Wilder D. Baker

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Wilder DuPuy Baker
Wilder D. Baker.jpg
Born (1890-07-22)July 22, 1890
Topeka, Kansas
Died November 10, 1975(1975-11-10) (aged 85)
Bay City, Michigan
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1910–1952
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Vice Admiral
Service number 0-8703
Commands held USS North Carolina
USS S-13
USS S-11
USS Kidder
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Cold War
Awards Navy Cross
Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Relations Floyd Perry Baker (grandfather)

Wilder DuPuy Baker (July 22, 1890 – November 10, 1975) was a highly decorated United States Navy Vice admiral, who received a Navy Cross for his actions during World War II.[1]

Early career[edit]

Wilder DuPuy Baker was born on July 22, 1890 in Topeka, Kansas as a son of local newspaperman and grandson of Topeka editor Floyd Perry Baker. He attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland and graduated in June 1914 with the rank of Ensign. Baker subsequently attended the Submarine School in New London, Connecticut, where he was trained in submarine warfare.

With the outbreak of World War I, Baker served with submarine units in the European waters as Lieutenant junior grade and later has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

Following the war, Baker was assigned to the submarine USS T-2 and served there until the beginning of January 1923, when he was appointed Commander of the newly commissioned submarine USS S-11. He spent only few months aboard this vessel, before he was given command of another newly commissioned submarine, USS S-13 on July 14, 1923. Baker commanded this ship alongside northeast coast of the United States and later in 1924 sailed to Panama Canal Zone, Saint Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, and Trinidad.

Baker has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1925 and appointed Commanding Officer of the destroyer USS Kidder. He participated in the patrol duties in Caribbean with that ship and finally was transferred to command training battleship, USS Wyoming in 1932.

World War II[edit]

At the time of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, Baker served as Commander of the Destroyer Squadron 31, which participated in the escort convoy duties in the Atlantic ocean. One of the ships under his command was destroyer USS Reuben James, which was the first U.S. Navy ship sunk by hostile action.

He was a companion of the Naval Order of the United States (insignia number 3022).


Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
"A" Device
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Submarine Warfare insignia
1st Row Navy Cross Silver Star Legion of Merit with Combat "V"
2nd Row Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" Navy Presidential Unit Citation with one star Navy Unit Citation with one star
3rd Row World War I Victory Medal with Submarine Clasp Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal American Defense Service Medal with "A" Device
4th Row American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one silver and one bronze service stars World War II Victory Medal
5th Row Navy Occupation Service Medal National Defense Service Medal Philippine Liberation Medal with two stars


  1. ^ "Wilder D. Baker". Militarytimes.com. Retrieved 26 October 2013.