Baswell Among Veterans at WWII Anniversary

th Armored Engineer Battalion, 9th Armored Division, Fort Polk, La. With World War II entering its critical final stages in the European theater, the division was sent to England and made an administrative landing at Normandy, France, in September 1944. Three months later, Baswell was wounded during the largest land battle that the United States participated in during World War II, the Battle of the Bulge. Approximately 119,000 men, including 19,000 Americans, perished at the Battle of the Bulge. The years after World War II brought a wide variety of experiences to Baswell’s life. He helped oversee the reconstruction of numerous destroyed bridges on the German Autobahn, served in the Korean War and returned to the United States in 1951 as regimental operations officer for the engineer specialist school at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He later taught at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and went on to earn a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 1956. He then served a stint with the Army Corps of Engineers in the Little Rock, Arkansas, district office, where he helped with the construction of the Greers Ferry Dam near his hometown of Heber Springs, the same project that had inspired him to become an engineer as a young boy. From there, he went on to Oklahoma and Missouri, where he worked on the construction of United States Air Force missile sites during the height of the Cold War. Baswell entered the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1963, and he was given command of the 11th Combat Engineer Battalion in Korea until his return to Fort Leavenworth in 1965. He was an instructor there until he was transferred again, this time to the United States Army’s European headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1967. He served in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for logistics as chief of the services branch. After more than a quarter-century of service, Baswell achieved his career goal when he was promoted to Colonel in 1969. He was reassigned to Korea with a dual assignment as the I Corps Engineer and commander of the 36th Engineer Combat Group. He was transferred one last time, back to Germany in 1970 for an assignment with the United States Army Europe Engineer Command as Bavarian District engineer in Southern Germany. He remained in that capacity until he retired in June 1974 after 32 years of active duty. Baswell entered the private sector after his retirement from the U.S. Armed Services. He was director of international operations for KLEE KG, a German international construction and service firm, from 1974-92. He remained an active business and engineering consultant long after his retirement from full-time work. Today, Baswell is among the most generous benefactors of Arkansas Tech. Two buildings on campus — Baswell Residence Hall and Baswell Techionery — are named in his honor.]]>