He enlisted in the USAAF 15 September 1942. He was trained as a gunner on the B-29 Superfortress and was sent overseas to India. On 14 December 1944, a B-29 40BW, # 42-24574, assigned to 20th Air Force, 40th Bomb Group, 45th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Chakulia, India, on a bombing mission at 20,000’, over Rangoon railway yards, Burma, and Bangkok, Siam (Thailand). He was the left waist gunner. It crashed about 70 to 80 miles west of Rangoon. Its last known location was near 16º 46’ North & 94º 46’ East. According to 1stLt Etherington, the crew was able to bail out, were captured by enemy Burmese and turned over to the Japanese enemy, who imprisoned them in the Rangoon Cantonment (old British Prison). The pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, engineer, and radio operator bailed out through the nosewheel well. The waist gunners, senior gunner, tail gunner, and radar operator bailed out through the rear door. The co-pilot sprained an ankle upon landing. The rest were uninjured by the jump. Therington, Benedict, Fletcher, Majors, Oglesby, Pisterzi, Basche, and Cochran were marched through the jungle by the enemy for 65 miles when the Japanese abandoned them in a Burmese village about 10 miles NW of Pegu, Burma. By 29 April 1945, they were liberated by the British Army. Shanks, Lentz and Sommers were imprisoned in Rangoon. He was separated from the USAAF 22 October 1945. He died on 17 April 1982 and is buried in the Hills of Rest Memorial Park, Sioux Falls, Minnehaha Co., South Dakota.
His brother, Leslie T. W. Basche, born 28 May 1923, served during WW II in the U.S. Navy, SoM2C V6, # 7307967, in 1944 on the U.S.S. Wainwright (DD-419). The Wainwright was a Sims-class destroyer. After a brief training period in 1943, the warship resumed duty with transatlantic convoys. For the next six months, she busied herself protecting merchant ships making the voyage to North African ports. During her stay in Casablanca after one such voyage, she played host to a group of Moroccan dignitaries including Sidi Mohammed, the Sultan of Morocco. During another convoy operation, she helped screen Convoy UGS-6 which lost five of its 45 ships to U-boat torpedoes. When not engaged in Atlantic convoy duty, she trained with other ships of the Atlantic Fleet and underwent brief repairs in various American ports. In June 1943, Wainwright returned to North Africa for convoy duty between ports along the Mediterranean coast of North Africa which occupied her until the invasion of Sicily in July. For that operation, Wainwright was assigned to TG 80.2, the Escort Group. The force arrived off the Sicilian coast on the night of 9/10 July, and the assault troops went ashore the following morning. During the campaign, Wainwright protected the transports from enemy air and submarine activity. While she was patrolling off Palermo on 26 July, a formation of twin-engine Junkers Ju 88 medium bombers attacked her group. Two near misses flooded both main engine rooms in Mayrant, and Wainwright joined in escorting the stricken warship into port under tow. Later, she supported the "leap-frog" amphibious moves employed by Major General George S. Patton in his rampage across northern Sicily to the Strait of Messina. During her stay in Sicilian waters, the destroyer also supported mine-sweeping operations and conducted anti-shipping sweeps. In mid-August, she returned to North Africa at Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria, where she remained until early September. On 5 September, she resumed convoy duty, this time between North Africa and Sicily, frequently warding off Luftwaffe air raids. Italy proper had been invaded early in September, and late in October, the warship was called upon to bombard enemy installations around Naples in support of the 5th Army’s advance on that city. She resumed convoy duty soon thereafter. Her next noteworthy contact with the enemy came on 13 December. While conducting an antisubmarine sweep 10 miles (16 km) north of Algiers in company with Niblack, Benson, and Calpe, she made contact with U-593. First Wainwright and then Calpe attacked with depth charges. Those attacks brought the submarine to the surface, and Wainwright's gun crews went to work on her. In less than two minutes, the German crew began to abandon their vessel. Wainwright responded with a boarding party.