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Korean War veteran Bob Baker receives second Bronze Star

Representatives of the US Army 40th Infantry Division with Bronze Star honoree Bob Baker (center)
(Jon Clark)

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.

Col. Gilbert Roldan (Chief of Staff, US Army 40th Infantry Division) pins the Bronze Star medal on honoree Bob Baker
(Jon Clark)

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.

Local businessman Bob Baker
Local businessman Bob Baker wears the Bronze Star medal and holds the Bronze Star citation presented to him by the US Army
(Jon Clark)

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.

Honoree Bob Baker
Honoree Bob Baker (far left) listens as his daughter, Elizabeth Baker Treloar, honors her father with notes of congratulation from out-of-town family members
(Jon Clark)

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.

The Bronze Star medal presented to local businessman Bob Baker
(Jon Clark)

“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:

Daughters
Daughters (l-r) Elizabeth Baker Treloar, Mary Rossi and son Chris Baker (far right) with their father Bob Baker (second from right). Missing is his daughter Theresa Hertel and son Michael Baker.
(Courtesy)
Father Dan
Father Dan celebrates the contributions of honoree Bob Baker at the ceremony held at the Church of the Nativity in Rancho Santa Fe
(Jon Clark)
Friends and family members
Friends and family members congratulate honoree Bob Baker as he receives the Bronze Star from the US Army for his courage in the Korean War
(Jon Clark)
Honoree Bob Baker
Honoree Bob Baker and Col. Gilbert Roldan listen as Father Dan reads Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s “Prayer for My Son”
(Jon Clark)
Honoree Bob Baker
Honoree Bob Baker (far left) listens as his son, Chris Baker, recounts his father’s philanthropic contributions to the community and love for his family
(Jon Clark)
Lt. Sean OÕNeill
Lt. Sean O’Neill of the US Army 40th Infantry Division makes opening remarks at the Bronze Star Medal Ceremony
(Jon Clark)
Joseph Boscacci
Joseph Boscacci (US Army Reserve Ambassador), honoree Bob Baker, Robie Roberson (President SD Chapter, Association of the US Army)
(Jon Clark)


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