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 William Alexander Baker Jr.

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William Alexander Baker Jr.

Birth
Death 23 Mar 1943 (aged 18)
Burial Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana, USA
Plot Section 38
Memorial ID 98730071 View Source
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Radioman, Third Class Baker's life was lost along with 72 other crewman aboard the submarine USS Amberjack. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

On 1 February 1943, the submarine was ordered to move north and patrol the western approaches to Buka Passage. She complied with these directions and made her first radio report on 3 February. Amberjack had made contact on 1 February with a Japanese submarine 14 miles southeast of the Treasury Islands. She also claimed to have sunk a two-masted schooner by gunfire at a position 20 miles from Buka on the afternoon of the 3d. At the time of this report, the submarine was ordered to move south along the Buka-to-Shortland shipping lane and to also patrol east of Vella Lavella.

In a second radio transmission on 4 February, Amberjack reported having sunk a 5,000-ton freighter laden with explosives in a two-hour night surface attack on the 4th. During this engagement, one crew member was killed by machinegun fire and one officer was wounded in the hand. On the 8th, the submarine was directed to move to the west side of Ganongga Island. Two days later, she moved south to cover the traffic routes from Rabaul and Buka to Shortland Island.

The last transmission was received from Amberjack on 14 February. She reported having been forced down on the 13th by two destroyers, and that she had recovered an enemy aviator from the water and taken him prisoner. All further messages to the vessel remained unanswered. The submarine was reported as presumed lost on 22 March 1943. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 21 June 1943.

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