Harry William Baumer was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 14, 1897, son of Barnard Jules and Marie Agnes (Bercher) Baumer. He attended Loyola Academy in Chicago, and was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, at Urbana, Illinois, in June 1919. The University of Illinois conferred upon him the professional degree of “Electrical Engineer” in June 1940.
He had World War I service in the US Army, being inducted in October 1918 and honorably discharged in December of that year. Entering the US Naval Reserve in the rank of Lieutenant Commander, Civil Engineer Corps, on July 30, 1936, he was promoted to the rank of Commander on July 17, 1942, and to Captain on June 1, 1943. He was transferred to the Civil Engineer Corps of the US Navy in the rank of Captain on August 17, 1946, his date of rank May 15, 1943.
Prior to his Naval service, he was engaged in construction, design, administration, in Public Utility and Municipal operations in Chicago, especially finance and engineering. He was responsible for the engineering development of a major project, “The Electrification of the Chicago Airport.”
After his original appointment in the Civil Engineer Corps of the Naval Reserve, he participated in training courses with the 6th Battalion, Fourth Area, Ninth Naval District, 1936-40. Called to active duty in 1941 he served throughout most of the World War II period at the Mare Island (California) Navy Yard, and in the Twelfth Naval District. His service included duties with the Planning Superintendent and Project Manager; Assistant Office Superintendent, and Works Superintendent, Radio and Planning Superintendent Executive Assistant to the Public Works Officer, and Assistant Officer in Charge of Construction.
There he was also a member of the Personnel Classification Board, Management Member, Yard War Production Committee (Chairman Subcommittee on Absenteeism); Chairman, Greens Committee, M.I. Recreation Center; Administrative Assistant to the President of the Commissioned Officers Mess, Chairman of Committee on Maintenance and Development; Acting Public Works Officer and Officer in Charge of Construction; and Senior Member, Naval Board of Investigation, Explosion of naval ammunition ships, Naval Magazine, Port Chicago, California (9668 claims).
In 1945 he was transferred to Washington, DC, for duty as Assistant Director, Progress, Control and Statistics Division of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, then he was sent to Guam, Marianas, for a tour of duty as Executive Officer, Fifth Naval Construction Brigade; Assistant Marianas Area Engineer; Assistant Officer in Charge of Construction; and Assistant Base Development Officer.
He later served as Area Engineer, Base Development Officer and Officer in Charge of Fifth Naval Construction Brigade, and Officer in Charge, Thirtieth Naval Construction Regiment.
He returned to the United States in 1948 and reported to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, Long Beach, California, for duty as Public Works Officer and Member of the Shipyard Development Board. From March 1949 to May 1953 he served in the Executive Office of the Secretary, Navy Department, Washington, DC, first as Assistant Chief of Naval Material and Director, Facilities Policy Division, Office of Naval Material, and, from October 1950 as Director, Safety Division, Office of Industrial Relations. Since June 1953 he has been District Civil Engineer, Headquarters Staff, Third Naval District, New York, New York.
Captain Baumer has the World War I Victory Medal; American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.
He is a member of the American Legion Naval Post, Illinois Union, Illinois Alumni Association, Naval Militia Officers Mess, all in Chicago. He also belongs to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.