GEORGE A. BACAS, MAJ, USMC

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

George Bacas '48

Date of birth: April 9, 1926

Date of death: January 11, 1961

Age: 34

Lucky Bag

From the 1948 Lucky Bag:

Obituary

From Find A Grave:

George Augustus Bacas was born on 9 April 1926. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in the Class of 1948 and served in the Korean War where he was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 6 Gold Stars.

Major Bacas died on 11 January 1961 and was buried with full military honors in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Jean Currier Bacas (16 April 1927-11 November 1994) is buried with him.

From the Baltimore Sun on January 12, 1961:

Washington, Jan. 11— A United States Navy A3J plane crashed on landing at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in nearby Maryland, killing the pilot and one other officer aboard. The Pentagon identified the dead as:

Marine Maj. George A. Bacas, 34, the pilot, a 1947 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and son of Mrs. Helen C. Bacas, Grant Falls, N.Y.

Navy Lt. William A. Fitzpatrick, 34, son of Mrs. Dorothy Mabry Fitzpatrick, of Texarkana, Texas.

Checkout Flight
The Pentagon said Major Bacas radioed the station control tower at 3.25 P.M. that he was having flap trouble and would have to land fast. The plane, on a check-out flight, came down on the runway, bounced 30 to 40 feet off the runway to the right, crashed in an adjoining field and burned.

Major Bacas had been decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with six stars. He is survived by his wife, Jean Courrier Bacas; daughters Cathy Jean, 4, and Karen Lee, 3, in addition to his mother.

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Captain George A. Bacas (MCSN: 0-49327), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight against the enemy in Korea. On 18 January 1953, Captain Bacas led a flight of Marine Attack Aircraft against a heavily defended concentration of enemy mortars then firing on elements of the Sixth Republic of Korea Division. He promptly located the cleverly concealed positions in a valley and initiated an aggressive bombing attack through a heavy defensive crossfire from nearby ridges. Scoring direct hits with his bombs, he then led and directed his flight in the complete destruction of the mortar positions. Observing several adjacent hostile installations Captain Bacas immediately pressed a low level diving assault and set fire to several personnel shelters with a napalm bomb. He resolutely continued to lead his flight in repeated attacks until one hundred per cent coverage of the target area was accomplished. Captain Bacas' courageous actions and his outstanding leadership in organizing and directing his flight were largely responsible for the success of a mission that substantially reduced enemy pressure on front line positions of friendly troops. His exemplary conduct, professional skill, and steadfast devotion to duty throughout were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commanding General 1st Marine Aircraft Wing: Serial: 7160 (May 7, 1953)
Action Date: January 18, 1953
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Captain

Family

He was survived by his wife and two daughters.

From Arlington National Cemetery:

I am one of two daughters of George and Jean Bacas.

My Father was a Test Pilot at Patuxent Naval Air Station and he was killed while flying a A3J or A5J Vigilante there.

My Mother died from Ovarian cancer. Please contact me if I can be of further assistance. Karen B. Peterson, kpeterson@mif.aero


Class of 1948

George is one of 48 members of the Class of 1948 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.