Beaufort’s Rich Baker, 76, joined the United States Navy in 1969 at LSU in Baton Rouge. He trained as a Naval Flight Officer and first served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) flying F-4 Phantoms over Vietnam with 300 hours on combat missions. Transitioning to Instructor for F-14 Tomcats, he served in San Diego and Virginia Beach before deploying to the Mediterranean aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68). Thereafter, he was at NAS Pensacola before another sea tour on USS J.F. Kennedy (CV-67) again deploying to the Med. He also had staff duty in Hawaii and with the Navy ROTC Unit at Penn State before retiring in 1990 as a Lieutenant Commander. His Navy career included 800 carrier landings. He went on to work in industry for another 20 years.
– Compiled by John Chubb, American Legion Post 9. For nominations, contact email@example.com.