Press Release | April 28, 2022

Medal of Honor Pilot Accounted For From World War II (Baker, A.)

WASHINGTON  –   The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Air Forces Lt. Col. Addison E. Baker, 36, of Chicago, killed during World War II and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, was accounted for April 8, 2022.

In the summer of 1943, Baker was the commander of the 328th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), 9th Air Force. On Aug. 1, 1943, Baker was piloting a B-24 Liberator bomber during Operation TIDAL WAVE, the largest World War II bombing mission against the oil fields and refineries at Ploiesti, north of Bucharest, Romania. During its bombing run, his plane was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and crashed, but not before he dropped his bombs on the target and avoided crashing into the other B-24s in his formation. Baker’s remains were not identified following the crash. Remains that could not be identified were buried as Unknowns in the Hero Section of the Civilian and Military Cemetery of Bolovan, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania.

Following the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), the organization that searched for and recovered fallen American personnel, disinterred all American remains from the Bolovan Cemetery for identification. The AGRC was unable to identify more than 80 unknowns from Bolovan Cemetery, and those remains were permanently interred at Ardennes American Cemetery and Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, both in Belgium.

In 2017, DPAA began exhuming unknowns believed to be associated with unaccounted-for airmen from Operation TIDAL WAVE losses. These remains were sent to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for examination and identification.

To identify Baker’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

Baker’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Impruneta, Italy, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

The date and location of Baker’s funeral have yet to be decided.

For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.

DPAA is grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission and to the U.S. Army Regional Mortuary-Europe/Africa for their partnership in this mission.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil or find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.

Baker’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000XexQEAS.