Bill Baugh
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William Joseph Baugh (1934 - 2010)

Col William Joseph (Bill) Baugh
Born in Piqua, Miami, Ohio, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of [private wife (unknown - unknown)]
[children unknown]
Died in Colorado Springs, El Paso, Colorado, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 1 Oct 2015 | Last significant change: 7 Aug 2020
00:25: EditBot WikiTree edited the Biography for William Joseph Baugh (1934-2010). (Template: Roll of Honor removing country parameter+External Link to Internal+http WikiTree to https) [Thank EditBot for this]
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Roll of Honor
Colonel Bill Baugh was a Prisoner of War for 2235 days during the Vietnam War.



Colonel Bill Baugh served in the United States Air Force in the Vietnam War
Service started: 1956
Unit(s): 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Service ended: 1981

Birth and Early Life

Col William Joseph Baugh was born on 17 July 1934 in Piqua, Miami, Ohio, United States to Earl Palmoth Baugh (1908-1998) and Frances Juanetta Colmorgan (1909-1998). [1]

He lived in Dayton, Mongomery, Ohio when he was 5. [2]


Bill was educated at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Wood, Ohio. He was in the United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program there and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant at graduation on 10 June 1956 when he was 21.

Marriage and Family

Bill married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ellen Dubois (born 13 December 1935 Piqua, Ohio) on 2 September 1955 in Miami County, Ohio. [3]They had four children. Three of his children were teenagers when he returned home from Vietnam. The fourth and youngest child, Liz hadn't been born when he was taken prisoner. [4]

Children of the Baugh-Dubois Marriage

  1. Doug Baugh
  2. Mark Baugh married Rose
  3. Becky Baugh
  4. Liz Baugh married Steve

Military Service

On 15 October 1956 he went on active duty in the United States Air Force and completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and received his wings at Laredo Air Force Base in Laredo, Webb, Texas in January 1958. He completed fighter interceptor pilot training in the F-86D Sabre in July 1958. From there he was assigned to the 465th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, Oneida, New York. There he flew the F-89 Scorpion and the F-101B Voodoo.

In September 1963 he went to Royal Air Force Bentwaters near Woodbridge, Suffolk, England to the 92nd Tactical Fighter Squadron where he flew F-101A Voodoo and C and then the McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom. In September 1966 he was assigned to the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Da Nang Air Base in South Vietnam. He flew 25 missions over South Vietnam. He was forced to eject on his 50th combat mission (25th over North Vietnam) and was taken prisoner.

Prisoner of War from 21 January 1967 to 4 March 1973. [5] [6] [7]

Bill was shot down over North Vietnam on 21 January 1967. He spent 2,235 days in captivity in Hanoi at the notorious Hanoi Hilton. In the crash, his injuries included a compressed vertebrae, broken jaw and cheek bone and was blinded in one eye. He was returned home during Operation Homecoming on 4 March 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from injuries at Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio.[8]

After returning from captivity, he attended Air War College at Maxwell Patterson Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama from July 1973 to June 1974. His blind right eye disqualified him from flying.

His final assignment was at Peterson Air Force Base, El Paso County, Colorado. There he served on the staff at Headquarters North American Aerospace Command and then Director of Personnel at Peterson Air Force Base until May 1981.

Silver Star Citation:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel William Joseph Baugh, United States Air Force, for gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during the period 5 October 1967 through 29 May 1969, while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions, and propaganda materials. Lieutenant Colonel Baugh resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Distinguished Flying Cross Citation:

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Captain William Joseph Baugh (AFSN: 0-670121), United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an F-4C Aircraft Commander near Kep Airfield, North Vietnam on 20 January 1967. On that date, Captain Baugh was flying defensive cover for several attacking aircraft. Undaunted by extremely intense anti-aircraft fire, Captain Baugh maintained on target until receiving a direct hit on his aircraft. Through outstanding perseverance, he then maneuvered the stricken aircraft to his home base and landed under marginal weather conditions on one engine. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Captain Baugh reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

  1. Silver Star
  2. Legion of Merit with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
  3. Distinguished Flying Cross
  4. Purple Heart
  5. Defense Meritorious Service Medal
  6. Air Medal with Cluster with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
  7. Air Force Commendation Medal

The full ribbon set is available here.

