William G. Baer II, 83, of Berwyn, a retired bank vice president and a World War II prisoner of war, died at home Dec. 9 of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Mr. Baer graduated from the Haverford School. During World War II, he served as a navigator-bombardier on B-24s in Europe and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. In the summer of 1944, his plane was shot down over Belgium. He was rescued by the Belgian resistance, but captured by the Germans. As the Soviets advanced, the POWs were forced to march to a camp in Poland, and half the prisoners died in the harsh winter weather, said Mr. Baer's son Daniel.
After his discharge, Mr. Baer earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and joined Girard Bank. In the 1960s, his son said, he negotiated the loan for Ed Snider to build the Spectrum. In those days, deals were settled with a handshake, his son said, and when banking became cutthroat in the early 1980s, Mr. Baer retired.
He and Helen Bettle married in 1949 and had four children. She died in 1981.
In 1984, Mr. Baer married Gay Windisch. They enjoyed traveling, fishing, sailing, and spending time with their families.
In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Baer is survived by another son, William G. III; daughters Anne Clark and Letitia Dalton; stepchildren William Sherrerd, Katie Sherrerd-Smith and Lisa Barker; and 13 grandchildren.