John F. Baker, Jr. Medal of Honor citation
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
JOHN FRANKLIN BAKER, JR.
for service as set forth in the following
For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant John Franklin Baker, Jr., United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company A, 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Dau Tieng, Republic of Vietnam, on 5 November 1966. En route to assist another unit that was engaged with the enemy, Company A came under intense enemy fire and the lead man was killed instantly. Sergeant Baker immediately moved to the head of the column and together with another soldier knocked out two enemy bunkers. When his comrade was mortally wounded, Sergeant Baker, spotting four Viet Cong snipers, killed all of them, evacuated the fallen soldier and returned to lead repeated assaults against the enemy positions, killing several more Viet Cong. Moving to attack two additional enemy bunkers, he and another soldier drew intense enemy fire and Sergeant Baker was blown from his feet by an enemy grenade. He quickly recovered and single-handedly destroyed one bunker before the other soldier was wounded. Seizing his fallen comrade’s machinegun, Sergeant Baker charged through the deadly fusillade to silence the other bunker. He evacuated his comrade, replenished his ammunition and returned to the forefront to brave the enemy fire and continue the fight. When the forward element was ordered to withdraw, he carried one wounded man to the rear. As he returned to evacuate another soldier, he was taken under fire by snipers, but raced beyond the friendly troops to attack and kill the snipers. After evacuating the wounded man, he returned to cover the deployment of the unit. His ammunition now exhausted, he dragged two more of his fallen comrades to the rear. Sergeant Baker’s selfless heroism, indomitable fighting spirit, and extraordinary gallantry were directly responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades, and inflicting serious damage on the enemy. His acts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
Born: Oct. 30, 1945 in Davenport, Iowa… Served as a “tunnel rat” during the Vietnam War… Baker’s company commander, Capt. Robert Foley, also awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the same battle… Presented Medal of Honor by Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson – along with Capt. Foley – at the White House on May 1, 1968… Also awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V”… Retired as master sergeant in 1989… Departed Jan. 20, 2012… Interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
In: Men of Valor · Tagged with: Illinois Medal of Honor recipients, U.S. Army Medal of Honor recipients, Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipients