FORCE RECON Baker, Fred J.

John Robertson

Staff member
Fred J.
  • UNIT
3 Recon Bn (3 MarDiv) (A Company)
  • RANK
Lance Corporal
Silver Star
South Vietnam 1967
from Piedmont,Alabama


Silver Star : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lance Corporal Fred J. Baker (MCSN: 214711), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Member, Reconnaissance Team HAWK, Company A, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, THIRD Marine Division, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 25 April 1967. The 8-man reconnaissance team while located on a ridge northwest of Khe Sanh Combat Base was nearly overrun by a sizeable North Vietnamese Army Force. During the attack, all members of the team were wounded by a rocket propelled grenade and required emergency extraction by helicopter. Lance Corporal Baker and another Marine crawled, leading the remainder of the Team to the designated landing zone to await the arrival of the helicopters. Noticing the extent of his comrade's wound, he entered the fire-swept landing zone alone to direct the helicopter while it landed on the ridge line. After assisting the Marine aboard the aircraft, he determined that the intensity of the enemy fire precluded the aircraft remaining in the landing zone long enough for the more seriously wounded Marines to make their way to the aircraft. Undaunted by the danger to their lives, he and a crew member exited the relative safety of the helicopter to help the other wounded team members aboard. Although the enemy had advanced to within 50 meters of the aircraft under the cover of a hail of automatic weapons fire and grenades, he courageously left the helicopter once again to rescue one of the remaining wounded Marines. Only after he assured himself that all the injured were safely aboard the aircraft did he embark and begin to administer first aid to the other wounded Marines as the helicopter lifted out of the landing zone. Lance Corporal Baker's courageous initiative, unselfishness, and unwavering devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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