Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Addison Earl Baker

Military

Lieutenant Colonel Addison Baker was the Commanding Officer of the 93rd Bomb Group from May 17, 1943. He was killed in action (KIA) over Ploesti during Operation Tidal Wave on 1 August, 1943.

In the summer of 1943, Baker was dispatched to North Africa with the 93rd Bomb Group to take part in Operation Tidal Wave, to bomb the oil refineries at Ploesti. Baker piloted the B-24D Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994, on the Ploesti mission. Upon reaching the target area, the Group Lead Pilot, Col. K.K. Compton, of the 93rd Bomb Group turned at the wrong point and headed for Bucharest ! Baker and several other shocked pilots behind Compton, attempted to warn the element command pilot, but, when Compton failed to respond, Baker broke formation and led the remainder of the men in the 93rd Bomb Group, who wanted to attack their targets, back toward Ploesti.

On approach to the target, Hell's Wench, took two direct flak hits, causing Baker to jettison his bombs as both of his wings were hit, the aircraft began leaking fuel, and became engulfed in flames. At almost the same time, Baker had to break formation and pull up to give his men a last desperate chance to bail out and live. As Col. Baker and his copilot, Major John Jerstad, made an attempt to gain altitude, so that his crew could escape their burning plane by parachute, the aircraft lost speed in the climb, stalled, rolled over, crashed, and exploded in flames, killing everyone aboard. 10 KIA.
1 Aug 1943.

Addison Baker's body was never recovered. He was given a memorial site in Florence American Cemetery and Memorial, Florence, Italy. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his role and sacrifice on the Ploesti mission. 1 Aug 1943.

Service

People

  • George Allen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | B-24 Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    SSgt. George Allen was killed in action on 1 August, 1943, during Operation Tidal Wave onboard the B-24D Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • Charles Bennett

    Military | Technical Sergeant | B-24 Top Turret Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    TSgt. Charles Bennet was killed in action on Operation Tidal Wave onboard his assigned B-24D Liberator bomber, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • John Carroll

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 93rd Bomb Group
    TSgt. John Carrol was killed in action (KIA) on Operation Tidal Wave onboard the B-24D Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • Edgar Faith

    Military | Staff Sergeant | B-24 Waist Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    Killed in action on 1 August 1943 during Operation Tidal wave onboard B-24 Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • John Jerstad

    Military | Major | B-24 Command Pilot | 376th Bomb Group
    Major John Jerstad was Killed In Action (KIA) on Operation Tidal Wave onboard the B-24D Liberator, Hell's Wench. ...

  • Alfred Pezzella

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 93rd Bomb Group
    Killed in action on 1 August 1943 during Operation Tidal wave onboard the B-24D Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • George Reuter

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 93rd Bomb Group
    KIA over Ploesti, Romania Aug 1 1943: I grew up knowing him as "Uncle Bud". He was known as "Bud" to his family. He had two sisters, and twin brothers. He was the second oldest child of my great grandparents. ...

  • Morton Stafford

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    Killed in action on 1 August 1943 during Operation Tidal wave onboard B-24 Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. ...

  • William Wood

    Military | Staff Sergeant | B-24 Tail Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    SSgt. Willam O. Wood was Killed In Action (KIA) during Operation Tidal wave onboard the B-24D Liberator, Hell's Wench, 42-40994. 1 Aug 43. ...

Show more

Units served with

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    Group
    93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1-March-1942 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15-May-1942 the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida to continue advanced flight training and also to fly anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico; they...

  • Headquarters (93rd Bomb Group)

Aircraft

  • 42-40994 Hell's Wench

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, 42-40994, named, Hell's Wench, was shot down and crashed on Operation Tidal Wave, over Ploesti, Romania. All of it's crewmen were Killed In Action - KIA. Aug 1, 1943 ...

Missions

  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B-24D Liberators attack the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The bombers flew low to avoid radar detection and dropped time delayed bombs. Out of the 177 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57...

Associated Place

Events

Event Location Date
Born Chicago, Illinois 1 January 1907
Died Ploesti 1 August 1943

Killed over Il Concordia Vega Refinery, Ploesti

Buried

Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing, Florence American Cemetery.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 October 2021 12:07:48 Kickapoo Changes to role and biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Ploesti - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
08 October 2021 11:48:18 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Ploesti - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
27 August 2019 14:22:39 Emily Changes to middlename, role, biography, awards, events, person associations, unit associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Ploesti Sortie Report, 93rd Bomb Group

Removed associations to people who did not fly as a part of Baker's crew during his service or on board his aircraft Operation Tidal Wave. Removed associations to aircraft and units which Baker never served with.

Date Contributor Update
17 July 2019 19:38:40 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Wikipedia - Addison E Baker

Date Contributor Update
17 July 2019 19:30:43 Kickapoo Changes to biography and unit associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Wikipedia - Addison E Baker

Date Contributor Update
15 July 2019 07:43:40 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Anatomy Of A Disaster - Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire - Duane Schultz ---- TogetherWeServed.com ---- FindAGrave.com ---- Personal Archives - John S. Young

Date Contributor Update
28 November 2018 08:26:22 Kickapoo Changes to person associations
Sources

Black sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2018 01:56:11 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2018 01:42:00 Kickapoo Changes to role, person associations and place associations
Sources

Black sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2018 01:36:10 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill

Date Contributor Update
23 November 2018 03:44:39 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Wings of valor II - The Ploesti Raid

Date Contributor Update
09 November 2014 20:15:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, awards and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Nov-2014: CO informration: http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/93bg.HTM; Decoration/Commemoration: American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC).

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:47 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Freeman, MOH Citation

Share