Korean MemorialKorean War & Korea Defense Service Veterans, Lake Co. (FL), Chapter 169

Ray Baumbach speaks at Korean War Armistice event  

Ray Baumback speaking Ray Baumbach, our only POW Chapter member, spoke on Tuesday, July 27 at the Korean War Armistice Day celebration at the Village’s Memorial Park.


Ray, a member of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, told of being captured when the Chinese overpowered their positions in North Korea in February 1951.

As Ray and his fellow POWs were being marched north, there were instances of being attacked by our own artillery and planes.

These disruptive events offered Ray a chance to escape, which he took advantage of twice only to be recaptured and beaten.

But Ray tried a third time, this time his escape being interrupted by the sound of a fellow prisoner, who was shot in both legs and needed help to escape.

Ray responded to his cries for help and carried him out as best he could. This, Ray believes, enabled him to successfully reach friendly French troops, who took them in with open arms. Ray was quickly evacuated to first Japan and then to Walter Reed in DC.

Ray wondered out loud what his life after Korea might have been had he left his fellow GI there leaning on that tree.

Ray’s presentation was emotional at times, both for Ray and for many of those in the audience.

He spoke about being lined up with 15 of his 75 to 100 fellow prisoners and the Chinese officer who had gone to school at Washington State University, casually shooting every third man in the back of the head, including the one standing next to Ray!

Ray Baumbach AwardAfter his presentation, I was happy to present Ray with a new Chapter 169 cap, and on Wednesday I presented him with the framed Korean Government’s Thank you USA certificate.


Ray earned Silver and Bronze Stars as well as three Purple Hearts for his Korean War service.

We indeed were most pleased that he was able to come to our July meeting.

Graybeards Article (pages 34-35 )