WARRIOR WEDNESDAY: US ARMY SERGEANT THOMAS BAKER
This week’s warrior Wednesday is gonna be a bit different from the norm. We will be kicking off a three part series about three hard charging Soldiers in the Pacific theater who showed levels of testicular fortitude that surpasses human norm. It all begins with the story of SGT (then PVT) Thomas Baker of the 105th Infantry Regiment in the Battle of Saipan. Let’s Fuckin’ Go!
Thomas Baker was born in Troy, NY in 1916. When war seemed like an inevitability, he enlisted with the New York National guard in 1940. He was assigned to A Co. 1-105th, 27th Infantry Division, New York National Guard. The 27th ID was mustered into Federal Service to fight in the Pacific Theater.
On 19JUN1944 the 105th was desperately trying to make headway into Saipan against Japanese die-hards. Casualties were mounting and the attack had been stalled when PVT Baker took charge of a Bazooka and sprinted across over 100 meters of open ground while enemy machine gun fire peppered all around him. PVT Baker spearheaded the assault by blowing apart a fixed machine gun emplacement that was gunning down the men in his company. Several days later, PVT Baker’s company was tasked to advance across an open field flanked with obstructions and he voluntarily scouted out the rear on his own to check for possible enemy forces. Here, he found multiple heavily fortified positions with two Japanese officers and 10 enlisted men that the company had accidentally bypassed. In order to prevent them from ambushing the main element of his company, PVT Baker bum-rushed them without any fucking fear and killed them all single handedly with his BAR. Just to make sure you read that right, that was 12 enemy Soldiers that come from a culture of never surrendering, that were taken out by one US Army Private from Troy, New York…. Every. Single. One.
After going on a 12-0 murderfest, he reloaded, pushed out another 500M by himself, and found a LP/OP manned by Six enemy personnel. He engaged in a brutal close range gun fight and slaughtered those Imperialist fucks also with disciplined bursts of .30-06 fire.
At 0445 on 07JUL1944 the entire 1st BN of the 105th was hit with a sledgehammer of almost 5,000 pissed off, psychotic Japanese Infantrymen from three different sides. They were enveloped and outnumbered. During this attack, which was the largest scale Banzai attack of WWII, Baker was shot in the stomach but refused to leave the line as he continued to pour fire onto the enemy who got as close as 5 yards from his position until his ammunition ran out. As the American lines started to bear the brunt of the hand to hand combat, Baker started to use his BAR like a massive war club and started bashing fools until the weapon actually broke apart from the sheer savagery. Completely black on ammo and his weapon broken to pieces, he couldn’t maintain his position any longer.
Think about that for a second. He broke his BAR, a 16lb automatic rifle made of heavy walnut and solid American steel, because he was beating in skulls so hard and so often that he compromised the structural integrity of said weapon. Weakening from loss of blood, he was carried to the rear by a comrade, who was wounded and killed during the act.. At this point PVT Baker refused to be moved any further because he didn't want anyone else risking their lives for him.
“Get the hell away from me!” he reportedly yelled to the next soldier who tried to help him. “I’ve caused enough problems. Gimme your .45.”
At his request he was left sitting up, propped up against a tree calmly smoking a cigarette with his 1911A1 in his hand. 7 rounds in the magazine and 1 round in the chamber.
The rest of the survivors of the 1-105th retreated and re-consolidated for a counter attack. After fierce and bloody fighting, they succeeded in repelling the enemy. When the Americans retook their positions the next day, they found Baker still sitting up propped up against the tree they left him at. He was dead. His .45 empty and the slide locked back. 8 dead Japanese soldiers were splayed out in front of his position. Even when wounded to the point of death Baker fought like a cornered tiger taking down as many men as his weapon would allow. He is credited with killing at least 26 enemy soldiers during the Battle of Saipan. Baker was posthumously promoted to sergeant and on May 9, 1945, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions throughout the battle for Saipan. He was 28 years old.
About the author: Andy, is a US Army Infantryman and your local Friendly Neighborhood Rooftop Korean. When he's not burning through his savings at the range, you can find him online sharing memes, playing video games, and writing stories about the baddest warriors throughout history. You can follow all of Andy's NSFW content at @call_me_ak on Instagram.