Harald Paul Bauer
March 16, 1928 – May 22, 2018
Harald Paul Bauer, a decorated pilot in two wars who went on to a 30 year career as an award winning journalist and news executive, passed away peacefully on May 22 after a fall and head injury. He was 90 years old. A resident of Atascadero, CA, he is survived by his wife Margi Bauer, three sons from his first marriage, three grandchildren and his sister. In a life filled with extraordinary events one of the most remarkable was the fact that Hal served first for Germany in World War II and later with the United States in the Korean War. Born in Berlin of Walter Bauer, a German surgeon and Lottka Hughes his American mother, Hal was a dual national from birth. He was conscripted into the Luftwaffe at age 17 and was shot down by American forces as he transported new planes to the German front lines. Bauer was captured by U.S. troops and after recovering from his wounds, he went on to help them as a civilian assistant to the U.S. Military Government of Bavaria mainly tracking the activity of Russian forces in the area. After the war he studied political economy in Munich and Hamburg and then began his career in journalism. He worked for the English-language edition of the German newspaper Die Welt. While there, Hal won a coveted Fulbright Fellowship and went to study journalism at the University of Kentucky. Before he returned to Europe, Hal was hired by the Associated Press to work in its Frankfurt Bureau where he served between 1952 and 1953 and later as an editor on A.P.’s world services desk in New York. When the Korean War began, Hal again answered the call of duty and joined the U.S. armed forces. Following his basic training he was assigned to the Navy’s E-8 program which took pilots with previous experience and qualified them on U.S. aircraft. He went on to do flight training at Hurliburt (CQ) Field in the Florida Panhandle, then at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma where he learned to pilot Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) planes. After further training he was assigned to Elmendorf,(CQ) Air Force Base in Alaska and attached to the 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron special operations unit. For the remainder of his service he flew long range reconnaissance missions. Continuing as a Navy pilot would have required Hal to get aircraft carrier qualification. Being too old to do that, he returned to the world of journalism, first with the Associated Press and then with United Press International. Given various reporting assignments for U.P.I., including a stint as a White House Correspondent, Hal was made a news executive. In that capacity, he later helped start Unicom News Service, a financial news wire based in London that was a joint venture between United Press and Knight Ridder newspapers. In his final news job he was named Vice President News and Information Services at U.P.I. He then began a second career that lasted for 30 years in video licensing for the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation where he ultimately served as a life member of the organization’s Board of Directors, a post he held until his death. During his semi-retirement Hal devoted time to volunteering at the Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles, California and giving presentations about his career to civic groups around California. Watch a You Tube video of such a presentation at: https://youtu.be/xmJqjx9VVKM He will be sadly missed by his wife Margi, his sons John, Kevin, and Stephen, his grandchildren Katie, Hanna and Christopher-CJ, his sister Hannelore Strauss in Germany, daughter-in-law Karen, sisters-in-law Renate Bauer, Martha (Wally) White, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by three brothers and his first wife Barbara. A celebration of his life is scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the Estrella Warbirds Museum Paso Robles, CA. In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the Estrella Warbirds Museum or Honor Flight Network.