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Studio portrait of David Baker [ca. 1945]

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Unit of Service: 8th Field Artillery Battalion, 25th Infantry Division
  • Location of Service: Hawaii; Luzon (Philippines); Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands)
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/75692

View full service history

"'When I get home'--that sounds like more of a phrase of magic. It seems like time begins right there." (Letter to Mother and Chester, postmarked January 15, 1945).

An Iowa native, David Lieuwen Baker departed for active duty in early 1942, and served as an artillery officer with the 8th Field Artillery Battalion, 25th Infantry Division in the Pacific Theater. During his time abroad, he wrote frequent letters to his family, including his mother, step-father, wife, and infant son, Stephen, born a few months after he was sent overseas. Censorship restrictions and his desire not to worry his family meant that most of his correspondence focused on the details of his loved ones' daily lives in small-town Iowa. His infrequent references to potential causes of concern--such as endless mud and rain, combat training, and the bouts of malaria he experienced--were usually accompanied by reassurances that he was doing just fine. Despite this positive outlook, his correspondence conveys Baker's inevitable war-weariness after years of overseas duty, and his deep yearning for home and postwar life.

[ "Letters from my Father", transcript of letters of David L. Baker, 1942-1945 ]

More Resources

[ Photo Album ]
[ [Photocopy] General Orders #122 awarding Baker the Silver Star [4/21/1945] ]
[ [Photocopy] Honorable discharge ]
[ [Photocopy] Military Record and Report of Separation ]
[ Vmail to mother from David Baker [8/19/1942] ]
[ Vmail to mother and Chester from David Baker [9/30/1942] ]

Show more resources (123)

[ Vmail to mother, Chester, and Richard, from David Baker [10/8/1942] ]
[ Vmail to mother and Chester from David Baker [10/20/1942] ]
[ Letter to Eleanor from David Baker [10/27/1942] ]
[ Vmail to Eleanor and Stephen from David Baker [11/8/1942] ]
[ Vmail to Eleanor and Stephen from David Baker [11/9/1942] ]
[ Vmail to mother and Chester from David Baker [11/9/1942] ]
[ Vmail to Eleanor and Stephen from David Baker [11/12/1942] ]
[ Letter to Eleanor and Stephen from David Baker [11/13/1942] ]
[ Vmail to Eleanor and Stephen from David Baker [11/15/1942] ]
[ Vmail to mother and Chester from David Baker [11/16/1942] ]
[ Vmail to Eleanor and Stephen from David Baker [11/17/1942] ]
[ Vmail to mother and Chester from David Baker, dated 1942 but likely 1943 [2/19/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother and Chester from David Baker [4/3/1943] ]
[ Letter to mother and Chester from David Baker [4/6/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother and Chester from David Baker [4/13/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother, Chester, and Richard, from David Baker [5/20/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother, Chester, and Richard, from David Baker [7/17/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother, Chester, and Richard, from David Baker [7/29/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother, Chester, and Richard, from David Baker [8/8/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother, Chester, and Richard, from David Baker [8/10/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother, Chester, and Richard, from David Baker [8/13/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother, Chester, and Richard, from David Baker [n.d.] ]
[ Letter to mother, Chester, and Richard, from David Baker [9/12/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother and Chester from David Baker [10/11/1943] ]
[ Letter to mother and Chester, from David Baker [10/11/1943] ]
[ Vmail to mother and Chester from David Baker [11/19/1943] ]
[ Letter to mother and Chester, from David Baker [12/10/1943] ]
[ Letter to mother and Chester, from David Baker [12/15/1943] ]
[ Letter to mother and Chester, from David Baker [12/18/1943] ]
[ Letter to mother and Chester, from David Baker [12/26/1943] ]
[ Letter to mother and Chester, from David Baker [1/2/1944] ]