Gary S. Baker

Baker, Gary S., Captain, United States Air Force distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a pilot at Dak To, Republic of Vietnam, on 13 November 1967. On that date, while serving as a Pilot Advisor to the 413th Transport Squadron, Vietnamese Air Force, he acted as the aircraft commander in the lead aircraft of a flight of nine Vietnamese Air Force C-47s which had been directed to insert an advance command post for the Joint General Staff at Dak To. He located the field, which had operating navigational aids, in mountainous terrain in extremely adverse weather conditions and found that it was under mortar attack. After determining a definite lull pattern in the attack, he made a successful landing on the short, narrow, cratered runway in heavy turbulence and maximum crosswind conditions and while receiving small arms fire on final approach and during roolout. He took off again in the midst of another wave of hostile mortar fire, then acted as an airborne controller for the rest of the flight, giving instructions concerning lulls in the attack, wind and runway conditions, and hostile small arms fire. Captain Baker’s courageous example and unerring leadership were major factors in the successful completion of the mission and safe return of the entire flight. The professional competence, aerial skill, and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Captain Baker reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force