Later Life

Retirement from the United States Air Force

He retired on 15 May 1981. When he retired, he had acquired over 2500 hours of fighter pilot flying time. He served the greater NAM-POW community by becoming editor of their quarterly newsletter. He also frequently lectured as a guest at the Air Force Space Command Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy and Airman Leadership Schools. [9]

Next Occupation

In 1983 he returned to government service as the Chief of the Public Affairs Office for the 2nd Space Wing at Falcon Air Force Base (now called Schriever Air Force Base) near Colorado Springs, El Paso, Colorado until again retiring in 1991.[10]

Death and Burial

Colonel Baugh died on 19 February 2010 in Colorado Springs, El Paso, Colorado, United States at the age of 75. He had been experiencing declining health for many years. He developed kidney cancer and it spread quickly. His desire was to have no funeral service. He was cremated and his ashes given to family. [11]Some say he was interred at Arlington; however his name is not included there. His obituary in the Colorado Springs Gazette stated that he would be buried in his hometown of Piqua, Ohio. [12]


  • Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1964 for William J. Baugh.
  • Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1964 for Mary Ellen Dubois.
  • Ohio, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Obituary Index, 1810s-2013.
  • Ohio County Marriage Records for William Joseph Baugh 19 and Mary Ellen Dubois 19 on 2 September 1955 in Miami County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Stanley E. Dubois (1901-1986) and Mary Esther Heitzman (1902-1975).
  • 1940 United States Federal Census on 17 April in Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio. Page 13B, lines 46-48. [13]
  • U.S. Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002. For 1995 and 1998-2002 in Colorado Springs, El Paso, Colorado.
  • Vietnam War, Casualties Returned Alive, 1962-1979.
  • U.S. Obituary Collection gives the name of his wife and his children.
  • U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2015.
  • Veteran Tributes. The entire tribute is here.
  • Together we Served website at can be found **here
  • NAM POW, Inc. The Association of Former Vietnam War POWs. **[2]
  • Obituary at [3]
  • Wyatt, Barbara Powers. We Came Home. Toluca Lake, CA: P.O.W. Publications, 1977.
  • Ruston Daily Leader, Ruston, Louisiana on 23 December 1970, page 8 entitled: List of U.S. Prisoners in North Vietnam. They are broken down by state of record (not birth). Bill is in the Ohio section under Piqua.


  1. OH Birth Rec
  2. 1940 Fed Cen
  3. OH Birth Rec
  4. Wyatt, BP
  5. NAM POW
  6. Vietnam War Casualties
  7. Vet Trib
  8. To read a fairly vivid section on the specifics of his captivity, but also fairly typical of what all except the POWs captured at the very end of the war went through, and also how their spirits were lifted by each other and their thoughts of home and country and how they survived it all click here [1]
  9. NAM POW
  10. NAM POW
  11. NAM POW
  12. U.S. Obit
  13. 1940: Baugh, Earl 31, b. Kentucky, millwright at foundry, head; Frances 30, b. Ohio, wife; Billy Joe 5, b. Ohio, son.


Darlene Scott Kerr created Baugh-394 profile on 30 September 2015, added bio and sources. Part of personal Vietnam POW project. Not a family member of mine. If a family member wishes to take this over and has more information, please let me know.

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Comments: 1

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Please do not change the placement of the reference and footnote notations. 1/2 of the census data and other is lost if you do. No rule that I know of that says you have to have no space between "Sources" and References or can't have footnotes.
posted by Darlene (Scott) Kerr

Bill is 20 degrees from Cecil B. DeMille, 26 degrees from Rosalie Neve and 19 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.