BAKER, BURDETTE H., Second Lieutenant, Service # 0-1698884, U.S. Army Air Force

Burdette H. Baker was born in Osceola, Tioga, Pennsylvania, on 15 March 1921. His family placed a memorial marker in the Fairview Cemetery, Osceola, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. The picture is of him when he first enlisted in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, in the U.S. Army Air Corps, as a Private, on 20 December 1943. He died as a POW in the Rangoon Cantonment on 19 November 1944. In the U.S.A.A.F., he was assigned to the 22nd Bombardment Squadron, 341st Bombardment Group (Medium), 10th Air Force. Another report assigned him to the 491st Bomber Squadron, 341st Bomb Group, 10th A.F. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart. The 1930 census for Woodhull, Steuben, New York, shows 9-year-old Burdette Baker as the youngest of three children. His father, John Daniel Baker, 36 (1894-1979), was a farmer; his mother, Mildred Elsie (Horning, 1895-1987) Baker, 34, and two siblings: Gertrude (Baker) Lyon, and Wendell Baker. The 1940 census shows them living on Norway Ridge Road: Adelbert Augustus Baker, 78, farmer (1861-1944), his grandfather, Eliza Jane (Holley - 1871-1958), 69, his grandmother, his parents, ages 46 and 44, and a grand-uncle, Andrew Baker, 84, and Burdette, age 19. Another brother was Archibald "Archie" Baker. All siblings graduated from Elkland H.S.

On 20 December 1943 Baker's B-25D left Chakulia, India, on a bombing mission in Burma. It was last seen at 1210 hour 3 miles west of Kalewa, Burma. It was shot down by enemy fighters and, before crashing, three parachutes were seen. Its crew was comprised of:

Pilot                              2ndLt Burdette H. Baker                   0-1698884

Co-Pilot                        2ndLt Paul J. Simonic                         0-735674

Navigator                      2ndLt Charles H. Redd                      0-669109

Bombardier                   1stLt Joseph F. Zizlavsky                    0-664863

Engineer-Gunner          SSgt Joseph B. Tarasewicz                 12050655

Radio Op-Gunner         SSgt Marvin A. Buchfuhrer               12089170

Armorer-Gunner           SSgt John (NMI) Murphy                 13029727