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
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.