Baker, David L., SSgt

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
View Time Line
Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, 91st Bombardment Group, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1943
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Ohio
Ohio
Year of Birth
1922
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Baker, David L., SSgt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Somerville
Last Address
Bassingbourn Air Station, England

Casualty Date
Oct 09, 1943
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Location
Baltic Sea
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Ardennes, Belgium
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot B, Row 39, Grave 29

 Official Badges 

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961


 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  2014, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar


Aerial Gunner Badge


 
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aerial Gunnery School323rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy91st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1943, Aerial Gunnery School
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, 323rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, 91st Bombardment Group, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
David L. Baker was born in Ohio in 1922, and was residing there when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps on October 10, 1942. After basic training, he was assigned to aerial gunnery school, and then joined a combat replacement crew. This crew arrived in England on September 25, 1943, and was assigned to the 323rd Bomb Squadron of the 91st Bomb Group at Bassingbourn Air Station.

The daily mission reports do not list this crew as having flown missions prior to October 9, 1943, when they were scheduled to participate in a bombing raid on the aircraft production factories at Anklam, Germany. The bombing run was made successfully, but on the return trip, the B-17 was engaged by a BF-110 enemy fighter flown by Lt. Richard Heller of JG 28.

The fighter fired rockets into the aircraft, resulting in a fire in the left inboard engine, requiring it to be feathered. Then the right inboard engine failed. Two of the crew managed to bail out, and in their descent noticed the left wing break off, then the fuselage split in two pieces. The wreckage fell into the waters of the Baltic Sea, just off the coast of Denmark.

The two crew members who bailed out were rescued, and captured, by a German naval vessel. They remained POWs for the rest of the war. All others in the crew were killed, either in the attack or by the crash.

The body of SSgt Baker was brought to Soby Harbor on the island of Aero on February 4,1944 by a fishing boat. It was taken to Soby cemetery chapel, and because it was an Allied flyer, the Wehrmacht was notified. A funeral was held on February 7, 1943, attended by two German non-commissioned officers and six privates. The coffin was lowered into the grave, and the Germans held a one minute salute in honor.

After the war, SSgt Baker was removed from Soby Cemetery and re-buried in the Ardennes American Cemetery where he lies in Plot B, Row 39, Grave 28.


www.flensted.eu.com/1943.smthl
www.91stbombgroup.org/missing.html
www.91stbombgroup.org/missions.html
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Records
USAAF Accident Reports


  

Comments/Citation
SSgt David L. Baker served as tail gunner on B-17F # 42-30772, unnamed, assigned to the 323rd Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 895 applies, and identifies the crew as:

1 Lt Thomas E. Walsh   p
2 Lt Charles W. Hull    c-p
2 Lt Harry Cliffe     nav
2 Lt James A. Fullerton    bomb
TSgt Albert C. Jaskiewicz    eng/tt gun
TSgt George J. Frank     r/o
SSgt Harold L. Goldberger     btg
SSgt T.D. Frazier     lwg
SSgt Robert R. Robinson     rwg
SSgt David L. Baker    tail gun


Lts Cliffe and Fullerton were the two surviving crew members.

Crew photo identification:

Back, left to right
  Fullerton
  Walsh
  Hull
  Cliffe

Front, left to right
  Frank
  Goldberger
  Robinson
  Baker
  Jaskiewicz
  (Frazier not pictured)

   
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