Arthur Dale BakerMajor
8TH BOMB SQD, 34TH TAC GRP, 405TH FW, 13TH AF
United States Air Force
30 July 1933 - 08 January 1974
San Antonio, Texas
Panel 01E Line 102
The database page for Arthur Dale Baker
Many years have passed but I still hold fond memories of my special friend who served his country well.
20 July 2005
On 7 April 1965, Capt Arthur D Baker, Navigator and his pilot were in a B-57B Canberra aircraft, in a flight of four on an interdiction mission of enemy targets on Route 7 in Xiangkhoang Province, Laos. At about 1110 hours, the flight reached the target and was last seen initiating an attack run into heavy clouds. Another member of the flight stated that he had heard the pilot call "off target and outbound." No further radio or visual contact was ever made. When the aircraft failed to return to Bien Hoa Air Base on schedule, a communications and ramp check was initiated, which determined that the aircraft had not landed at any other airfield in Southeast Asia. From 7-12 April 1965, the U.S. Air Force and Air America SAR forces searched the area with negative results. While carried in the status of MIA, the U.S. Air Force promoted Capt Baker to the rank of Major, before military review boards amended his status to presumed Killed in Action.
A number of intelligence reports received and evaluated during the war, though determined to be of questionable reliability, were placed in the Case 0070 file. Based on the circumstances of loss and the subsequent wartime information, the Department of Defense designated Case 0070 as a Priority, or Last Known Alive case.
It was first investigated 24 July - 11 August 1993. On 31 March 1994, a joint team continued the investigation. The purpose was to pursue information contained in the April 13, 1965 New China News Agency report that stated a B-57 had been shot down six days before near "Phou Pha Niem". The next investigation took place on 11 May 1994. No progress was made during the next three years. During this period, JTF-FA analysts developed an extensive list of villages in the general vicinity of the reported loss location in which the next joint team should seek information about the case. Using the list, on 3 July 1997, a joint team traveled to Ban Khang Pha Niam where an eyewitness gave information about an aircraft incident and crash site located near Ban Khang Pha Mian that clearly correlated. He also claimed to have observed remains at that site. The team surveyed the site on 5 July 1997, recovering material evidence sufficient to confirm that at least one individual was aboard the aircraft at the time of impact. Procedural limitations delayed excavation of the site for nearly six years, and it would take four excavations of the site to complete the recovery effort. Excavation continued during the 80th, 81st, and 86th Joint Field Activities. During the 86th JFA the team excavated to incident sterile soil and excavation operations closed 15 November 2004. The recovery scene is located in the Annamite Mountains approximately 500 meters north of Route 7 and Ban Khang Phaniam Village, Nong Het District, Xiangkhoang Province, L.P.D.R.
Analysis of the recovered material evidence and life support items indicated the aircraft lost at this site was a B-57B Canberra. The results of laboratory analysis, primarily mtDNA testing, allowed for some of the remains to be exclusively associated to Maj. Arthur D. Baker. Available evidence and the totality of the circumstantial evidence made available establish that Maj. Arthur D. Baker died in Xiangkhoang Province, Laos, on 7 April 1965 when the B-57B crashed.
From his daughter
Services for Maj Arthur D Baker, USAF will be Friday, July 29, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Rader Funeral Home, 1617 Judson Rd, Longview, TX. Following chapel services, Military Honors Service will be at Rosewood Park Cemetery, Longview, TX where he will be laid to rest. Visitation will be Thursday July 28, 2005 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Rader Funeral Home.
It's been 40 long years. It will be 40 years, 3months, 22 days, close to the hour and he will finally be laid to rest, here in his homeland that he loved and served so well.
Thank you God for Dad,
I would just like to say to Val "Thank you very much for all your help on the information on your dad and Colonel Lewis". My name is Don Halstead and I am from Phoenix, New York. My mother has worn Colonel Lewis's bracelet for almost 40 years now, and with your help she was contacted by Barbara Lewis and it was a nice time she had talking to her. We have our own Memorial at our Post and in honor of Major Baker and Colonel Lewis we bought two bricks - one for Major Baker and one for Colonel Lewis. They will be put next to my father's and my brother's and mine. I believe that my mother will take her bracelet and put it in a container and put it under the Colonel's brick. They will be remember in our hearts and prayers for always. I just hope that anyone who still has a loved one missing will share what you have had and now they are home and here to stay. May God Bless you and our country.
Your friend always, Don
From a Vietnam brother,
I do not know this person, but the more I read about him, the more I respect him. May he rest in peace.
From someone who wears his MIA bracelet,
Art and I taught weather/pressure pattern navigation to navigator students at Harlingen AFB, Texas, in 1960-61. We also flew several T-29 training missions over the Gulf of Mexico. Many of my navigator friends went to B-57's (Richard Smith, Ernie Keifel, Pinky Paine, and others) when Harlingen closed in '62. I saw the article in the Abilene Reporter News telling that Art had been found, identified and returned to Texas just a couple of months ago. Welcome home, Art! You served your country and state with honor! Rest in peace.
My name is Tonya Sottilo. I'm about to begin my career as an Officer in the U.S. Army. Major Baker's story helps me understand why my career will be so important. I hope to embody the same Honor that he displayed through his actions for the U.S. Air Force by living up to the Army Values. He gave his life selflessly while doing his duty for the U.S. Constitution. He remained loyal to his troops, commanders, and country, displaying it in the most definitive of ways. Above all, he showed his personal courage by not shrinking from his responsibilities on that aircraft. I am amazed by this man, and hope that I can be as outstanding an officer as Major Baker.
Notes from The Virtual WallOn 07 April 1965 Captains Arthur Baker and James W. Lewis launched from Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam, as one in a flight of four B-57B aircraft on an interdiction mission targeted in Xieng Khouang Province, Laos. Their aircraft was last seen descending through a thin undercast toward the target area and it never reappeared. Extensive search and rescue efforts through 12 April failed to locate either the aircraft or its crew.
On 14 April 1965 the New China News Agency reported the shoot-down of a B-57 approximately three miles north-northeast of the town of Khang Khay.
Both crewmen were initially reported missing in action in South Vietnam while on a classified mission. Their loss location later was changed to Laos.
In January 1974 Major Baker's next-of-kin requested his case review go forward and he was declared killed in action, body not recovered, on 08 January 1974. Lewis was declared dead/body not recovered, on 16 April 1982.
Update 27 July 2005:
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
21 May 2001
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 05/08/2006