Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Air Corps, 93d
Heavy Bombardment Group.
Place and date: Ploesti Raid, Rumania, 1 August
Entered service at: Akron, Ohio.
Birth: 1 January 1907, Chicago, Ill.
G.O. No.: 20, 11 March 1944.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity
above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy on 1 August
1943. On this date he led his command, the 93d Heavy Bombardment Group,
on a daring low-level attack against enemy oil refineries and installations
at Ploesti, Rumania. Approaching the target, his aircraft was hit by a
large caliber antiaircraft shell, seriously damaged and set on fire. Ignoring
the fact he was flying over terrain suitable for safe landing, he refused
to jeopardize the mission by breaking up the lead formation and continued
unswervingly to lead his group to the target upon which he dropped his
bombs with devastating effect. Only then did he leave formation, but his
valiant attempts to gain sufficient altitude for the crew to escape by
parachute were unavailing and his aircraft crashed in flames after his
successful efforts to avoid other planes in formation. By extraordinary
flying skill, gallant leadership and intrepidity, Lt. Col. Baker rendered
outstanding, distinguished, and valorous service to our Nation.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)