Born: July 2, 1922
Hometown: Cresco, PA
Class: 1942 – USMMCC 1941 – Pennsylvania
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Junior Third Assistant Engineer
Date / Place of death: January 9, 1943 / 56-15 N,
Date / Place of burial: January 9, 1943 / Lost at Sea – 56-15 N, 22-00 W
Frederick W. Baumann was Cadet MMR on August 29, 1940 while he was attending
the Pennsylvania Nautical School. On April 11, 1942 he received his basic seaman’s
papers from the U.S. Coast Guard in New York, NY which permitted him to sail as a
Cadet. He signed on aboard the SS Louise Lykes as Engine Cadet on May 9, 1942
and signed off on September 18, 1942, apparently to sit for his Third Assistant
Engineer’s license. Exactly one month later, he signed on aboard the SS Louise Lykes
as Junior Third Assistant Engineer.
The SS Louise Lykes sailed without escort from New York on January 2, 1943 carrying
a cargo of ammunition and other war supplies bound for Belfast, Northern Ireland. The
ship was hit by four torpedoes fired from the surfaced U-384 at 2025 on the evening of
January 9, 1943. According to German Navy records, the Louise Lykes’ cargo
exploded with what was described as “a terrible blast” forcing U-384 to dive to avoid
being struck by pieces of the wreckage. There were no survivors among the 50
merchant crew, 34 Naval Armed Guard, and 10 U.S. Army personnel aboard.
Another former U.S. Maritime Commission Cadet Officer, Harry A. Wolfe, Jr. and five
Cadet-Midshipmen from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; Michael M. Chrobak,
Charles C. Gassner, Allen G. Miller, Robert C. Vancure, and Eugene W. Walters, were
all killed, making the sinking of the SS Louise Lykes the single deadliest sinking in the
Academy’s history, in terms of cadet losses.
Based on his merchant marine service, Frederick W. Baumann was posthumously
awarded the Mariners Medal, Combat Bar, Atlantic War Zone Bar, Mediterranean –
Middle East Bar, the Victory Medal and the Presidential Testimonial Letter.
Frederick W. Bauman was the eldest of Frederick W. Baumann, Sr. and Pearl B.
Fancher Baumann’s three children. Frederick’s little brother Robert was three years
younger while his sister, Evelyn was four years younger. According to U.S. Census
information, the Baumann family lived on a farm in Pennsylvania