Note- [E-5] means 5 generations back on my side of the family........[R-3] means 3 generations back on Rod's side
-* in the label means there are pictures in the listing
-click on any picture to expand it


Michael Francis Bavaro (Col Ret'd) 1916 [E-1]*

born-6/2/1916 Highland Falls New York
died-7/22/2001 Westlake Village California
father-Francesco Bavaro 1882-1928
mother-Rosaria Bavaro  1885-1969
siblings-Nicholas 1908, Mary 1909, Angelo 1913, Lee
children-Janet Elizabeth, Michael Francis Jr, Lee Terrell, Philip Angelo, Margaret Rosaria

Born and raised in Highland Falls New York, he grew up on 209 Main Street. While he was fluent in Italian, he also learned to read and write Spanish and French. There were the usual childhood diseases plus the dreaded Scarlet Fever. When nervous, as in formal recitations, his tendency was to stutter.
Mary, Nick, Chewie, Michael

With three elder siblings and one younger, he, at age 12, took over many of the household chores when his father died. His mother, with Nick, and Chewie (Angelo) ran the local dry cleaner store in the town adjacent to West Point. For his senior year,1934-35 season, he was a member of the champion Orange County basketball team, in spite an old fracture ('32) of his left leg while playing football.
Mike bottom left
An Army Life
A graduate of Highland Falls High School, he worked as a "soda jerk" to go onto Stanton Preparatory Academy located in nearby Cornwall NY. Stanton was founded in 1925 to prepare young men for the military academies at Annapolis and West Point. Though not his first choice, Mike went onto accept an appointment at United States Military Academy, West Point NY class of 1940. (Later in his life we used to joke it was a good thing he did not get into USNA as his sea-sickness would have rendered him out of action most of the time.) At USMA he participated in many sports, from swimming to soccer. For an entry on his military record he listed "Photography, Dark Room Printing" for Avocation. His medical records showed him 18 pounds over normal for his height, but he still qualified for flying, which he did not pursue.  He graduated with a BS in Military Science and Engineering.
West Point appointment

Cadet Michael F Bavaro
Upon graduation, he spent 3 months at school at Fort Sill OK for Basic Officer training, returning in 1942 for Equitation, and in 1948 for Officer Advance.

On October 10, 1941 he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. February through August of '42 he was Btry Commander with the 70th FA BN. On June 13th 1942, he made Captain. Transferring to the 250th Field Artillery BN on 25th of September of '42, he went on to make Major by March 9, 1943. The 250th Field Artillery Battalion had been activated on September 25, 1942 and located at Camp Maxey. Recruits from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana trained to become one of the finest troops in the Army, receiving a Presidential Citation as a unit, as well as many individual medals and commendations.

As love would have it he met Janet Elizabeth Waggener, a resident of nearby Paris Texas, through the local USO, where she volunteered. They married in Chapel 12-S at Camp Maxey TX on Saturday afternoon of May 29, 1943.

After the ceremony it was off on a wedding trip to New Orleans, LA in their first car - an Oldsmobile.
Mike with her family: Janet, Trix (Sis), Francis, Les

They returned to their first home, in Paris. Always dog lovers, they soon acquired their first - Whiskey. For that first New Year's eve, 1943 together they celebrated at the Officer's Club.
(brl ->r)Lt Col Jealous, Anita Jealous, Janet,Phillips, Mike

Mike and bride Janet at their first home with new dog Whiskey
World War II
By the summer of 1944 the 250th left for battle in France and Germany. Major Bavaro, exhibiting superior performance as BN Exec O, kept under camouflage, slept in French farmhouses, liberated Strasbourg France, and moved onto Austria.

Mike - bottom row second from the left

French Farmhouse

Austria 12/5/1944

Austria 12/5/1944

During the war, Mike's younger sister Lee also joined the service. She married Charles Mizell in 1946 at the USMA chapel. Mike, Chewey, and his brother Nick all attended the service, along with mother Rose.

Frances Rafferty, Bride Lee, Spouse Charles Mizell, Mike, Nick
Mike with sister Lee

On February 24 '45 he commenced working as Assistant S-3 for the HQ XV Corps Arty.  Moving on he became BN Comdr for the 961st FA BN until July '45. After a little more travel for the war he returned to Fort Dix for November of 1945. Early 1946 found Major Bavaro working back overseas for the General Staff at USFA HQ (SGS) in Vien Austria.
Major Bavaro
Janet joined him there, but made a quick trip back to the States just before delivering their first born in May 1947. (They wanted all their children to be eligible to run for President. Perhaps in those days it was not thought of as an onerous task!)

By March 1947 he departed for Paris Texas and Janet. He was assigned as an instructor in Combat Arms and Tactics at the Artillery School until July.  He also began double duty with family life after working hours. Janet was pregnant with her second child Michael Francis Jr (Pat).
Mike holding Beth, c. 1949

The family (now wit another addition - Lee Terrell (Terry) did two tours of duty during the early 1950's: first Goeppingen south east of the city of Stuttgart, then north onto Heilbronn, on the banks of the Necker River.
Fasching, Heilbronn  1953
 They lived off-base and integrated with the townsfolk. Considering the heavy toll on the town from WWII bombings, it was unexpected that they made so many lifelong friends among the native Heilbronner's.

Major Bavaro was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

Back in the States again, the family lived at West Point. Visiting dignitaries kept Mike busy reviewing his troops.
Mike escorting Col. Vanegas 1955 at West Point
While the family spent the year in Florida, Lt Col Bavaro served a term in Korea.
Colonial Acton
From Florida, the family moved to Acton MA where Mike was promoted to Colonel. He served as the Army liaison to Lincoln Labs. Meanwhile the family grew. Mike and Janet had five children: Terry, Pat, Phil, Beth, and Meg.
Mike, Janet, Terry, Pat, Phil, Beth, Meg

Dad's Christmas Morning Drink
I remember Christmas mornings, while opening presents under the tree, dad would serve us little shot glasses full of the following drink. Most years Janet's parents would be there on the sidelines. They, with mother, would have larger glasses. Frances would start collecting the torn paper and ribbons and dad would wisk them to the trash. It was very relaxed. But that did not slow us children from celebration.
4 oz creame de cocoa
4 oz brandy
1 qt vanilla ice cream
milk to fill the blender

Family Reunion
For Mike's in-laws, Francis and Les Waggener, there was a 50th wedding anniversary help in Paris Texas.
Eileen Kellmurry, Janet, Porter King jr, Florence Terrell,
Terry, George Terrell, Beth, Pat, Phil, Mike, John Terrell, Anne Terrell,
Leslie, Cecille, Trey, Meg, Trix, Frances, Les

And the Army Goes Rolling Along - Back to Germany
In 1964 the family moved again to Germany - Stuttgart and then Heidelberg. Mike traveled extensively with the family during that time. Janet's parents, Frances and Les were frequent visitors as usual.
Den Haag 1967
After a quick flight back to Fort Belvoir, VA, Colonel Bavaro retired from the Army.

Civilian Life
After 30 years of service, Mike was still at the top of his profession. He soon found a job, working for Litton and started the life of the Ventura Freeway commuter.

Mike at work for Litton

The family chose to settle in Westlake Village CA, where they found old friends and made many new ones. Shortly after  60 Mike began having health problems. He retired to Westlake, walking the hills, playing bridge, and enjoying the social life.

Christmas 1979

Westlake Family and Friends


With Martha Fluhart

With Lee

Camp Maxey Reunion
Mike died on July 22, 2001. His body was laid to rest at West Point Cemetery.

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