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John Peter Baumgartner was born in San Francisco, California, on May 1, 1933, son of John J. Baumgartner, Jr. and Mrs. (Elinor Lermen) Baumgartner. He attended Stanford University, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in History. Commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve on September 1, 1955, he subsequently advanced in rank to that of Lieutenant Commander, to date from August 1, 1964, having transferred from the Naval Reserve to the Regular Navy on August 5, 1957.
After receiving his commission in 1955, he joined the USS Plumas County (LST-1083) and was on board that vessel for a cruise to the Western Pacific. Detached in June 1957, he next had training at the Naval Submarine School, New London, Connecticut, and in October 1957 reported as Chief Engineer on board the USS Stribling (DD-867). That destroyer was deployed twice to the Mediterranean and, as a unit of the Middle East Force, took part in the Lebanon Campaign.
From September 1959 to December 1961 he was Aide and Flag Lieutenant to Commander Military Sea Transportation, Service, with headquarters in Washington, DC, after which he served as Air Defense Officer of the USS Los Angeles (CA-135), again participating in a Western Pacific cruise. In August 1963 he became Executive Officer of the USS Savage (DER-386). That radar picket destroyer was engaged in barrier patrols until May 1965, then took part in Vietnam “Market Time” operations (stopping and searching vessels in South Vietnamese coastal waters).
Detached from the Savage in February 1966, he now serves with the Fast Deployment Logistic Ship Project, Navy Department, Washington, DC.
Lieutenant Commander Baumgartner has the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.