June 12, 2013 | LXXIII, No. 11

Box of memories sheds light on man's father

Dave Baum has a box of old newspapers, secret documents, and other memorabilia from the World War II era that his father saved and handed down to him.

Dave Baum holds a copy of a newspaper with its headline telling about the D-Day invasion in Normandy. The paper was in a box of items that Dave has of his father’s, who passed away two years ago. His father Charles took part in the invasion, piloting one of the boats that landed at Omaha Beach.

The newspapers declare such things as the bombing of Tokyo, the landing at Normandy and the eventual surrender of Axis powers.

Dave’s father Charles was in the thick of it and eventually piloted one of the boats that made it to Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Among items in the box was a secret photo document showing the complete Omaha Beach area, taken in small photos and put together. It was one of the advance planning documents leading up to the invasion.

Another top secret document, apparently provided to the pilots of each of the invasion fleet boats, showed exactly where they were suppose to be off Omaha Beach the day of the invasion.

Charles was a keeper of papers, photos, and documents that outlined his interests and participation during the war.

Dave, who lives on Geostar Road in Grand Coulee, says that his late father, who passed away two years ago, talked about some of his experiences during the war, but not often.

The box of memorabilia holds many mysteries that Dave will likely never know about.

The items had some connection with his father or were items of general interest to him.

Some are self explanatory and others raise a question mark for Dave.

The box of old items has been sitting under the bed and unattended for a long time, until just recently.

Dave’s uncle William also played an important and interesting role during World War II.

He was in the B-29 plane following the Enola Gay when it dropped the first atom bomb on Aug. 6, 1945.

William was an air force photographer, and after pilot Paul Tibbets, Jr., gave the order to drop the bomb, Baum’s plane turned and then flew through the mushroom cloud that formed.

The collection of documents in the box tell a lot about Dave’s father.

The Baums spent a lot of time in California. Dave remembers skin diving with his father when the family lived in the Malibu area. The elder Baum was involved in a Volkswagen-Porche machine shop, and apparently handed down his mechanical skill to Dave, who fixes and restores motorcycles in a shop next to his home.

Dave had his own fence construction business in the Chelan area for a number of years before purchasing property and building his home here.

He is currently trying to figure out how to preserve the papers, documents, etc., that are in the box. He realizes that he possesses in the papers and clippings information about some of the most important days of his father’s life.

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