Toop
David  E.  Baker  
Photo
Ribbons
 
  Rank, Service
Brigadier General O-7,  U.S. Air Force
  Veteran of:
U.S. Air Force 1969-1997
Cold War 1969-1991
Vietnam War 1972-1973 (POW)
Persian Gulf War 1991
  Tribute:

David Baker was born on September 30, 1946, in Huntington, New York, and graduated from Hofstra University, New York, with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in 1968. He entered Officer Training School on February 18, 1969, and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force at Lackland AFB, Texas, upon graduation on May 15, 1969. Lt Baker next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his Pilot Wings at Webb AFB, Texas, in June 1970. From June 1970 to October 1971, he served as an EC-121 Warning Star pilot with the 552nd Airborne Early Control Wing at McCoy AFB, Florida. Lt Baker then completed Forward Air Controller training and was assigned to the 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron at Tan Son Nhut AB in the Republic of Vietnam in January 1972. Capt Baker was shot down while flying his 50th combat mission in an O-2 Milirole over Cambodia on June 27, 1972. After spending 230 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. Capt Baker was the only Air Force POW returned from Cambodia during the Vietnam War. After being hospitalized to recover from his injuries, Baker received an Air Force Institute of Technology assignment to the University of Hawaii, where he completed his Masters Degree in Business Administration in September 1974. Capt Baker then became a T-38 Talon instructor pilot with the 97th Flying Training Squadron at Williams AFB, Arizona, where he served from September 1974 to September 1979. He then transitioned into the F-15 Eagle and served with the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Camp New Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from September 1979 to January 1983. Maj Baker attended Armed Forces Staff College from January to July 1983, and then served a tour at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon from July 1983 to December 1986. He was an F-15 instructor pilot and assistant deputy commander for operations of the 405th Tactical Training Wing at Luke AFB, Arizona, from December 1986 to January 1991, followed by service as the deputy commander for operations of the 4th and the 4404th Tactical Fighter Wing in Saudi Arabia from January to August 1991. During this time, Col Baker flew 20 combat missions in the F-15E Strike Eagle during the Persian Gulf War. From August 1991 to August 1992, he attended the National Defense College of Canada, and then served as director of operations, plans, and programs for the Air National Guard at the Pentagon from August 1992 to September 1994. Gen Baker's final assignment was as Vice Director of the Operational Plans and Interoperability Directorate on the Joint Staff, where he served from October 1994 until his retirement from the Air Force on October 1, 1997. David Baker died on January 29, 2009, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

  


Capt Baker during Operation Homecoming in 1973.

 


 

 
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Contact Veteran Tributes at info@veterantributes.org