Monday, April 14, 2014

Medal of Honor Monday: Vernon J. Baker

"For extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy.   Then Second Lieutenant Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel, and equipment during his company's attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain.  When his company was stopped by the concentration of fire from several machine gun emplacements, he crawled to one position and destroyed it, killing three Germans.  Continuing forward, he attacked an enemy observation post and killed two occupants.  With the aid of one of his men, Lieutenant Baker attacked two more machine gun nests, killing or wounding the four enemy soldiers occupying these positions.  He then covered the evacuation of the wounded personnel of his company by occupying an exposed position and drawing the enemy's fire.  On the following night Lieutenant Baker voluntarily led a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective.  Second Lieutenant Baker's fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces."

From Second Lieutenant Vernon J. Baker's Medal of Honor citation, awarded on January 13, 1997.

Thank you for your service and may you be at peace,

 Oral history by Baker, himself.

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