Mo Baker was born in Morehouse, Missouri, in 1932. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on June 23, 1952, and was trained as an aircraft mechanic before entering the Aviation Cadet Program on February 1, 1953. Baker was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings at Laredo AFB, Texas, on April 28, 1954, and after completing the All-Weather Interceptor Course, he served as an F-89 Scorpion pilot with the 449th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Ladd AFB, Alaska, from October 1954 to July 1956. His next assignment was flying F-102 Delta Dagger and F-106 Delta Dart fighters with the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Langley AFB, Virginia, from July 1956 to September 1964, during which time he flew 20 combat air patrol missions near Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Baker next attended the School of Engineering at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, from September 1964 to September 1966, followed by F-105 Thunderchief Combat Crew Training and service with the 561st Tactical Fighter Squadron at McConnell AFB, Kansas, from October 1966 to April 1967. He began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia with the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Takhli Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, in May 1967, and he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and taken as a Prisoner of War on August 23, 1967. After spending 2,030 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Lackland AFB, Texas, and then attended refresher pilot training at Randolph AFB, Texas, from July to October 1973. Col Baker served as a Data Processing Officer with Air Force Manpower and Personnel Command at Randolph AFB from October 1973 to July 1974, and then attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair, Virginia, from July 1974 to August 1975. His final assignment was as Director of Cost Analysis with Headquarters Air Force Systems Command at Andrews AFB, Maryland, where he served from August 1975 until his retirement from the Air Force on January 1, 1979. Mo Baker served as the President of NAM-POWs from 2006 to 2008.
His 3rd (of 4) Silver Star Citation reads:
Major Elmo C. Baker distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operation against an opposing armed force near Bac Giang, North Vietnam, on 23 August 1967. On that date, Major Baker led the first element of F-105 Thunderchief fighter-bombers against the heavily defended Bac Giang railroad and highway bridge. Major Baker's excellent positioning of his element for its bombing attack, his total disregard for his own personal safety during intensive antiaircraft fire, and his unerring delivery of his ordnance after having sustained a direct hit on his aircraft, contributed immeasurably toward the complete success of the mission. In addition, his humanitarian concern for the safety of the civilian population of a hostile nation was exemplified when Major Baker flew his burning aircraft toward uninhabited terrain prior to bailing out. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Baker has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.