Henry Brown Baker was born on 26 February 1917, the son of Henry Reece Baker and Rena Josephine Barnes. Husband of Virginia Violet Hubbs. He graduated at Davidson College in North Carolina in 1939.
Died 30 August 1945
Buried at Andrew Johnson National Cemetery, Greeneville, TN
Husband of Virginia Baker, 224 North Main Street, Greeneville, Tennessee.
40th Bomber group, 45th Bomber Squadron
Aircraft B-29A, serial number 44-61554 departed from Tinian Island to drop Prisoner of War supplies at Fukuoka #12. In dense fog and pouring rain the B-29 attempted to cross the Sobo Mountain Range, but clipped a mountain peak and crashed, bursting into flames. The wreckage of the plane was located on the southern slope of Sobozan on boundry between Miyazaki and Oita Ken. All aboard were killed and the remains were recovered, but only 3 definitely identified; Capt Henry B. Baker, John D. Dangerfield and S/Sgt Walter R. Gustaveson.
Pilot, 1st Lt Jack L. Riggs
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt John G. Cornwell
Flight Engineer, 1st Lt George H. Williamson
Bombardier, 1st Lt Alfred F. Eiken
Navigator, Captain Henry B. Baker
Radio Operator, S/Sgt Henry N. Frees
Left Gunner, Cpl John D. Dangerfield
Right Gunner, S/Sgt Solomon H. Groner
Senior Gunner, S/Sgt Walter R. Gustaveson
Tail Gunner, Cpl Bob L. Miller
Radar Operator, Sgt John W. Hodges Jr.
For more links and info on a monument built to the dead crew, see:
Capt. Baker’s B-29 may be the last US bomber lost in active service in the Pacific Theater during World War II, much like another East Tennessean on the Memorial (see entry for Howard Goodner), was on the last US bomber lost in Europe during World War II:
30 AUG 1945
B-29A-35-BN, #44-61554, MACR 14898
40th Bomb Group, 45th Bomb Squadron
Jack Riggs crew; 12 MIA
The Knoxville News-Sentinel, 12 October 1945
Capt. Henry B. Baker is reported missing in action since Aug. 30, when he was on a Superfortress which left Tinian on a suppy mission to Fukuoka, Japan. Notification was sent to his wife by the War Department, which added: “The report reveals that your husband’s bomber was neither seen nor contacted by radio after taking off from the home base on a mission to deliver supplies to prisoner of war camps near Yawata. The circumstances surrounding the loss of Capt. Baker’s craft are at present unknown… A continuing search by land, sea and air is being made to discover the whereabouts of our missing personnel.” Capt. Baker was the navigator on the B-29. Names of 11 others in the crew were listed in the notification. His wife, Mrs. Virginia Baker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Hubbs of Greeneville, is in San Francisco, where she went to be with Capt. Baker while he was in the States for special training in July. She had expected him back soon and had stayed to welcome him. The 58th wing of the 20th Command, with which Capt. Baker was attached, is coming into California now. His grandfather, Horace N. Baker, died on Sept. 1 at the age of 86 without knowing that the beloved grandson who was brought up in the elder Baker’s home, was missing.
- Rank: Captain
- Date of birth: 26 February 1917
- Date of death: 30 August 1945
- County: Greene
- Hometown: Greeneville
- Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
- Division/Assignment: 40th Bomber group, 45th Bomber Squadron
- Theater: Pacific
- Conflict: World War II
- Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross
- Burial/Memorial Location: Andrew Johnson National Cemetery, Greeneville, TN
- Location In Memorial: Pillar IX, Middle Panel
- Contact us to sponsor Henry B. Baker
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