22 SAS Baker, Michael John (Paddy)

John Robertson

Staff member
Michael John (Paddy)
  • UNIT
A Squadron (3 Troop)
  • RANK
Lance Corporal + Warrant Officer First Class
Military Medal, Member of the Order of the British Empire
Radfan 1964 (MM) 1977 (MBE)
parent unit Royal Corps of Signals
WIA 30.4.1964 Radfan


Military Medal : Lance Corporal Baker was a member of 3 Troop, 22 Special Air Service Regiment engaged in operations against enemy tribesmen in the Radfan Mountains. On the 30th April 1964, 3 Troop having infiltrated through enemy lines some four miles the previous night on a lone mission to mark a Dropping Zone for a parachute drop, was pinned down by heavy enemy fire all day. The Troop finally managed to break out of this position at last light in the face of heavy enemy opposition, from some 20-30 tribesmen. Baker was wounded in the -knee by three bullets immediately prior to the breakout. Despite this, he fought his way out with the remainder of the Troop in a fierce hand to hand engagement, and got through .the enemy encirclement. On the way back to our own lines, Baker and another man covered the rear of the Troop and, noticing that they were being shadowed by three tribesmen, laid an ambush. They killed two and wounded the third, thereby ensuring 'the safe withdrawal of the Troop. Lance Corporal Baker managed to reach our own lines, without assistance, and without delaying the progress of the rest of the Troop despite his serious wound. Throughout the action he displayed a devotion to duty and unselfishness which, coupled with his bravery in acting as rearguard for the Troop, although wounded, undoubtedly contributed a great deal towards the successful extrication of the Troop.

Place : RADFAN, Federation of South Arabia
Date of Action : 30 April 1964
How Employed : Section Commander, 3 Troop, 22 Special Air Service Regiment

Member of the Order of the British Empire : Regimental Sergeant Major Baker is the epitome of the ideal towards which every SAS soldier strives; physically tough as nails, a man of iron self discipline and will but tempered by a natural reserve and gently ironic sense of humour. This square framed blue eyed Irishman joined the British Army in 1958 and came to the Special Air Service four years later. Since then he has played a major part in the Regiment's operations in Aden, the Radfan, where he won a highly deserved military medal, Borneo and the West Malaysian Campaign and finally the six years of the Dhofar War. With very little break Mr. Baker has taken part in active service every year for the last 14 years.

He is consequently a man of immense experience. He had been wounded in battle and has been under fire more times than one can count. His imperturbable coolness on these occasions inspires all those around him. His personal bravery is a legend within the Regiment.

He is a firm disciplinarian and has carried out major reforms in the Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess, yet he has never raised his voice above its normal soft brogue, nor needs to. A sharp word from that impassive granite figure is enough to subdue the most belligerent soldier. As Regimental Sergeant Major he plays a major part in training SAS soldiers for active service: he is in charge of all jungle training in particular; and so he can rightly claim partial responsibility for the Regiment's high standards and reputation for military expertise. His own professional standards of efficiency act as a goal for every soldier in the Regiment. His personal standards are as impeccable as his professional but he tempers his own integrity with an understanding of the frailty of others and a compassion and humanity which make him admired with affectionate respect instead of feared.

Regimental Sergeant Major Baker has dedicated his life to serving the Special Air Service Regiment. In a Regiment which demands dedication his own personal sacrifice of leisure and normal family life serves as a shining example to the younger soldiers. In a Regiment of remarkable men Regimental Sergeant Major Baker stands in a class apart, an inspiration to every aspiring non commissioned officer and trooper and a model of the standards every man in the Regiment strives to attain.

Date of Action : 1 DECEMBER 1975 TO DATE
How Employed : Regimental Sergeant Major 22nd Special Air Service Regiment


https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7623324 (MM)
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7633438 (MBE)
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