Donald Baker

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
02 December 1948 - 09 June 1968
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Panel 58W Line 006


Donald Baker

Purple Heart (2 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Donald Baker

18 Aug 2002

The photo and following article is taken from The Philadelphia Daily News, special supplement entitled 'SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY,' October 26, 1987.

Baker decided to get his military obligation over with before college, so he enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduating from William Tennet High School in Warminster, Bucks County (PA), in 1966. He was sent to Viet Nam in November 1967, and spent three months in a Guam hospital recovering from wounds to both hands. The 19-year-old lance corporal, a machine-gunner, was ordered back to Viet Nam in April 1968 and assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. He was killed in Quang Tri Province on June 9, 1968. Baker had worked as a lifeguard. He is survived by his mother and two sisters.


From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The June 1968 Command Chronology for the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines contains the following description of a convoy ambush which occurred approximately 5 miles east of the Khe Sanh Combat Base, near Checkpoint #3 on Route 9 between KSCB and Ca Lu to the east:
"09 Jun 68 - 1st Marines Logistical Convoy, with Company F providing security was taken under fire in vicinity XD924404 and XD926404 by an unknown size NVA unit. Fire, consisting of intense small arms followed by satchel charges, grenades, and B-40 rockets, was taken from both sides of the road and was concentrated on the second security truck. One platoon was deployed to high ground on left side of road and conducted a thorough sweep of the area making additional light contact. After a thorough search was conducted all dead and wounded were placed on a vehicle. The convoy was then turned around and returned to Khe Sanh Combat Base. Medevacs were delivered to both LZ Ziegler and Khe Sanh Combat Base for evacuation. This contact resulted in one truck and one mighty-mite being destroyed. Casualties consisted of 8 friendly KIAs, 9 friendly WIAs and 11 enemy KIAs."

The 3rd Marine Division's Operations Log for 09 June contains additional information, saying 12 Marines were killed - "(7 from F/2/1, 1 from Tanks, 2 Motor Trans, 2 from 1st MarDiv photo units)" - and that one was missing in action. The 1st Motor Transport Battalion and 3rd Tanks Command Chronologies also address the ambush; 3rd MT says they lost three men, not two, in the ambush. The MIA Marine's body was recovered on 10 June, and one of the Fox 2/1 WIA died of his wounds.

Overall, the ambush is known to have resulted in the deaths of fifteen Marines:

  • 1st Motor Trans Bn
    • Cpl Donnie H. Little, Atlanta, GA, Company "A"
    • Cpl Richard L. Nowry, Plymouth, MI, Company "B"
    • LCpl Clifford E. Ford, Jacksonville, AL, Company unknown

  • B Co, 3rd Tank Bn
    • Sgt Cliffred M. Evans, Shelton, WA

  • Svc Co, HQ Bn, 1st MarDiv
  • F Co, 2nd Bn, 1st Marines
    • Sgt David E. Nash, National City, CA (body recovered 10 June)
    • LCpl Donald Baker, Philadelphia, PA
    • LCpl Marvin L. Houston, Little Rock, AR
    • LCpl Robert L. Polk, Sherman, TX
    • Pfc Melton L. Kidd, Chesapeake, VA
    • Pfc Barry Lowe, Framingham, MA
    • Pfc Darrell C. Mizner, Akron, OH
    • Pfc William A. Patterson, Superior, WI
    • Pfc August Romano, New York, NY

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 18 Aug 2002
Last updated 08/03/2006