was taken September 8 and Stolberg was reached on the 21. The 3rd Armored Division reached the Ardennes in the Battle of the Bulge on the 19th. The battle end January 16, 1945. By March 5, they had reached Cologne, Germany. They then crossed the Rhine River on the 21. By the end of March they were in Paderborn. On April 11, Nordhausen. Then the 21, Dessau. The war ends May 8, and the first units arrive home in New York soon afterwards.
After Stolberg was reached, they continued to move to Belgium in what would be known as the Battle of the Bulge. Before the actual battle was reached, PFC Baumgartner had met his fate. On December 10, 1944, Dale was killed near Geich, Germany, when a mortar struck the tank he was walking behind. Whether this was his exact death date is hard to tell. A letter sent home from one of his comrades said that the record keeping was not the greatest because they had to keep moving.

Dale's remains were interred in a U.S cemetery in Belgium. In 1947, his remains were returned to the states and his final resting place is in the Pleasant Dale church cemetery.

Combat Infantry Badge

For his service, Dale earned the Purple Heart, WWII Victory, and the European, African, and Middle-Eastern, Campaign Ribbon, and the American Campaign Ribbon. Along with these, he also earned the Sharpshooter's medal and the Combat Infantry Badge.

Information researched and collected by Andrew Butler, 2015.


“3ad WWII Chronology.”Association of 3d Armored Division Veterans. N.p., 22 Aug. 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

Baumgartner, Ned. Personal interview. 3 Oct. 2015.

Baumgartner Family. N.d. Photograph. Dale Baumgartner.

Dale Baumgartner. N.d. Photograph. Ned Baumgartner.

Dale, Pauline, and Ned. N.d. Photograph. Ned Baumgartner.

Kirkland High School Yearbook. N.p.: n.p., 1938. Print.

“Pfc Dale Baumgartner, 22, is ReportedKilled.”Berne Tri Weekly [Berne] 3 Jan. 1945: n. pag. Print.

Indiana Historical Bureau, comp. Gold Star Honor Roll: Adams County. Bloomington: Indiana War History Commission, 1949. Print. Vol. 1 of Indiana in World War II.

Warden, Jack B. Letter to Pauline Baumgartner. 27 Apr. 1945. TS. Ned Baumgartner.