☷Medal of Honor recipient and WWII Army pilot accounted for
U.S. Army ( By Press Release office)
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WASHINGTON — The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced on April 13 that U . S . Army Air Forces Lt . Col . Addison E . Baker , 36 , killed during World War II and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor , was accounted for on April 8 , 2022 . Baker’s remains are currently located at Offutt Air Force Base , Nebraska , and will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on a date to be determined later . Currently , more than 400 Medal of Honor recipients ranging from the Civil War to current conflicts are represented at Arlington National Cemetery , our nation’s most hallowed shrine to military service . Lt . Col . Addison E . Baker , prepares a flight log circa 1944 Baker , a native of Chicago , Illinois , served as the pilot of a B - 24D Liberator nicknamed “Hell’s Wench” and as a commander with the 328th Bombardment Squadron , 93rd Heavy Bombardment Group ( Heavy ) , 9th Air Force . On Aug . 1 , 1943 , Baker suited up and took flight in support of Operation TIDAL WAVE , the largest World War II bombing mission over the oil fields and refineries at Ploiesti , Romania . While approaching the target , his aircraft was hit by a large - caliber anti - aircraft shell . When his aircraft was seriously damaged and set on fire , Baker ignored the fact that he was flying over terrain suitable for a safe landing , refusing to withdraw his aircraft and jeopardize the mission . Instead , he led the formation to the target , upon which he dropped his bombs with devastating effects . Afterward , the Hell’s Wench finally left the formation , but Baker ' s attempts to gain sufficient altitude to allow his crew to escape was prevented by damage done to the aircraft . While managing to avoid crashing into other aircraft in the formation , the Hell’s Wench crashed into the town of Ploesti , killing Baker . Lt . Col . Baker risked his own life to save the lives of the squadron . Through extraordinary flying skill , gallant leadership and intrepidity , he rendered outstanding , distinguished and valorous service to our nation . “We all strive each and every day to live up to the legacy of heroes like Lt . Col . Addison Baker , ” said Gen . James McConville , Chief of Staff of the Army . “He epitomizes what it means to be a leader , paying the ultimate sacrifice to save others and complete the mission . We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us and will be forever grateful to him and others of our Greatest Generation . ” In recognition of his valiant leadership and his flying skills , Baker was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor . Baker is also memorialized on the “Tablets of the Missing” at the Florence American Cemetery in Impruneta , Italy . For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country , visit the DPAA website . Lt . Col . Baker’s Medal of Honor citation can be found on the Army ' s Medal of Honor website .
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