Edward Jeffrey Baker

Engineman 3rd Class
United States Navy
30 April 1948 - 03 April 1970
Rapid City, Illinois
Panel 12W Line 086


TF 116
Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Edward Jeffrey Baker

27 May 2007

E.J. - not a day goes by that I don't remember you - from the time we reoorted for duty at precommissioning for USS ARLINGTON (AGMR-2) to our reunion aboard USS BENEWAH when you reported in with the new unit STABRON-20. You never ceased to rib me about the extra duty earlier when you forgot to take soundings and I had to give you some "gentle" reminders about being an engineer -- it paid off in the promotion to EN3 and I was so damn proud to see you again in 1969. We knew we were now in Indian country then but still got together after every patrol to hoist a few and to hear about your family back home, especially your baby girl. Accompanying your remains home at your folks' request was the hardest mission I had in my 21 year career -- maybe that's why you are never far away. Identifying you to your mom and dad sure wasn't easy. I hoisted a few with your dad and uncles and assured them that it was really you I had brought home. Four days later I was back in-country. I miss ya, guy! You were a hell of a sea-puppy!

align="left"> Your sea-daddy,
Daryl D. Brookins

A Note from The Virtual Wall

A STAB was a "Strike Assault Boat", a small craft designed for the purpose of inserting, supporting, and extracting small units. The boats traded armor and fire power for shallow draft and speed. STABRON 20 was Strike Assault Boat Squadron 20, the unit which brought the first Mark II STABs to Vietnam.

The NAVFORV History for April 1970 contains the following entry:

"On 02 April a Strike Assault Boat (STAB) of STABRON 20 was in WBGP near the north bank of the Grand Canal at WS947765, approximately 20 kilometers west of Ap Bac. The boat was hidden in a dense treeline port side to the north bank with rain falling and sheet lightning illuminating the area. At 020010H [sic] the boat crew heard movement on the opposite bank, breaking twigs and voices talking. The boat captain was requesting clearance to take the movement under fire when the enemy initiated the attack. All the other boat crew members were manning their weapons ready for unrestricted combat. The enemy launched a veritable barrage of B-40 rockets and heavy automatic weapons (A/W) fire. The boat received three B-40 rocket hits almost simultaneously which killed three crewmembers immediately and wounded one other member of the crew. The boat lost all communications, but due to the communications conducted prior to the attack, Seawolves [armed helos from HA(L)-3] were enroute and arrived on the scene in less than ten minutes. After the enemy attack, the boat broke WBGP using the one engine still in commission. One crewmember returned fire while another crewman controlled the boat proceeding to join ATC-1 at a WBGP at WS951764. The one wounded crewman was transferred to the ATC and medevaced by helo."
The boat was STAB-21; the three men killed in the engagement were
  • EN3 Edward J. Baker, Rapid City, IL;
  • GMG3 George R. Crabtree, Jamestown, TN; and
  • FN Joseph D. Johns, Louisville, KY.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his "Sea-Daddy",
Daryl D. Brookins

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 May 2007
Last updated 05/30/2007