Baker -- Lt Col Addison Earl Baker


Addison Baker enlisted as a private in the Regular Army at Fort Haves, Ohio, Jan. 17, 1929, and served for a year at Fort Crockett, Texas. Appointed a flying cadet in February 1930, he trained at Brooks and Kelly Fields, Texas, and on Feb. 27, 1931, received his wings and second lieutenant's commission.

He served at Selfridge Field, Mich., went off active duty in February 1932, and was recalled in November 1940, and assigned to the 112th Observation Squadron at Pope Field, N.C., as pilot and athletic officer, and rank of captain.

In February 1942, he joined the 93rd Bomb Group at Barksdale Field, La., and in May was promoted to major and given command of the group's 328th Bomb Squadron as it left for the European Theater.

In combat he rose to Group commander by May 1943, with promotion to lieutenant colonel. He was killed in action that Aug. 1, while leading his group on a bombing raid on Ploesti, Rumania. As he was approaching the target, Colonel Baker's B-24 Liberator bomber was hit by a large anti-aircraft shell. He jeopardize this key mission by breaking up the formation and he continued to lead his group to the target.

The posthumous award of the Medal of Honor reads, in part: "...on this daring low-level attack against enemy oil refineries and installations, with his aircraft hit and on fire, he ignored the fact he was flying over terrain suitable for safe landing but 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 effort to avoid other planes in formation. By extraordinary flying skill, gallant leadership, and intrepidity Colonel Baker rendered outstanding, distinguished, and valorous service to our nation."

full citation from Congressional Medal of Honor Society page.