Korean War veteran Bob Baker receives second Bronze Star
Over 67 years after his heroic service in the Korean War, Rancho Santa Fe resident Bob Baker finally received his second Bronze Star. The military honor was presented at a special ceremony with his family at Nativity Catholic Church on Saturday, Nov. 21.
Baker, a successful businessman who owned the Bob Baker Auto Group, is known in San Diego as a generous benefactor of causes that help the homeless, veterans and the community. Over the years, he has worked to preserve the memory of his fellow Korean War veterans and veterans of all services. Baker provided key financial support for the construction of The National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir, Va. and the Veterans Tribute Tower & Carillon at Miramar National Cemetery.
In 1950 at age 18, Baker joined the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and pathfinder with the 188th Regiment, 11th Airborne Division. He was transferred to the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division and reached the front lines of the Korean conflict in February 1953.
In the Korean War, Baker earned two Bronze Star medals and described his experience in his 2005 autobiography “Against All Odds”.
Baker’s first Bronze Star was awarded for his acts of valor on May 26, 1953 and his second Bronze Star awarded on Nov. 21 was for acts of valor from June 10, 1953 to June 18, 1953. Baker volunteered for many behind-enemy-line-patrols, having multiple interactions with heavy artillery fire and leading a patrol safely through a minefield.
Baker fought in the Battle for Outpost Harry, in which the Chinese Army lobbed more than 88,000 rounds of artillery on the single defending company of U.S. and Greek troops fighting under the United Nations banner. The troops were told to “hold at all costs.” Baker was on the front lines of the Korean conflict, at times running into hand-to-hand fighting with the Chinese, until a truce was declared in July 1953.
“Corporal Baker’s leadership and dedication to the mission are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect a great credit upon him, the 3rd Infantry Division and the United States Army,” read the October 2020 proclamation.
In addition to Baker’s heroic achievements, success in the auto industry and charitable contributions, he is also a father of five adult children and proud grandfather of six grandchildren. — Karen Billing
See more photos from the ceremony below:
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