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Philip Native, Alfred Henry Baye is celebrating his 100th birthday with friends and family in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 6, 2022. This is a celebration of 100 years lived and remembered. 
Alfred, the son of Helena and Sylvan Baye, was born in Philip, South Dakota on September 1, 1922.  He was their fifth child and brother to Francis, Edmund, Rosalie, Catherine, and Joseph.  He lived on his parent’s homestead in Haakan County and later attended Philip High School where he fell in love with Ida Eileen McDaniel.  His children delight in the picture of him picking Mom up for a date in a model T.
In December 1940 Al enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned duties at the Post Quartermaster Attachment.  In November 1941 he was transferred as part of a cadre to open and furnish a newly built Camp Crowder in Missouri.  On April 10, 1942, Eileen joined him, and they were married in Neosho, Missouri. They were separated for the first time in June 1943 when Al was transferred to Sullivan Island, South Carolina to form an amphibius truck (DUCK) company with a destination to Guadalcanal, South Pacific. Eileen returned to Philip, South Dakota and gave birth to Patricia in the Fall of 1943. 
After one mission to the north island Bougainville in Guadalcanal it was decided that DUCKs were not suitable for landing on coral islands and the company was deactivated.  Al was reassigned to the 336 2M Depot Company, Guadalcanal, which was the major supply depot for the Army, Marines and Navy for rations, food, and most other necessary items not including ammunition.   After the war he returned to Ft. Leavenworth where he reenlisted and was assigned to Camp Crowder to assist in the deactivation of the camp.  He was joined by Eileen and Pat but after 6 months they all pulled up stakes and were off to Fort Lee, Virginia.  Their second child Charles Lee was born here.  The middle name Lee, after the Fort, was a firm indication that this was going to be a military family. 
His big break came when he was transferred to Sandia Base, Albuquerque.  At that time Albuquerque was more a large town than a city and the wind and the tumble weed were part of its charm.  It was here that he was assigned to B Company 38 Engineer Battalion.  He was a member of the team that tested, assembled, and detonated nuclear devices on Eniwetok Atoll.  This was a test to confirm the competence of the military to assemble, test and maintain nuclear weapons.  He was promoted to Warrant Officer Junior Grade as a specialist in the nuclear field. He remained in this field of Special Weapons for the remainder of his military career.  On the home front his military family was growing, and David and Kathleen were added to the troop. 
Alfred went on to serve at Kileen Base, Texas; Sandia Base (a second time); Seneca Depot in upstate New York; Pirmasens, Germany (where Teresa was born); Joliet Arsenal, Illinois; South Korea (a 13-month hardship tour without family); Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Army Magazine, Guam; and then blessedly returning to Sandia Base in Albuquerque where he and Eileen eventually retired, at least from the military. 
During that 30-year Army career he was awarded the Legion of Merit and Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, American Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal.  He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 4. 
The list of assignments does not begin to tell the whole story. He served during WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam War. He served in Germany when the Berlin Wall went up during the Cold War.  He served in Alabama during the tension of the Civil Rights movement. He didn’t just witness history, he participated in it.  If you asked him what he was most proud of, he would say “That I served”. 
As a second career he worked for GTE (now known as Verizon) as a Senior Engineer.  When he retired the second time he volunteered in numerous military organizations.   Eileen died in 2005.  Al married Doris Pearson, also a South Dakota gal, in 2007.  She died in 2008. 
At 100 he is healthy, active, and living in Albuquerque.  He enjoys hearing from friends and family and has many fond memories of Philip.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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