BAKER, DAVID Earle
|Name: David Earle Baker
Rank/Branch: O3/United States Air Force
Unit: 21st TASS
Date of Birth: 30 September 1946
Home City of Record: Huntington NY
Date of Loss: 27 June 1972
Country of Loss: Cambodia
Loss Coordinates: 110300 North 1055400 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Flew the F15E in "Desert Storm"
NOTE: ONLY USAF POW to be returned from Cambodia
Other Personnel in Incident: none
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2017.
REMARKS: 730212 RELEASED BY PRG
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
DAVID E. BAKER
Captain - United States Air Force
Shot Down: June 27, 1972
Released: February 12, 1973
I was born in 1946, am married, and have one son. My wife's name is Carol
and David, Jr. is my son. I am from New York and joined the Air Force after
graduating from Hofstra University. I will be attending the University of
Hawaii for my Master's Degree until I am able to fly again.
I was shot down over Cambodia on June 27, 1972 and was released on February
12, 1973 at Loc Ninh, RVN (Republic of Vietnam). I was the first Air Force
POW to be released from South Vietnam by the Viet Cong.
Thank you all for the wonderful welcome home. It is something I will always
be proud to remember for the rest of my life.
I composed a poem while a captive of the Viet Cong. I wrote it down after my
release and although the rhyme and verse are rather simple, I think it says
something about our small camp and want to share it with you.
In this camp, there are seven men
All of whom Uncle Sam did send.
"To Vietnam to fight," he said.
So others can decide how they want to be led.
Gladly we went, but alas for us,
We were captured in battle in the heat and the dust.
Taken away from our families, out of the war,
Then chained to a cage, beaten and sore.
We are Army, Air Force, and Marine
And all of us are ready to scream,
About the inhumane treatment and care,
The Viet Cong call, "lenient and fair."
As prisoners of war we eat pork fat and rice,
But we think of steak and other things nice.
Our minds seem to dwell in the future and past,
Oh, how long can this war last?
I know that some day we will all be set free.
But, only the good Lord knows when that will be.
The United States, Friends and wives,
Surely it will be the happiest day of our lives.
Until that great and eventful day.
We must all stick together and pray.
And give thanks to God for being alive,
For surely it was He who let us survive.
We will be a little older, but much more wise,
And I don't mean from listening to Communist lies.
If there is one thing upon which seven men can agree.
That one thing is: Freedom is not free!
David Baker retired as a Brigadier General from the United States Air Force
in October 1997. He was the only Vietnam POW returnee to see combat in Desert
Storm. He flew 20 missions in Iraq in a F15E. He and his wife Carol resided
in Maryland until his death Jan 29, 2009.